Lucky's Journey

LSHR Volunteers and Supporters Give Lucky a Chance to Live!

“Lucky,” is paint mare who lives in sanctuary at the rescue who could not eat hay or grass when she first came to us.  She had life saving surgery at Cornell Equine Hospital in Ithaca, NY to remove a rare bone cyst in her jaw.  There were many people involved in Lucky’s journey, and with the culmination of everyone’s efforts she continues to thrive and eat grass and hay, along with grain supplements!  We are so grateful that so many people joined together to make a difference, and we would also like to take this opportunity to thank the supporters of Last Stop Horse Rescue for helping us save Lucky’s life.  
“We may not be able to save all the horses in the world, but for the ones we do save it means the world to them.”

We have created a music video that tells the story of  “Lucky’s Journey” that can be found by following the Youtube link provided.  This video is about 17 minutes in length, includes songs with meaningful lyrics, and photos that capture the stages of her journey that have led to her recovery.   We encourage everyone to share this video of “Lucky’s Journey” with others, and to help us spread the word of Last Stop Horse Rescue’s mission to save horses.


Click on each tab for the diary entry.

Lucky at Foxcroft Veterinary Hospital

Lucky at Foxcroft 100_3362

Lucky at Parrott Equine Clinic in Massachusetts where we met Dr Baratt, Equine Dental Specialist, for further evaluation. Lucky at Parrott Equine Lucky at Parrott

Now  we have our answers, and  know what we have to do for Lucky. Lucky  needs all our support. In two years she has come so far and we can not give up now.  Her options are this life saving surgery at Cornell or euthanasia.  Our goal at Last Stop Horse Rescue is to raise the funds needed for this surgery by August 12th, 2012. We have four weeks to raise the funds before the surgery date.

On August 12, 2012 Joyce and Nonie will be trailering Lucky to the prestigious equine hospital at Cornell University.  Lucky will be at Cornell for 3-4 days during recovery.  Dr. Jennifer Rawlinson will be performing this delicate surgery that requires and expertise in equine dentistry.  Dr. Rawlinson is the chief of equine oral surgery at Cornell, and has given Lucky a “good to excellent” outcome from surgery.   We are in hopes of raising the funds for surgery to give this mare a fighting chance.  She has come so far with weight gain and trust in humans since she came to the rescue in 2010.  The bone cyst is a large area in her jaw where the bone has weakened.  As the cyst continues to grow without surgery, the cyst inside the bone will take over her entire jaw, which will lead to pain and more infection.  When asked if this surgery was “necessary”, and if we could just continue to feed Lucky the way we have for 2 years and treat with antibiotics,  Dr. Rawlinson said, she needs this surgery to live.  The cost of surgery at Cornell is $4000, and there is the cost of travel to drive Lucky to New York from Prentiss, Maine.  We will have two post operative appointments associated with this surgery with Foxcroft Veterinary Services.  Cornell University has gifted the rescue 15% of the surgery ($600), which would cost the rescue $3,400.  Our goal is to raise $3,400 to save Lucky’s life. With only 4 weeks until her surgery date, we are working diligently to raise the funds needed for Lucky’s upcoming surgery.  With upcoming fundraisers, and donations from those who would like to contribute we feel this goal is obtainable.  Lucky’s medical condition requires surgery or euthanasia.  We hope to raise enough funds to make it possible for Lucky to have this life saving surgery.  Every donation matters, and with the help of many we feel hopeful that this goal will be obtainable.

Lucky in 2010

Lucky 2010 000_0010_00

Lucky in 2012

Lucky, 2012 101_0350


Traveled to Nonie’s home, Sunset Ridge last night. The first 2 hours of our trip behind us. 4 am…. Lucky is now loaded in the trailer and we are on our way! Neither of us could sleep last night! Maine to New York…we are doing it ! Called the surgeon last night and they are waiting for Lucky! Keep us and Lucky in your prayers…

101_0006 On the Way to Nonie's

We made it!!! Lucky was perfect. Lucky is getting used to our road trips now. Ha ha Each time we would stop we would open the door so she could look out of the horse trailer. The traffic wasn’t bad at all. Joyce slept for a few hours, which made me happy. Don’t worry…I didn’t. 🙂 We arrived in Ithaca around 4 p.m., and we walked Lucky into the Cornell Equine Hospital. We got her tucked in her stall for the night. While she is there she will have her own groomer, fed 4x a day, fresh water, and a nice bed of fresh shavings. We are now in our room that was donated by the Hillside inn that is only 5 minutes from Lucky. It’s not easy leaving her when we are used to having her with us every day. Tomorrow we can visit her from 12-5 “visiting hours”, and we will meet with the surgeon. Will know if the surgery will be Monday or Tuesday. The equine hospital is so high tech! They even had a scale in the floor that Lucky was weighed on. I jumped off before they weighed me..ha ha We will keep in touch as we find out more details. Thank you for all your support, and prayers! We are here….Love, Nonie

We made it!  101_0020 101_0023  101_0032  101_0035   101_0050

Nonie and I met with the chief of dental surgery, Dr Rawlinson this morning. I asked if she met Lucky yet. She stated. “I walked in her stall area this morning and I wondered how she would be because she hadnt met me yet. Lucky lowered her head in my chest and I rubbed her ears. She is the sweetest horse.” Of course I sobbed. I am SO PROUD of Lucky! Surgery is going to start TODAY at 2:00. There were a team of 10 surgeons who discussed Lucky’s surgery options. General Anesthesia was decided. Risky, but this is the only option. They feel that by 7 tonight we will have an answer and will be calling us. A long day ahead for Lucky and the surgeons. We believe without a doubt that Lucky is in the best of hands..we also believe without a doubt that we would never have been able to do this for Lucky without the support of all of you. PLEASE PRAY FOR LUCKY  Love, Joyce

Dr. Rawlinson  Dr. Rawlinson 2  Operating Room

We trust this amazing  equine dental surgeon with Lucky’s life!

Dr. Rawlinson and Joyce  Dr. Rawlinson and Nonie


Just one of many beautiful messages…while waiting for the surgeon’s call on Lucky.

“Nonie and Joyce, I believe in my heart that Lucky will come out of this…she has shown in the past what a survivor she is almost losing her battle when you found her so thin and emaciated. Remember she is a fighter and she has her own angels, ‘Sara,’ ‘Sheba,’ and our special boy, ‘Hunter,’ looking down on her telling her not to give up. We are all praying for Lucky she is a trooper. Again thanks for the updates!!!!”


Dr Rawlinson just called. Surgery took 5 hours! A “real challenge” due to the extense of work. THIS IS GOOD NEWS…Now, the next critical stage is recovering from anesthesia. This can take a few hours but they will call us when she is up on her feet standing. The surgeon is THRILLED with the outcome !! The next 24 hours , she will be monitored, a drain in her jaw and slowly introducing food. I am sure all of you who have followed this journey for Lucky know that we were given a choice..euthanize or surgery. Because of the many wonderful people involved in all stages of this decision, we were able to chose surgery. Thank you to ALL of you who supported our efforts to save Lucky. Today we were given a true miracle!

9:45…second call from Cornell. Lucky is UP and STANDING! This was the next hurdle for Lucky and she did great! Has a tube in her nose to assist in breathing due to swelling of her face from surgery. Tomorrow will be a wonderful day..will be allowed to spend some time with Lucky! l

Love, Joyce and Nonie

Spent the day with Lucky. She is on pain meds and being monitored for any problems after such a long surgery. Face is so swollen. Doing a good job trying to eat hay for the first time! Everyone that meets Lucky says..”what a sweet girl”. Dr. Rawlinson is pleased with how Lucky is doing the day after surgery. We still can not believe that we are here and that after all the planning for this day, the surgery is now behind us. She will come home with a shunt for drainage and this will be flushed daily. Tonight the staff is monitoring her for pain and gut sounds. Again, she is in the best of hands. Love, Joyce

Lucky after surgery  Lucky after surgery 2

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO NONIE!!! What a gift Nonie had today with Lucky. She was the first to feed her Senior Grain out of her hand! Lucky wasnt eating the bucket of mush that they had put in her stall. AND SO…Nonie asked if she could try the senior grain that she is used to. Lucky ate the whole thing! Today Nonie celebrated her birthday knowing that Lucky came out of surgery and will be coming home in a few days! Happy Birthday NEVER gave up and you NEVER stopped searching for answers and this led us to Cornell and Dr Rawlinson. Love you sister!

Lucky's grain after surgery

Lucky is cleared to leave Cornell! We left with a bag of antibiotics and pain meds. Instructions on flushing the shunt and cleaning around her stitches. The morning before she was discharged, we asked if she was sedated. She was standing with her head down, low to the ground and not moving much at all. We asked the vet tech to call the surgeon. We felt something was wrong with Lucky! The attending surgeon explained that she had only received her antibiotics and no sedation. This was a clear example of depression! She wanted to go home and be with her friends. As we left the stall we began to see Lucky’s energy come up as she realized that she was leaving and was no longer in her stall. As we walked out to the trailer she was looking around, head up and happy! What an experience for all of us. We saw first hand how a horse can be depressed after several days of being in a stall, without her own family. And we also saw first hand how happy a horse can be when they know they are going home! A very emotional morning for Nonie and me and saying good bye to all the staff at Cornell who fell in love with Lucky. Everyone knew of this “rescue from Maine” that traveled to Cornell!! Now we prepare for several local visits for stitches to be removed, then the shunt taken out. Again..a huge thank you to everyone that helped us get Lucky to Cornell.

Lucky at Cornell  Lucky goes Home

We arrived at Nonie’s late last night after 11 hours of travel and this morning Lucky will head home to Prentiss.
We would like to thank everyone involved in helping us save Lucky, and Dr. Baratt who found the bone cyst in Lucky’s jaw. A special thank you to Dr. Jennifer Rawlinson, and the staff at Cornell’s Equine Hospital for saving Lucky’s life!


You rescued a life!!

Thank you to the following supporters who donated to Lucky’s surgery fund.

Marie Blanchard and Kris Harper

David and Michelle Doane

Jack and Jane Peters

Jan and David Pillote

Gene Eslin

Diane and Ray Clukey

Dot and Ken Pomeroy and Lenny Peters,

Carlene George-Adams

Peg Brown

Elisa Friel-Mosenteen

Deb Lindsay

Megan Manubay

Anne Wight

Persis White

Karen Walp

Linda Marsh

Veterinary Clinics and Staff

Parrott Equine Associates, Massachusetts

Dr Robert Baratt, Equine Dental Specialist, Salem Valley Veterinary Clinic, Connecticut

Dr Jennifer Rawlinson, Chief of Equine Oral Surgery

Cornell Hospital

Thank you to Nichole Booton, who adopted Casper, Pepper, and Millie from Last Stop Horse Rescue and who  made the video to help raise awareness of Lucky’s upcoming surgery.

Jack and Jane Peters..our brother and his wife who live  in Georgia. Within minutes of knowing that we are determined to save Lucky, our brother’s donation came to us through PayPal.  Thank you and we love you.

Gene Eslin…who continues to donate the food Lucky lived on until her surgery.

Joanna Masellis from Sojourner Farms in Prentiss for volunteering to take care of the rescue during the week that we are gone.

Lacey Lee…your bake sale for Lucky was a wonderful way to bring in more donations for her surgery. Thank you for loving Lucky!

Becky Ash… Thank you for putting up flyers in town and sharing with so many websites of some larger companies. You are working hard..”for Lucky”.