For the past 14 years, one blind New York woman has spent nearly every waking moment with her beloved guide pony, which she not only relies on to get around but has become her beloved companion.
“She has been so much more than just a service animal. She is so much more than just a means for letting me, as a blind person, travel smoothly and efficiently around my community. Her joy in her work and in her life always puts a smile on my face.”
“Her special little nicker when she hears me coming to her in the morning, the way she puts her soft nose up to my face in greeting, the way she lays her chin on my knee when she’s napping—in all these ways and so many more, she lets me know that I am her person. She is my lovable and loving companion and partner,” said 61-year-old Ann Edie.
So when the miniature pony named Panda got sick last year and was diagnosed with an intestinal blockage, Edie was ready to do anything to save her. She didn’t hesitate to spend more than $30,000, her entire life savings, so that Panda could get the treatment she needed to survive the surgery and the multiple complications that arose after. “The amount is unthinkable, but even more unthinkable would have been giving up and losing Panda,” said Alexandra Kurland, Edie’s friend, and Panda’s trainer.
“Throughout all the trials of the last eight months–the weeks of hospitalization, surgery, IV’s, X-rays, ultrasounds, biopsies, blood tests, treatments and medications, pain and discomfort, and the separations from her people—Panda has remained steadfastly cheerful, loving, eager to interact, adorable, and full of life and joy. There was never any doubt in my mind about giving her the care she needed to have the best chance of recovering her health,” Edie said.
To help out, Kurland set up a donation campaign on YouCaring to raise the rest of the funds needed to pay Panda’s continuing vet bills and help her make a full recovery. “Panda is on the road to recovery. But we need help in order to continue to give her the care that will enable her to regain her full health and once again fully function as my guide. We are very grateful for any help you can give us, and we would appreciate it if you would spread the word to your family and friends who might want to join in helping Panda,” Edie explained.
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[Featured image: YouCaring/Alexandra Kurland]