Most stories about 9/11 are about families losing loved ones.
Especially in Westchester, where so many locals were directly affected by the attacks, it's rare to find even a glimmer of hope or relief in a story as devastating as the country's most destructive act of terrorism.
But for at least one Rivertowns family, 9/11 also offered an opportunity to welcome a newcomer into its home—to provide a family for an orphaned victim of the attacks.
Sadie—a skittish, 5-year-old Flat-Coated Retriever—was one of the many pets left without a family in 2001.
"She seemed morbidly affected by what happened," recalled Karen Pozin, an Ardsley resident and Sadie's second owner. "Once we had her, she couldn't be left alone."
Pozin said she hadn't originally wanted a dog. "But when my husband heard about an adoption fair for all animals abandoned after 9/11, I couldn't resist."
At the fair in Nyack, Pozin said there were hundreds of animals: dogs, cats, birds.
"They had all been kept in a shelter in Staten Island from September to November," Pozin recalled.
Sadie's story resonated with the community, Pozin said. "Joey at Bow Meow would groom her for free and we got free veterinary services for a while from Dakota Veterinary Center in Greenburgh. People loved her because of her personality and because of her background."
As in many families, Karen—the mom who wasn't sure about adopting a dog in the first place—became Sadie's best friend.
"We had our signals to go out and to go upstairs; Sadie slept in our bed with us," Pozin said.
Tragically, Sadie was killed by a car that swerved too close to the school bus stop about six years ago.
Veterinarians did all they could for her, but Sadie died in her sleep after undergoing surgery.
"The vet, Gil Stanzione at Dakota, felt so awful about Sadie that he came to us and told us about a puppy that had hip dysplasia," Pozin said. "He didn't want to euthanize it and said he would do corrective surgery free of charge if we would adopt the dog."
Coby, now 5, has lived with the Pozins—Karen, Daniel, Ryan, Mark and Leah—since the surgery.
"Coby has artificial hips, but is doing great," Pozin said. "After Sadie, we couldn't adopt a dog in the usual way. She was a special dog—a special addition to our family."