In the News

REAL LIFE: My dog saved my life

When Gary and Mandy Hodgson adopted Cody the Akita from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, they had no idea how truly life-changing it was going to be.

Gary and Mandy Hodgson always knew Cody was a special dog.

“My daughter noticed him on the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home website,” remembers Mandy. “He looked so sad, but when we went to see him, he just fitted in. My son’s got high-functioning autism and the dog just went straight to him and started playing with him.”

Cody moved in with the family in the summer of 2015, and life seemed perfect. But just a few months later, in September, Gary, 56, had his first heart attack. Thankfully he survived, and as part of his recovery, Gary began taking Cody for his walks.

The family seemed to be back on track, but then, in January 2016, disaster struck again.

“I went to take the dog for his normal walk and as I was coming back towards the house, I had a cardiac arrest and went face down onto the pavement,” Gary told Closer Online.

It was at this point, that Cody sprung into action.

“There was nobody in the street," Gary explained, "but as luck would have it, there was a young man working in the building opposite, and he came down to get something. Cody immediately ran straight over to him and tried to grab his arm.

“Akitas have a thing about mouthing your wrist when they want to tell you stuff. He tried to mouth his wrist and the kid panicked a bit, but his mate who was working up in the building came running down. He knew first aid and started to do CPR on me.”

Talking about her recollections of the traumatic day, Mandy told Closer Online: “Gary smashed all his teeth up on the kerb, and the police had cordoned off the whole road because they thought he’d been attacked.”

But she has no doubt who the hero of the day was: “Cody got off Gary’s wrist, went over to the young lad and jumped up at him and tried to pull him over to where Gary was,” she explained. “He tried it about four or five times.”

Cody’s heroic actions are even more incredible when you find out what an awful start he had in life.

“Cody’s original owners bought him off the internet,” Mandy explained. “He was living in a flat in London with about eight adults and a couple of children. He’d never been vaccinated, never been out for a walk, and didn’t know what grass was until we adopted him.”

And amazingly, Cody’s role in saving Gary’s life didn’t come to light until three months after the incident.

“We didn’t even know what Cody had done until we met up with the man who saved Gary’s life,” Mandy revealed. “We had a cup of tea and a long chat, and that’s when we found out.”

Unsurprisingly, Cody now has an even more special place in the families’ hearts.

“We’re so thankful for the dog,” Gary told us.

“He’s an amazing part of the family and everybody loves him,” added Mandy. “He's the most loyal big teddy bear.”

Thinking of adopting a new furry friend? Then visit Battersea Dogs and Cats home.

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