Panda, a guide horse for the blind, needs your help.

For: Ann Edie and her guide horse, Panda
Albany, NY
Organizer: Alexandra Kurland
$10,615
of $10,000 goal.
Raised by 157 donors
100% Complete
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The Story

Panda needs your help.

My good friend, Ann Edie is blind.  Instead of a dog, she uses a miniature horse as her guide.  Panda became Ann’s guide in 2003.  She has been a superb worker and beloved companion through 13 years of service.

Sadly, this past Mother’s Day, she became very ill with an intestinal blockage.  When they operated, the surgeon removed a mass the size of his fist from her colon.  Without the surgery, she would have died.  

Panda’s recovery was very slow.  She spent three weeks in hospital.  The hospital staff was wonderful.  They recognized how bonded Panda was to Ann.  They let Ann stay for hours sitting by her side.  

Panda was able to go home in June, but she was soon readmitted to hospital with pneumonia. She was on IV antibiotics for a week before she was finally well enough to go home.  She had to remain on antibiotics for the rest of the summer.

In September she developed severe diarrhea and had to be hospitalized again.  She spent another six weeks in hospital.  She is home now and doing okay.  She’s well enough to go for walks around the neighborhood with Ann, but she can’t yet resume her full role as her guide horse.

I’m sure you can imagine how fast the vet bills have added up.  The vets have generously given Ann a service animal discount, but even so Panda’s bills have risen towards a staggering $30,000.  The amount is unthinkable, but even more unthinkable would have been giving up and losing Panda.  To help them out I have just started this fund raising campaign.  The money raised will go towards paying Panda’s continuing vet bills.  Please share this through your social network so we can help Panda and Ann.


Here is a letter from Ann:

Thank you for helping Panda

Panda has been the best guide imaginable for me for the past 13 years. But 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.

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.

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.

With sincere thanks,
Ann & Panda

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on April 21, 2017

Posted on April 21, 2017

Ann Edie asked me to post this update on Panda:

Hello, Everybody, and Happy Spring!
We have spent the winter months transitioning Panda to her new doctor-recommended diet and basically just letting her digestive system rest in the hopes that it might recover without further intervention. We went for walks when the weather permitted and played clicker games indoors to keep her mind stimulated. Her attitude has been wonderful throughout, and looking at her, you wouldn’t know that she had ever been ill—except for the crazy body clip she is still sporting. Over the winter we avoided the vets as much as possible and, thanks to the amazing generosity of all of you, we used the time to pay down some of Panda’s vet bills.
Now that spring is here and the weather is wonderful, we have been getting out for longer walks, which we are both enjoying. Unfortunately, the diarrhea is still present, so I can’t risk taking Panda into public places or onto public transportation. So she can’t yet fully return to her guide work. We have just begun the next round of treatments for the diarrhea.  We don’t have any results to report yet, but we’re hoping we can solve this puzzle.
We hope that you and all of your human and animal family are enjoying the blossoming of spring’s new hope, or if you are in the southern hemisphere, that you are enjoying the fulfilment of the gathering-in of the harvest.
Thank you all for your assistance and well-wishes for Panda’s recovery.
Ann and Panda

Posted on January 15, 2017

Posted on January 15, 2017

From Ann Edie,

Thank you again to all who have offered their good wishes and who have generously contributed to Panda’s youcaring fund. Thanks to our wonderful community of family and friends, we have been able to make a considerable dent in Panda’s vet bills, and we are feeling very optimistic about her prospects for health and happiness in the new year.

On January 11th Panda celebrated her birthday—sweet sixteen!—and in this case, “sweet” definitely precisely describes her. She is always so eager to demonstrate all her clicker-trained behaviors, and ready to offer new variations that she feels may be appreciated and rewarded. Recently, she has taken to picking up and handing me the brush that I use to clean up her stall or the brushes that I use to groom her coat.  If I leave them anywhere on the floor of her house, she finds them for me. She also follows me around and comes into heel position, pressing herself against my left leg.   When I bend down to snuggle her, she brings her soft little nose up to my face and gives me the sweetest little horse kiss, with a tiny chortle to top it off. Needless to say, she is irresistible!

Panda and I wish you the same joyful and magical relationship with your horses and other animal companions. And may you have many happy occasions to celebrate with your clicker companions.  Thank you again for caring and for helping.

Ann & Panda

Posted on January 3, 2017

Posted on January 3, 2017

Ann asked me to pass on this update on Panda:
Dear Friends,

Happy New Year 2017!

I want to express my sincere gratitude to all of you for your very generous contributions to Panda’s vet care fund. With your help, we are reaching the goals we set, and in an amazingly short period of time, too. We will be able to pay down some of the debt we have incurred over the past eight months for Panda’s vet care. Panda still has unexplained diarrhea, but is otherwise well and in good spirits. In the months ahead we will continue trying suggested therapies to cure the diarrhea, which will require more tests and monitoring by the doctors, I’m sure.

But in the meantime, we are getting out for very pleasant walks whenever the weather permits. Panda and I both love being out in the fresh air, and the exercise is great! She hasn’t gotten “rusty” at all with her guiding skills. She performs amazingly and even controls her energy and excitement in order to walk slowly and carefully wherever there is ice or slush. It always puts a smile on my face to walk with Panda, and I am grateful to you for helping me keep her healthy and able to enjoy life.

Thank you all for making the start of this new year very bright for us. We wish you the blessings we have received—the friendship, love, and support of a wide community of kind and caring people.

Ann & Panda

P.S. I've posted some photos from Panda's New Year's Day walk.  Alexandra Kurland

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