In Memory of Rosie

By April 9, 2020News
Rosie, the miniature horse, standing by a red barn

Rosie has been woven into the fabric of Agape almost since the beginning. That is why, in this time of great difficulty already, it brings us immense sorrow to share with you that Rosie has been laid to rest. Late in March, Rosie developed a severe case of laminitis in all four hooves. Despite icing her feet three times a day, keeping her in a deeply bedded stall, and giving her anti-inflammatory medications twice a day, there was no improvement in Rosie’s condition. For this reason, we made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize her.

Rosie, the miniature horse, standing by a red barn
Rosie, the miniature horse, with Christmas decorations around her neck
Rosie, the miniature horse, with christmas ornaments hanging on her

We are deeply sorry that we could not invite all of you to see Rosie one last time, to share your love and cherished memories with her, to thank her. However, that does not mean that we cannot remember her, honor her, or celebrate her life. Rosie may have been a miniature horse, but her spirit was as big as any draft horse that has ever graced our aisles. Please join us in honoring Rosie by sharing your stories, pictures, drawings, and love here in the comments, as well as on Facebook and Instagram.

Rosie’s Story

One day many years ago–more than we can precisely remember, honestly–Rosie came to Agape. She arrived in the bed of a pickup truck driven by her breeder, Mr. King, and less than
a year old. Cheryl Miller, Agape’s founder, remembers it well.

“The King family raised miniature horses. They saw something very unique about Rosie. She was the only foal in the pasture who would leave her mom in order to trot over to the fence to visit humans. They knew that Rosie had a very special place on Earth where she could lovingly interact with humans to help them heal. That’s why they donated her to Agape.”

Cheryl said that Mr. King simply lifted Rosie out of the bed of the truck, and that is where her story with Agape begins. She loved to be groomed and to be with people. She would stand quietly with her people, no halter or ropes necessary. She was simply happy to be near those who needed her.

Rosie’s incredible spirit reached many lives. She has visited hospitals, schools, ice rinks, charity events, television stations, retirement centers…the list just goes on and on. In 2002 she was presented with the Indiana Horse Council’s Therapy Horse of the Year Award.

See the award and article

The awards reflect the truly great stories we hear again and again about Rosie. She helped a girl find her first verbal expressions of joy. She helped a boy do the same. She stood patiently with hundreds of children through the Black Stallion Literacy Program, helping new readers find their voice and confidence.

If one word could sum up Rosie, it would be confidence. Not only her own confidence in herself but the confidence she instilled in others. Story after story recalls how Rosie would patiently stand with a non-verbal child, or a 1st grader learning to read, or a child laying in a hospital bed. She would sometimes fidget with knobs or wheels, or clothing in her lips, and this never failed to bring a smile, laughter, and joy.

Well into her late twenties and early thirties, Rosie was still full of moxie and sweetness. She would often slowly saunter along at the back of the line of minis being led to the arena for social time. She would wait patiently while her halter and lead rope were removed. And then, with a squeal and a leap and a kick, she would tear off running around the arena, leading all the other minis half her age in a great gallop on the sand. She would often proudly prance toward you, toes floating over the ground with the lightness of a top-notch show horse. If she wanted something done a certain way in her herd, everyone listened.

Even in her last week, Rosie was as sweet and patient as could be. Four hooves soaking in ice water, standing there without cajoling from the staff, happy to slurp up her mash. All of a sudden, she would lift her head, put her face to yours, and plant a green, slurpy kiss on your cheek. There were many heart-to-heart conversations with her that last week. Some, she clearly was telling us all how tired she was of all this fuss. Others, she seemed to be thanking us. And still others, she seemed to be letting us know we’d all be ok. Always the confident one, always the one giving confidence to others.

Thank you, Rosie, for a full lifetime of service.


  • Danielle Schultz says:

    Oh sweet Rosie! I’m so glad I got to be a part of her life. She was always so sweet and loved when I groomed her. I got a little kiss on the cheek once from her while I was brushing her. She will be forever missed at Agape and she will always hold a special place in my heart. RIP sweet Rosie girl.

  • Maria Seno says:

    I remenber Rosie at Bradford Woods in the 90s when I was a kid at Camp Riley, and then seeing her again in the past few years when I came for my lessons in Cicero. Just this past fall my class in Cicero got the opportunity to bathe and groom the mini horses, and I chose Rosie right away. She was such a sweet girl and I will miss seeing her at Agape.

  • Carol Wakefield says:

    God bless you, dear Rosy Posy. What a joy you have been to my life and the life of so many. I will always remember the look of surprise and excitement on the students’ faces at an IPS school as you walked out of the van in your little Build a Bear tennis shoes and walked up to the group to be petted and admired and loved on. You were an angel in tennis shoes, a teacher in a fur suit , a cheerleader with four hooves. Those hooves are now comfortable and running with joy and ease with our great herd of Agape Angels in Heaven.
    Love you, Sweetie
    Carol Wakefield

  • Doneta says:

    Oh, Dear Rosie. How we miss you. Your kind eyes, your wonderful horse smile, your soft coat and your sweet spirit. I am so blessed to have known you and get to see you make your magic. I have tears now reading this beautiful tribute. Some tears of pain for our loss, but mostly tears of joy for you as I imagine you now running around chasing your large and small four legged friends who have passed before you. I just know that every spirit being in heaven is wearing the biggest smile right now as the watch you “strut your stuff”. Thank you so much for one of those green, slurpy kisses in your last days. I felt you healing us all right up until your time with us passed. “Walk-on” into our memories Sweet Rosie.

  • Tori Pauley says:

    A horse named Rosie

    How lovely it is
    For a horse’s name to resemble a Rose
    For a rose is so beautiful, and
    Defines Love.
    A horse who showed us true love.
    A kind, loving spirit!
    Showcasing her true colors.
    To be near her was to love her
    From the very beginning,
    Til the end!
    At camp every year we sing
    “The Rose”
    I think it only fair
    To think of her now.
    Rest in peace Sweet Rosie.
    You will forever live in the hearts of many!
    BY Camper TP and Agape Rider

  • Sheri McCormick says:

    Rosie was an amazing presence at Agape. She is all that Cheryl described. She brought so much love and joy to students, volunteers, and staff. I thank God for sharing Rosie’s life with Agape for so many years. She was a priceless gift!

  • Ann King says:

    I had the pleasure of working with the minis one summer after finishing my chemo treatments. Usually paired with Rosie on those mornings we were a perfect match. She was a delight to be with giving me more therapy on those mornings as she patiently watched as the other minis perform their workouts & exercise. Run, frolick enjoy your peace Rosie, you have given us all such Joy & love!

  • Karen Colglazier says:

    Dear Friends at Agape,
    As a volunteer with the Black Stallion reading program (in the early 2000’s) I have wonderful memories of the joy Rosie brought to IPS elementary school children. It is only fitting that Rosie has passed during this most special week of our Judeo-Christian faith.
    I know, in my heart, that Rosie continues her good work and brings joy in her new Heavenly
    Karen Colglazier

  • Jamie S. Waterman says:

    When I worked with the mini’s I have to say Rosie touched my heart the most. We would walk down to bring the mini’s up and Rosie did not want to be left behind. She would winnie till we got to her and was so excited to join her friends running and playing. She was a sweet ole gal! ❤ Thank you, Rosie for touching so many lives and bringing many smiles to all ! ??

  • Charlene Jewell says:

    Dear Sweet Rosie. The first time I heard of Agape’ was when I encountered you at the State Fairgrounds. I was with a group called NAME (National Alliance for Mentally Ill). I had recently found out my firstborn son was schizophrenic and I was crushed. You stood obediently next to our booth for hours as people came to talk to you and love on you. I knew you were part of something special! A few years later I volunteered at Agape’ and found the joy of helping others. We all carry some sorrow, but instead of isolating ourselves, such comfort comes from joining those who are helping others. You, Rosie, will always be tied to that knowledge I gained form Agape’. I will never forget the love I have for you and all those serving at Agape’! Thanks for the memories!! Charlene Jewell

  • linda hazzard says:

    Rosie was a dear friend. She truly made a difference in so many lives including mine. She had a servants heart and a wild fun spirit. She knew exactly what others needed and was always there to give it. I will be forever grateful to have been part of so many funny Rosie stories. We were very blessed to have our four legged friend.

  • Deena Young says:

    Gosh, I hate to hear this! I first started volunteering at Agape in 1998 – 22 years ago – and fell in love with Little Rosie the first time that I saw her. In addition to her undeniable adorableness, she was so patient and kind, and touched SO many lives. What a beautiful spirit, she was! ♥️

  • Jan Noelle says:

    My time at AGAPE began when I met Cheryl Miller at Perkins Restaurant quite by accident. I started to volunteer at AGAPE and met, what have become, life-long friends.
    Rosie was a favorite of one in our group. She would bring Rosie bits of Honey Crisp apples. Rosie would run to the fence when we arrived. We used to groom, walk, and
    take the minis into the arena to kick up their heels. Rosie was content with that, but was the first to return to the humans to be fussed over.
    She was a dear little girl and we are saddened to hear that she suffered even for a little while. She is not hurting now. She is kicking up her heels and bringing joy once again.

  • Michelle Baker says:

    Thank you, Rosie, for all of your years of dedicated service to Agape. You will be missed!

  • Shelly Siek says:

    My sweet loveable, ROSIE! I am so sad to hear of her passing but I’m relieved she is no longer dealing with those health issues. While most of our interaction was playful and just hanging out, she quickly became a favorite of mine. I always worried if she was okay, is she eating enough mush, and the biggest one, is she warm enough (when it was really cold out). Rachel Royston used to tease me that she had to check my back seat to be sure I wasn’t taking Rosie home with me for the night (which I would have done in a heartbeat if I could have). Her sweet gentle spirit will forever be with me. I Love you Rosie ?

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