"Cooper, 50, has a severe case of celiac disease, a disorder in which exposure to a protein called gluten destroys the ability of the small intestine to absorb nutrients. One result can be brittle bones, and Cooper has used a wheelchair since she broke her back for the second time four years ago.
Earl, short for Early to Rise, is a 1-year-old miniature tobiano pinto horse that weighs about 100 pounds and is 32 inches tall at the shoulder - just the right height for a frequent face-to-face nuzzle with Cooper as she sits in her wheelchair.
Her plan is to attach shafts extending from Earl's harness to her wheelchair. "He'll be able to pull me back and forth to the bus stop and pull me to town. After he's trained he'll be able to go on the bus with me under ADA laws."
via Associated Press
Patty Cooper is working with the Land Trust so that she can keep the horse in her apartment. She says she prefers a horse for a few reasons, one of which is the much longer lifespan over that of a service dog.
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