Meet Molly – The Little Pony That Could!

molly-horseShe’s a grey-speckled pony who was abandoned when Hurricane 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 dog 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…you know how that goes.

But after surgeon Rustin Moore met Molly, he wanted more for her. 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. 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 instinct.

Moore agreed to remove her leg below the knee, and a temporary artificial limb was built. Molly walked out of the clinic, but 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 her pain.

She made it obvious she understood that she knew she was in trouble. The other important factor, according to Moore, was having a truly committed and compliant caregiver, dedicated to providing the daily care required over the life of the little horse.

Molly’s story turns into a parable for life in post-Katrina Louisiana. The little pony gained weight, and her mane finally felt a comb. A pros-thesis designer built a leg for her. The prosthetic has given Molly a whole new lease on life, Allison Barca, DVM, Molly’s regular vet, reports. And she asks for it. She will put her limb out, and come to you to 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. Kay, the rescue farm owner, started taking Molly to shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, and rehab centers…anywhere she thought that people needed hope and inspiration. Wherever Molly went, she showed people her pluck. She inspired them, and she had a good time doing it.

molly-horse-leg“It’s obvious to me that Molly must have known she 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,” Barca said. “She’s not back to normal, yet, but she’s getting better. To me, she could be a symbol for New Orleans, itself.”

This is Molly’s most recent prosthesis. The bottom photo shows the bottom surface that she stands on, which has a smiley face embossed in it. Wherever Molly goes, she leaves a smiley hoof-print behind.

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© Copyright 2011  Allison Stuart Kaplan LLC

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