GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Ronica Froese has three military brothers; two veterans and one in active duty. When she got Charlie the miniature horse she wanted to reach out to veterans in her community, so Froese started training him for therapy work.
Taking Charlie to places like Tractor Supply and Petco got him used to walking around inside buildings and meeting new people.
Now Charlie rides in the back seat of her Ford F150, wears Build-A-Bear Sketchers tennis shoes and comfortably rides the elevators of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.
Charlie visits the home once a month, along with many other hospitals and assisted living places around West Michigan. "We'll go all over West Michigan, we've been to Battle Creek and we're looking forward to visiting the children's hospital in a few weeks," Froese explains.
And if you're thinking that horses are too dirty to bring into a clean setting, think again. Charlie is bathed before every visit, is sprayed down with a cleaner before he goes inside and he's potty trained! Froese says, "Charlie has been trained to do his business before he goes inside. When I have the bucket out he knows to poop."
Froese says if it wasn't for the support from her work Fremont Ford and sponsors Noble Outfitters, she would not be able to make as many trips as she does.