FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Courtney Gelinas and Rufus go way back.
The chocolate brown teddy bear was a gift from Courtney's grandfather, who named it and died shortly after. That was 10 years ago.
Since then, Courtney has never spent a night apart from Rufus. She's taken the bear with her on every overnight trip, on every vacation, and even to "every water park in Ohio, Michigan and Ontario," according to Kim Lariviere, Courtney's mother.
"He doesn't go anywhere without us," she said.
That is, until Friday.
The family had just returned from a Caribbean cruise and were about to board a flight to Detroit when a gunman began spraying bullets in a baggage terminal at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Panic and chaos ensued.
"A rush of people screaming for their lives came rushing like a tsunami toward us," said Lariviere, a seventh-grade teacher in Windsor, Ontario. "We threw our children underneath the seats and laid on top of them."