Christy was serving overseas as a sergeant with the United States Army’s military police when her unit came under attack. She was gravely injured in the battle and lost two fingers and both of her legs, along with other critical injuries.
She spent a year and a half in the hospital fighting to survive. When doctors told her she’d never live independently again, she plunged into a deep depression. Then, she met Moxie.
Service dogs are highly trained to help with everyday tasks like opening and closing doors, carrying bags and other items, putting away groceries, and turning lights on and off. Moxie was also trained to detect seizures, which plague Christy due to a head injury she suffered in the attack.
“She got me back into life and wanting to live,” said Christy. “She motivated me to get up and move — her needing her walk and needing to exercise forced me to become active. But she was also a great ice breaker when talking to people about what was going on with me. I didn’t want to give up, because I didn’t want to fail her — I didn’t want her to feel like she couldn’t do her job. I didn’t want to worry about what happened to her after I was gone. She really kept me going.”
As she got stronger, she was amazed by the power of service animals to literally save people’s lives. She decided to help other veterans experience the power of service dogs by starting a non-profit called Mission Working Dogs in 2020. The program trains puppies and matches them with disabled veterans.
Christy is now a certified dog trainer, and Mission Working Dogs is flourishing. They’ve now raised 58 dogs and a huge new facility on 12vacres in Oxford, Maine opens in 2023. Sadly, Moxie passed away, but her memory is preserved forever on the non-profit’s new campus. (see photo)
Christy has a new service dog called Doug, so there’s no stopping her! This is one wounded veteran who understands that a life spent with animals is a life well spent.