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Old 05-15-2008, 12:59 PM   #1
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Molly the Pony



Now, my friends, meet Molly. She’s a gray-speckled "POA" pony who was abandoned by her owners when Katrina hit southern Louisiana. She spent weeks on her own before finally being rescued and taken to a farm where abandoned animals were stockpiled. While there, she was attacked by a pit bull terrier, and almost died. Her gnawed right front leg became badly infected and her vet went to the veterinariansa at Louisiana State University (LSU) for help. But LSU was overwhelmed, and this pony was an equine refugee. No American Express card dangled from her frayed halter. If you've ever had an animal in need of major surgery, you know what the criteria is.

But after the local veterinarian persisted, LSU surgeon Rustin Moore agreed to meet Molly, and that meeting changed his mind. He saw how the pony was careful to lie down on different sides so she didn't seem to get sores, and how she allowed people to handle her raw, infected limb. When she stood up, she protected her injured leg. She constantly shifted her weight, and didn’t overload her good leg. She was a smart pony with a serious survival ethic.

Moore agreed to remove her leg below the knee and a temporary artificial limb was built. The Humane Society of the United States and Lifesavers Inc. (an animal-angel arm of Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue in California) provided the funds for the operation. Molly walked out of the clinic and her story really begins there.

“This was the right horse and the right owner," Moore insists. “Molly happened to be a one-in-a-million patient. She’s tough as nails, but sweet, and she was willing to cope with pain. She made it obvious she understood (that) she was in trouble.” The other important factor, according to Moore, is having a truly committed and compliant owner who is dedicated to providing the daily care required over the lifetime of the horse.

Molly’s story turns into a parable for life in post-Katrina Louisiana. The little pony gained weight, her mane felt a comb. A human prosthesis designer built her a leg.

“The prosthetic has given Molly a whole new life,” Allison Barca DVM, Molly's regular vet, reports. “And she asks for it! She will put her little limb out, and come to you and let you know that she wants you to put it on. Sometimes she wants you to take it off too." And sometimes, Molly gets away from Barca. “It can be pretty bad when you can't catch a three-legged horse,” she laughs.

Most important of all, Molly has a job now. Kaye, the shelter farm owner, started taking Molly to shelters, hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation centers--anywhere she thought that people needed hope after losing so much in the storm. Wherever Molly went, she showed people her pluck. She inspired people. And she had a good time doing it.

“It’s obvious to me that Molly had a bigger role to play in life,” Moore said, “She survived the hurricane, she survived a horrible injury, and now she is giving hope to others.”

“She's not back to normal,” Barca concluded. “She's going to be better. To me, she could be a symbol for New Orleans itself.”

This month, Molly the Pony, a children’s book about the pony who has already inspired thousands of people around New Orleans, has been published.

It’s not a book about amputation or prosthetics, it’s a book about people and ponies. But the photos you see here are a few of the great ones from the book.

Maybe Molly won’t make the vet textbooks, but she might reach more people from the pages of this book for children. If you know a child, a library, a hospital, or maybe a therapeutic riding program that can use a lift, here’s a book that can do that. And a lot more.






Here's the link to the page that I got this from with ordering info if you'd like to buy the book.




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Old 05-15-2008, 02:16 PM   #2
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It's pretty amazing what animals can teach us, if we only care to 'listen'. Thanks for sharing this remarkable story.
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Old 05-15-2008, 03:05 PM   #3
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Seems like more and more we're finding out that animals are capable of incredible things if you give them a chance. What a heartwarming story!
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:31 PM   #4
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A great story of survival - thank you for sharing. We have domesticated these animals so it's our responsibility to take proper care of them.
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Old 05-15-2008, 08:22 PM   #5
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Wow what a nice story! Kudos and karma coming your way!
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Old 05-15-2008, 09:38 PM   #6
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One more thing about this pony--the bottom of her prosthetic has a smiley face stamp on it, so every step she takes with that leg makes a smiley!

Ponies are tough. They're great!

Susan
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