The lovable horse that was injured when it fell from a moving trailer onto Interstate 75 in November truly has proven that miracles do happen.
Dubbed Teddy Bear Highway, the friendly horse that initially was rescued by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office near Micanopy, was caught on video recently rolling in the dirt in a large fenced-in before nuzzling the camera. The video was shot at Highway’s home, the DreamCatcher Horse Ranch Rescue Center, in Clermont.
“Very excited to see Highway rolling!” a Facebook post reads. “After his injuries, he hasn’t wanted to lay down at all until now!”
And if that’s not enough, after surviving a highly risky surgery in December, Highway has become a social media star, has his own manager and is in training to be become a therapy horse.
Fans of Teddy Bear Highway will remember that after being rescued from the busy I-75 on Nov. 30, he was rushed to Springhill Equine Veterinary Clinic for treatment and then underwent knee surgery at the Equine Medical Center of Ocala, where he also was treated for road rash, bruises, etc. Vets caring for the gentle animal, now also known as Highway the I-75 Miracle Horse, made it quite clear that he was facing a long road to recovery.
That proved to be true in December when Highway was rushed back to the Equine Medical Center for another round of surgery when his knee quickly became very painful and hot.
Veterinarians removed about five inches of the damaged extensor tendon that ran down Highway’s leg in front of the injured knee because it was too damaged and infected to heal. And they also found small pieces of gravel deep inside the injury during the procedure that carried odds stacked highly against Highway’s survival.
“Everything was then flushed thoroughly and a drain tube was placed before stitching him up,” a Facebook post read.
Highway, with a large incision about 10 inches long, was put on antibiotics and pain meds and watched closely throughout the night. And the following afternoon the good news his thousands of fans had been waiting to hear came via social media – the equine clinic’s staff had changed Highway’s bandage and a drain that was inserted in his leg looked good.
“He is in good spirits and they are reducing his pain meds,” the post read about the highly popular horse, who actually was on the way to be euthanized when he fell from the moving trailer.
Throughout Highway’s ordeal, fans across the globe have watched his progress via Facebook and other forms of social media. A fundraiser on Facebook started by Loran Elise Wheatley at the rescue and Shannon Beach of the veterinary clinic raised $5,052. The clinic also set up a GoFundMe account that brought in $8,879 in two days. And the rescue launched a site selling T-shirts that read, “Love Heals, Team-Highway.” Click HERE to learn more about that effort.
These days, Highway is living the good life at the DreamCatcher Horse Rescue and is well on his way to becoming a therapy horse.
He’s featured on his own Facebook page (click HERE) even has Wheatley as his personal manager, according to her Facebook page.
Last month, Highway took his first field trip, a visit to the Orchid Heights Gracious Retirement Living facility in Clermont.
A group from the facility had visited him after he came home from his December surgery and had been talking nonstop about how much they loved him. So the decision was made to surprise them with a visit from their new friend.
“Highway was wonderful!” a post on his Facebook page reads. “Very calm and gentle and allowed the residents to pet him and love on him! How wonderful is that!”
Highway also made a second successful appearance bright and early on Saturday, March 30 during a meet-and-greet at Tack Shack of Ocala’s horsey yard sale.
He drew quite a crowd that brought plenty of carrots, apples and other treats for him. And many of the visitors – some drove for hours just to meet the celebrity horse – brought items that were sold to raise money for Highway’s continuing care.
“Thank you to everyone that shared their story of how Highway has affected their life,” his Facebook page reads. “It truly is incredible!”