Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Meet Molly!

Had to share this. Check out the adorable pictures below. awwww.

I've written articles over the years about horses who survived amputation
surgery. There was Boitron, the California Thoroughbred stallion who could
service mares after amputation surgery. There were Dr. Ric Redden's dramatic
cases of founder survivors who galloped around his paddock on artificial feet
with 'transplanted frogs'.

Dr. Chris Colles had the never-say-die Appaloosa in England with the
spring-loaded foot. And who can forget that paint yearling in India? Or the
landmine-maimed elephant amputee in Thailand? Longtime Hoofcare and Lameness
Journal readers will remember them all.So when I first heard that a pony had
survived amputation surgery at Louisiana State University's (LSU) equine
hospital, I didn't run to the keyboard and beg for photos. A few weeks later I
did, though.

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. You know how that goes.But after
surgeon Rustin Moore met Molly, he 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. 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,' 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. Kay, the rescue farm owner,
started taking Molly to shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation
centers. Anywhere she thought that people needed hope. Wherever Molly went, she
showed people her pluck. She inspired people. And she had a good time doing

'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
week, 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 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 you can explain how the leg and hoof

HOW TO ORDER: This book is an oversized, square 'laminated' (so it wipes
clean) hard cover book. Hoofcare Publishing is proud to offer it for sale to you
at the price of $15.95 each plus $6 post. A portion of the sales price will go
toward Molly's fund. To order, send check or money to Hoofcare Books, 19 Harbor
Loop, Gloucester MA 01930. Telephone orders to (USA) 978 281 3222. Fax orders to
(USA) 978 283 8775. Email orders to Visa or Mastercard
accepted; please supply account number and expiration date. When ordering,
please give phone and/or email details.You will LOVE this book--and Molly!

1 comment:

Lizzie said...


Paddy just loved Molly the horse, she asks to see it all the time, and when my Mum came around today, she was so keen for her Nanny to see Molly. Paddy I think has accepted that she will have an operation and that she will lose a foot, and then have a 'magic leg'like Molly. Great to see that they can do fantastic things for horses too! The wonders of modern science.