The Pony That Gives Hope

Posted by M ws On Sunday, April 8, 2012 0 comments
Meet Molly. She's a gray speckled 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 infected and her vet went to LSU for help. But LSU was overwhelmed, and this pony was a welfare case and last on the list.

But when surgeon Rustin Moore met Molly, he changed his mind. He saw how the pony was careful to lie down on different sides so she wouldn't get sores, and how she allowed people to handle her. 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. 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," said Allison Barca DVM, Molly's regular vet. "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 is that Molly has a job now. Molly visits shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers. Anywhere people need hope. Wherever Molly goes, she shows people her pluck. She inspires people. And she has 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."

"Molly the Pony," is a children's book about the pony who has already inspired thousands of people. It's not a book about amputation or prosthetics, it's a book about a pony, people and hope.

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.

~ Molly's Book: "Molly the Pony: A True Story" is written by Pam Kaster with a portion of the sales price going toward Molly's Foundation. click for book

~ Molly's Video: For a great CBS News video about Molly click for video.

~ Molly's Foundation: Their Mission Statement is: "To provide a lifetime home for ponies and horses that have earned their rest. To have them continue to be useful as a part of an ongoing therapeutic and educational opportunity for children and adults. To increase awareness, appreciation, and responsibility for horses and ponies and their partnership with humans." click for foundation

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