No one ever thinks that they can learn valuable lessons from an animal but Kansas City resident Christine Clark has been taught otherwise. Her teacher, a dwarf miniature horse named Roozer Brewz. Since April of last year, Clark has learned much about perseverance, determination and faith, and all of it, from a horse.
Roozer Brewz ("Roo") came into the world in April of 2011 and immediately, his owner knew something was wrong. After Roo was born, Christine Clark noticed that he was unable to stand to nurse so she immediately milked Roo's mother and began the task of bottle-feeding her little equine friend. Clark worked with her vet and found out that Roo was suffering from "windswept" legs, a condition that happened because of Roo's position in the womb. The miniature horse was also diagnosed with severe angular limb deformities and tendon laxity in all four legs.
Knowing that Roo would need some "special attention", Clark loaded the foal up in the front seat of her Ford Focus and the pair headed to Wilhite & Frees, a veterinary clinic in Peculiar, MO. Clark met with veterinarian Dr. Christopher Wilhite who reviewed Roo's radiographs. With the help of farrier Ed Reardon, the duo came up with a game-plan to help Roo, all by designing and manufacturing special shoes. Within a week of the new shoes, Roo was standing up straighter and more often. Things were looking good!
The celebration was short-lived though. Only two weeks after Roo started to show improvement because of his specialized shoes, Clark noticed unusual swelling in his scrotum. The consultation with Dr. Wilhite uncovered a loop of intestine in the scrotum so surgery was performed at a small animal clinic where the hernia was fixed and castration was done. At Roo's post-op appointment, ultrasound showed a pocket of fluid in his groin so the family packed up and headed for the University of Missouri Veterinary Hospital in Columbia, MO. Roo and his mother spent nearly two weeks at MU,where he received IV antibiotics four times a day and NSAIDS to help with his pain and swelling.
Once Roo returned back home, Clark had an appointment scheduled with the veterinarian. She recalls the day as being the day that she cried, laughed and made the decision that would change her life forever. The vet's recommendation was to euthanize Roo because of the severity of his medical conditions. As Christine Clark sat on the floor listening to the news, she knew that she couldn't give up on Roo because he hadn't given up himself. The little 19-inch horse had laughed in the faces of Fate and Fear and he had proven everyone wrong. His heart and spirit urged Clark to ask for other options and that's when she learned that there was a surgery that could be performed. Clark says,
"Roo has essentially taught me how to deal with the challenges that have been placed in my path. He has never given up, never waivered in his determination to make the best out of his situation... That is something he has taught me...be grateful for what you have."
Surgery is "tentatively" scheduled for April 2013. The procedure to repair genetic angular limb deformities is expected to cost around $1,500 to $2,000 per leg and it must be performed on all four legs. After surgery, Roo will require hospitalization then after-care with a total cost estimated around $20,000. While Clark tries to raise the necessary funds, she handles the daily tasks of caring for Roo. The little fella goes into the Clark house every two or three days for a brace and bandage change. He also eats, showers and watches Ellen on KCTV-5. Episodes of the inspirational and comedic host Ellen DeGeneres are never missed. Roo lays patiently and intently watching the show as his bandages are changed.
There is a great need for donations to assist the Clark family in paying for Roo's surgery. An account called Roozer Brewz Donation has been set up at the US Bank located at 4915 NE Vivion Road, Kansas City, MO 64119. Donations can also be made via ChipIn at http://roozer.chipin.com/19-mini-horse-roozer-needs-surgery or by mail to: Roozer Brewz Surgery Fund, PO Box 165358, Kansas City, MO 64116.
The past year and a half has taught Christine Clark much about herself and about life in general. When she was asked how she feels about Roo and her decision to save him, she simply stated,
"Roo has always deserved to have the surgery, but what he has taught me the last year and a half makes him deserve it 1000 times more! I wont give up on him just because I personally can't afford to pay for his surgery."