As a blind woman, Ann Edie has relied on her hip-high miniature horse for 14 years to guide her through life’s obstacles. The black-and-white service pony, named Panda, has led Edie across busy streets, fetched her house keys and even stood quietly in restaurants while she ate her meals.
So when Panda was the one needing help, Edie was glad to return the favour. The little horse was stricken with a life-threatening intestinal blockage about a year ago, and Edie and her husband have drained more than $30,000 from their retirement nest egg to pay for surgery and advanced veterinary care. “Of course I wanted to do everything I could to save her, because she’s very special,” says Edie, a 69-year-old retired teacher.