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Little pony, big heart.

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If anyone has a right to be grumpy, it would be Molly.

First the little pony was caught in Hurricane Katrina. then abandoned by her owners, then bitten so severely by a dog that part of a front leg had to be surgically removed.

But to this day, Molly makes visits to hospitals and nursing homes, where she cheers up sick kids and older folks. It started when Molly was adopted by Ms. Kaye Harris in the days after the hurricane, which struck the Louisiana coast in 2005. After the dog attack, veterinarians performed surgery on Molly in the animal hospital at nearby Louisiana State University.

They gave her a special metal leg, a prosthetic (pros-THET-ik, or artificial) limb. Now Molly enjoys her usual pony duties of eating, sleeping, playing, and visiting with the other animals on the farm.

The doctors at the university's school of veterinary medicine are amazed at how well Molly does with her artificial leg.

"The prosthetic device is amazing," says Dr. Allison Denny-Barca on the school's website (www.LSUEquine.com). "Even without it, Molly does really well, but the prosthetic has given her a whole new life. And she asks for it. She's amazing. 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."

Both children and adults love to get visits from Molly. Ms. Kaye says that Molly "visits anyone she can cheer up! Some kids are all over her and some hang back at first ... Molly is so, so patient with all of it!"

Adults are respired by her. and "kids just like ner. period." says Ms. Kaye. Molly enjoys her visits too "When we leave an event. Molly always tries to pull and go back as she loves the interaction with kids and people.

Because her leg changes between winter and summer, Molly has her prosthesis (pros-THEE-sis) adlusted from time to time. This helps to prevent skJn sores where her leg attaches to the prosthesis.

Otherwise. Ms. Kaye says, "Molly is 'healthy as a horse'!" The biggest problem with Molly is keeping her weight down. She loves her food and grass!

The doctors who have taken care of Molly have also earned from her. What they have learned wil help them take better care of other injured animals. Molly has shown that animals with prosthetic limbs can live healthy lives. They can also give back to others and, like Molly, put smiles on people's faces.

If you'd like to learn more about Molly's adventure. including how she came to live on Ms. Kaye's farm, then you will enjoy reading, Molly the Pony, A True Story, by Pam Kaster.

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Author:Terry, Elizabeth G.
Publication:Children's Digest
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2008
Words:462
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