What do you do to show your gratitude to the dog who saved your life and gave you back your confidence? What gesture could ever be enough? Sgt. Christy Gardener didn’t know how to pay it all back to her dog – so she decided to pay it forward.
Christy lost both her legs while serving overseas with the U.S. Army. Like many of our servicemen and women, Christy faced extreme mental anguish when she returned home, and often considered ending her life. However, she didn’t have to face the darkness alone. Moxie, a Golden Retriever, was put into Christy’s service to help her perform day-to-day tasks, but also gave her someone to stick around for. Christy tells CBS News:
“The way she would just look at you. Her eyes would go right through to your soul. And I felt like I was disappointing her. And so having her by my side was the only reason I didn’t kill myself.”
Christy is now in a much better place in her life, and with Moxie by her side has landed a spot on the roster of the U.S. Women’s Sled Hockey Team. She feels an enormous debt of gratitude for everything Moxie has done for her, and though there may not be enough bully sticks in the world to show Moxie how much she loves her, she found something else to do that will touch multiple lives.
Tiny Tim is a sweet, blue-eyed, yellow lab puppy who was born with a defect in his front right leg. But where some might see just a broken pup, Christy saw potential. She hopes to raise Tiny Tim to be therapy dog for the students at Leeds Elementary, to show students that a disability doesn’t have to be the end of the world.
“There is just so much about him that is so perfect for this little mission of his. I think the kids are going to say, ‘Well, he had all these problems and he didn’t give up and look how happy he is.”
In honor of Moxie and everything she’s done for her, she has offered to raise and train Tiny Tim herself but he’ll need to have his leg amputated before he can go to work. Christy was working two jobs to afford the surgery, but when dog food company VetriScience heard what Christy was up to, they offered $10,000 to get Tiny Tim his surgery!
Tiny Tim has a lot of training to do before he’s ready to go to work at Leeds Elementary, but the students and staff know that he’s destined for greatness! In fact, they’ve renamed him Lucky Tim – a name that suits him even better than Tiny Tim!
Keep up with Lucky Tim on his training journey at VetriScience.com.
Featured Photo: @clgardner19/Instagram
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