When a racehorse named Metro Meteor sustained knee injuries in 2009, his racing days quickly came to an end and veterinarians gave him two years to live.
Four years later, Metro is alive and well -- with a new career path that pays for all of his medical bills and then some. He's an artist -- an abstract painter to be exact.
After Metro's last race, he was adopted by Ron and Wendy Krajewski, a Gettysburg couple who were involved in the horse racing organization that owned Metro during his days on the track.
Metro wasn't strong enough to carry a rider, so Ron Krajewski, who's a professional artist himself, figured that if he couldn't ride with his new friend, they could at least paint together.
"I would sit outside Metro's stall and he would hang his head out and constantly bob it up and down," Krajewski wrote on Metro's website. "I would think to myself, if I can never ride him, maybe I can teach him to hold a paint brush and put all that head bobbing to good use."
The results were better than Krajewski could have ever expected. Metro's paintings were actually good -- chaotic lines of color that, if we didn't know any better, could've easily been painted with hands, not teeth. According to an ABC News report, his first painting sold for $300.
Now Metro is a full-time artist, and his paintings are sold online and at Gallery 30 in Gettysburg, where there's a waiting list 80 names long for his work.
Half of Metro's earnings go toward the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program to help other horses like himself. The other half pays for his medical expenses, including an expensive experimental treatment that's given Metro the ability to ride again.
"He's going to live a lot longer than the two years he was given," Krajewski told ABC7. "I mean, his painting saved his life."