The Paganos of Convent Station, New Jersey were already considering adding a dog to their family when the September 11, 2001 attacks occurred.
Fate would lead them to adopt a 2-year-old Shepherd mix found wandering through the rubble at Ground Zero. In an interview with The Daily Record Pam Pagano discussed adopting Cody from St. Hubert’s Animal Rescue Center just days after 9/11.
“…We were hearing about all of these dogs in shelters, and we felt we needed to do something.”
She added that although they had originally intended to bring home a puppy, Cody instantly stole their hearts. How she ended up wandering the ruined streets of Ground Zero on September 12 we will never know, but Cody soon found her place within the Pagano family and has spent the last 15 years as their faithful companion.
“She’s got her secrets from that day and we don’t know what. We just know her life changed that day like it did for many others.”
Cody helped the Paganos’ two young sons heal from the shock of a tragedy that hit all too close to home. The remains of the twin towers were visible from their neighborhood. They saw the smoke and witnessed the chaos. Pam says that Cody became the family’s “central focus” throughout those difficult days, helping them to envision a brighter future.
Cody soon found herself sewn into the fabric of the Paganos’ lives. She accompanied them on family vacations, used her Shepherd instincts to “herd” them together, and patrolled their yard for squirrels.
At 17, Cody is no longer able to chase squirrels or climb stairs, but when the mood strikes her, she will still drag Pam down to the park for a mile and a half walk. Most of the time, though, she is content to relax on the family’s front lawn watching the world go by.
Pam and Sam Pagano see that their 9/11 miracle dog gets all the love and attention she deserves as her eventful life winds down. Sam told The Daily Record:
“Sometimes when a black kitty cat screeches by and Cody just lets out a big yawn I can hear her saying to herself ‘this is nothing, I’ve seen worse. So 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.”
[Source: iheartdogs.com ]