"Nature's Contributions to Our Quality of Life"

Meet Fallingwater’s Four-Legged Ambassador

Moxie author Cara Armstrong with her dog, Poppy.

It is widely recognized that providing thought-provoking ideas to children at an early age affects them well into adulthood. This notion inspired Cara Armstrong, curator of education at Fallingwater, to write and illustrate Moxie, The Dachshund of Fallingwater, a children’s book that will be published this fall by Bright Sky Press.

“I wanted to make architecture in general, and Fallingwater in particular, more accessible to children, and I also wanted to make thinking about architecture fun,” said Armstrong.

The story is narrated by a dachshund named Moxie who, along with her brothers and sisters, lives at Fallingwater. Moxie takes the reader on an informal tour of Fallingwater, explaining some of the key concepts behind the design and architecture of the building in a way that can be easily understood by children and adults alike. The book features characters that are loosely based on a real-life litter of dachshunds who frequented Fallingwater with the Kaufmanns.

“Liliane Kaufmann actually raised long-haired dachshunds, and Moxie was the name of one of her favorites. She was part of a litter whose names all started with ‘M’; there were six or seven in that litter. We don’t know all of their names, but Elsie Henderson, the Kaufmanns’ cook, helped me when I was doing my research,” said Armstrong.

Moxie book cover.

Armstrong illustrated each page by hand, using sketches and watercolors to create colorful, vibrant images that were influenced by archival photographs of her characters’ real-world counterparts.

Moxie, The Dachshund of Fallingwater is now available at, following its premiere during the Fallingwater Twilight Tour August 22.