Cody's New Jersey family is thankful for how the dog has helped them heal from September 11th over the past 15 years
Fifteen years ago, the United States was rocked by an unthinkable attack on September 11th. For Cody the dog that terrifying day seems like a hundred years ago, but she still remembers.
“She’s got her secrets from that day and we don’t know what,” Pam Pagano, the 17-year-old dog’s owner, told The Daily Record. “We just know her life changed that day like it did for many others.”
According to The Daily Record, Cody was abandoned near Ground Zero in the chaos that followed the events of 9/11.
The husky/German shepherd/Labrador mix was found by rescuers roaming the streets of New York City on September 12, 2001. Cody was taken to a kill shelter in Brooklyn and was later moved by animal rescue group St. Hubert’s to a welfare center in Madison, New Jersey, where she would be safe from the overpopulation city shelters were experiencing.
Not too far away, Pam Pagano and her family of Morris Township, New Jersey, decided it was time to welcome a dog into their home.
“We thought we could finally do it,” she said. “And then after 9/11 we were hearing about all of these dogs in shelters, and we felt we needed to do something.”
When the Paganos went to St. Hubert’s to find a new furry friend, Cody, then around 2 years old, stole their hearts in an instant.
“We found the perfect dog,” Pam Pagano said. “We wanted a puppy but we just fell in love with her.”
Cody quickly lived up to the family’s first impressions, helping the group get through the challenging days that followed 9/11.
“It was a good distraction for the kids after 9/11. They knew what was going on,” Pam Pagano said about how Cody helped her sons Peter and Tommy. “We could see the towers from our neighborhood. You could see that smoke for days. We lost a neighbor. Cody was able to become the central focus of the family in those days.”
From that moment, Cody’s dedication to her family never wavered. The loyal pup posed in prom photos, went on vacations and joined in on work outs.
Even at 17 years old, the ever-resilient Cody still manages to surprise the Paganos.
“She can’t climb stairs anymore but her attitude is amazing,” Pagano said. “But every now and then she drags us down to the park for a mile-and-a-half walk.”
These days, the survivor pup spends most of her time sitting on the front lawn watching the steady stream of activity in her neighborhood, while accepting affection from neighbors and sniffs from fellow dogs.
After her shocking early days in N.Y.C., her family is happy to provide the relaxation and comfort Cody deserves.
“As the anniversary of that fateful day approaches we are so thankful for 15 years with Cody and all that she has taught us about love and life,” Pam’s husband, Sam Pagano, said.