On Tuesday August 4th, 2020, two massive chemical explosions devastated Beirut. The death toll of over 70 people continues to rise and thousands more were injured in the blasts. That figure doesn’t include the dogs, cats, and other pets within the blast radius.
At the time of the explosion, USA Today Journalist Nadia Al Faour was at the veterinarian with one of her dogs, 2-year-old Brownie. Brownie had been going through something that caused a fever and curbed his appetite. This was a follow-up appointment. Meanwhile back at home, her three cats and senior German Shepherd Loulou waited.
After the first explosion, Al Faour followed her instincts to get down on the ground. When the second explosion hit, the vet taking care of Brownie got severely injured. Immediately, Al Faour headed home to check on all her other animals.
“I fled the clinic with my heart and head pounding. I was worried about the vet as I made my way in the direction of the port, like salmon swimming up river.”
By the time she and Brownie returned home, there was nothing they could do.
“I finally made it home and scrambled upstairs, looking for my other dog, an elderly German Shepherd rescue named Loulou. She wasn’t there. I found her at the bottom of a window blown open by the explosion. She had jumped in shock six floors to her death.”
Fortunately, the three cats had survived, though none would leave their hiding places for days. This past summer, many Americans reported hearing a lot of fireworks. If you’ve seen how much a firework can frighten a dog, you can’t imagine how much a miles-wide explosion would. Poor Loulou.
During this global pandemic, our dogs have been an important comfort to us. To lose one to another tragedy during this time must be unbearable. Faour wrote:
“I will miss Loulou as I walk the streets of a broken city in the coming weeks. She made living in a dystopia more bearable.”
Al Faour rescued Loulou from Animals Lebanon. She also fosters for the organization, and clearly loves animals. Animals Lebanon is currently working to locate animals that went missing during the explosions. Search teams have begun combing the city.
“Our hearts go to all the people who were affected, to all those who lost people, those who were injured and those who lost their homes. There are also the animals that need help. Many pets were lost or injured during the explosion and they still need help.” -@AnimalsLebanon via Twitter