St. Louis pup is a finalist in the National Hero Dog Awards

ST. LOUIS MO – American man, a national animal welfare organization, has announced the five finalists for its annual Hero Dog Awards. The list includes a St. Louis area pup from Ballwin who will compete for the grand prize.

Life-saving service dog Moxie, a mini Goldendoodle from Ballwinhelped her caregiver regain hope and meaning when a rare illness left her unable to walk for several years and left her suicidal.

Voting for the Hero Dog Awards is now closed and the winners will be announced on November 10th.

Katie Harris is Moxie’s owner and works as a social worker. Harris, who played sports in college, never imagined she would be crippled. All that changed in 2018 when her health deteriorated to the point where she could no longer walk. This turned her life upside down.

Harris got Moxie as a puppy in 2018 and began training her to be a service dog with the help of the American Service Dog Association. She named the Goldendoodle Moxie, a word meaning spirit and courage.

The story of Harris and Moxie:

Katie Harris has been diagnosed Ehlers-Danlos syndrome in 2013. This is a rare genetic disease that affects the body’s connective tissue. Over the years, she suffered from a variety of painful symptoms, such as temporary vision loss, arm numbness, seizures, and having to wear a neck brace because her ligaments weakened, eventually leading to a stiff neck.

Her life was full of hospital stays, surgeries and pain that never went away. By 2018, her health had deteriorated so much that she could no longer walk and had to rely on a wheelchair. This made her feel very sad and alone.


During this difficult time, Harris’ faithful service dog, Moxie, gave her hope and a sense of purpose. Moxie’s love and loyalty never wavered, which was a huge help during many medical procedures and hospital stays.

Harris and Moxie are dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities based on their own experiences. Harris founded a nonprofit group to provide free service dogs to people who needed them.

She did this because she knew how expensive it was to get a service dog. Together, they visit schools across the country to talk about challenges, promote acceptance and teach the next generation to be kind and caring.


More about Moxie:

Moxie helps her caregiver every day, such as picking up items, opening and closing doors, and informing them of low blood pressure and other medical emergencies. This hero dog lives up to his name by doing everything with vigor and bravery.

Her owner says Moxie has a gift. Moxie’s talent is that she cares deeply about other people and can connect with them. She says Moxie has a natural ability to make people happy and make them smile, even when things are difficult. St. Louis pup is a finalist in the National Hero Dog Awards

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