Angels Here on Earth
Story by Serena Kenna
Photographed by dKol Photography
Off the beaten path, deep in the heart of Dutchess County at 44 Saint Nicholas Road in Wappingers Falls, an established veterinary practice has been reborn. Earth Angels Veterinary Hospital, managed by Robert Codacovi and doctored by his lovely wife, Dr. Alexandra Barrientos, a graduate of Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, has acquired an impressive nine-acre parcel of land upon which rests a beautifully restored building teeming with state-of-the-art veterinary equipment. The history of both the practice and the new location are in equal parts fascinating and romantic…so let’s begin with Rob and Alex.
Robert had been working as a volunteer with the Nature Conservancy for about a year when he met Alexandra in May of 1995. Alex had been chosen as Cornell’s summer student coordinator for a project that studied the threatened Blandings turtle at a preserve in Dutchess County. Rob assisted her during this summer project by monitoring the turtles as they traveled, marking the sites where the eggs were laid, then ensuring the babies made it safely to sea after hatching.
At the end of the summer of 1995, Alexandra returned to Cornell and Rob remained in Westchester. They stayed in touch, and Rob went up to Cornell for a visit that winter. It was clear that these two had more than a love for animals in common, and Rob moved up to Ithaca during the spring of 1996 and lived with Alexandra until she graduated veterinary school in spring of 1998.