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Congratulations Paxton and service dog, Gus!

Today was an exciting day! This morning, service dog Gus completed his Public Access Test with his new human companion, Paxton! Gus was awarded to Paxton and his family last year through our donor-funded Miracle Service Dog Program. Gus has gone through months of training to be able to assist Paxton with a variety of needs. We are so happy for Paxton, Gus and the rest of the Heckart family on their exciting new journey!

The Service Dog Public Access Test is to ensure that dogs certified as Service Dogs are well-behaved and able to perform their trained behaviors in a public setting. The test is also used to demonstrate that the handler has control over the dog and that the dog responds appropriately to insure there is no threat to the public from the dog.

A special thank you to our national fundraising partner Henkle’s Ace Hardware for hosting Gus’ test at their beautiful new location in Joplin and On Command K-9 Academy for providing the test.

Programs like the Miracle Service Dog Program are made possible by generous donations to your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, Freeman Health System.

Local Miracle Child Paxton and his service dog, Gus
Gus performing his Public Access Test with the Heckart Family
Left to right: Kayla Tessman, Freeman Development Office and Family Relations Coordinator; John Henkle, Henkle’s Ace Hardware; the Heckart Family and service dog, Gus; Michaela Bennett, Freeman Development and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Program Manager