A blind woman who has been helped for 14 years by a guide PONY has spent her life savings on an operation to save her equine friend’s life.
Ann Edie is a blind 69-year-old retiree from Delmar, New York.
She has been helped for 14 years by guide pony, Panda who Ann describes as "...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."
Having previously used guide dogs, Ann has championed the use of miniature ponies for doing the same job, and explained that as horses are herd animals they can predict where a moving object is heading and adjust.
However, Panda fell ill last year and almost died. She was diagnosed with an intestinal blockage and has undergone several rounds of emergency surgery – leaving retired Ann and her husband, Dennis, with vets bills of more than $30,000.
Amazingly an online campaign helped raise the funds needed to pay some of the costs.
Ann, who has been blind since she was born added:
“I never want people to feel sorry for disabled people. We have always tried to support ourselves and contribute to society.
“The support of others through the fundraising page has been great, as we are both retired it would have taken us a long time to try and pay the bills for Panda’s treatment.