Christy Gardner was a sergeant in the Army. During one of the peacekeeping operations in Korea, she was seriously injured. She had multiple surgeries for the next year and a half. Then she had to rehabilitate her brain and body so that she could learn to walk and talk again.
The doctors declared Christy as 100 percent disabled, which meant that she was not allowed to live on her own. They gave her a list of several things that she couldn’t do. She was medically retired from the army, and she had to go back to her parents’ home in Maine because she needed someone to take care of her. Moreover, Christy suffered from depression and PTSD.
After one of her seizures, one of the doctors suggested that she should get a dog that was trained to assist her whenever she had an attack. She set out to find the perfect one for her and finally found a breeder in New Hampshire. A nonprofit organization in Pennsylvania agreed to train the dog for her.
Christy got a nine-week-old Golden Retriever and named her Moxie. After raising her for six months, she went to Pennsylvania for her training to be a service dog. Moxie was certified as a service dog after 13 months and was sent back to Christy.
Moxie was a wonderful service dog. She could sense when Christy was about to have a seizure, and she would alert her. Moxie saved her life when she was about to commit suicide. Her presence made her reconsider her decision to end her life because she had Moxie to live for.
Moxie made it possible for Christy to live independently. She was able to get a place of her own and even started to participate in active sports. She took to sled hockey and Moxie traveled with her to every game to make sure she was alright.
Christy started to train service and therapy dogs for other veterans like her. She knew that having a dog was life-changing, and she wanted other veterans to experience what she had with Moxie.
While the doctors told her all the things that she could not do, Moxie made it possible for her to think of things that she could do.
Photo from Guideposts