Maine Paralympian Gardner on a mission to help fellow heroes - Part 2
LEWISTON, Maine (WABI) - We shared part one of our series on Paralympian Christy Gardner’s mission. We showcase the protagonist we mentioned in part two. He’s a dog known as Lucky. A little guy part of a big mission...
“Lucky was born with an arm deformity and because the way that developed he was walking on the outside of his wrist. So his arm didn’t develop and his elbow didn’t shape right,” says USA Army Veteran and Paralympian Christy Gardner, “He went to see different specialists and most of them believed he would be better off without the arm.”
Lucky’s surgery was completed when he was 4 months old.
“We got home and it was the winter. he went up one snowbank, across the driveway, and up the other one,” says Christy, “He could care less.”
At one year old he became certified as a therapy dog. Which is now his duty at Leeds Central School.
“He is the first puppy I’ve had with special needs. It was a great opportunity to show the kids what you can still do,” says Gardner, “The fact he is different doesn’t bother him at all. It hasn’t really limited him at all. He’s happy go lucky. He can swim, he can fetch, and he can do anything a normal dog can do. “
Author Eileen Doyon had worked with Christy and Moxie before. She saw the story (on Lucky) when it was shared by CBS’ reporter Steve Hartman.
“I cried and I cried and I said to my husband I think I have found my mission, and my calling, of what I want to do,” says Doyon, “I want to write a children’s book about Moxie, Christy and Lucky. "
Lucky became the protagonist
“Giving people inspiration because he has three legs to an amputee veteran,” Doyon says, “how incredible is that!”
“Lucky Little Guy, BIG Mission!”
“Inspiration, role models, anti-bullying, being different is ok,” Eileen says, “and to never, never give up.”
The USA Paralympian’s 10th puppy she’s trained is now paying Gardner back for giving him a chance to shine.
“She is such a role model in life, in general to people,” Doyon says, “They have to see what she’s done and see what she is doing.”
Teaching lesson’s to kids and aiding Christy’s mission to help heroes who need help.
“Proceeds from his book go to the rest of the mission to train service dogs for others,” Christy says, “They don’t do assistance dogs, they don’t do Veteran’s who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from other sources or civilians. We have no civilian agencies in Maine and so that’s where i am trying to fill that void.”
The book is out now. 50% of proceeds go to Christy’s mission. You can buy the book on Amazon or the link attached at the top of this story.
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