Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Goodbye and God bless! A Tribute to Barbaro!! :)

I admit that I haven't been a watcher of last year's Derby winner (fastest speed EVER!) or even the saga of thoroughbred, Barbaro, but now that I have heard the news of his passing and read in today's NYT about his life, I am quite certain that he deserves a true Jungletart farewell.

They put him down Sunday because believe it or not, through everything: the surgeries, the slings, the laminitis that caused him to lose 80% of a hoof (and yet he got better although not expected to), he always remained a happy horse, he maintained good spirits. With this lastest bout of laminitis in both front feet, abscesses and complications from his Preakness injury it was apparent that his normal demeanor had been pushed beyond the limits and it was time to say, 'no more.'

People close to him said he was both sweet and an 'old soul' and I think that many of us can relate to and be inspired by the incredible bravery that this animal exhibited. He obviously was great in that he could do something that is fantastically impossible for most. His real greatness was to continue to have an upbeat attitude even though he had been thrown from the crowns of glory into a pit of misery, pain and suffering, something that nearly every human can relate to, and most don't handle as well.

Also, to get normal slobs to care about a horse, meant a few started to care about slaughterhouses and the fact that you just don't do that to an animal was a feat he accomplished as well. You rock, Barbaro, and in case you are wondering ~ yes Virginia, there is a heaven for horses!

Was it wrong for the Jacksons, owners of Barbaro to spend 10's of thousands on him, his surgeries, vet bills, only to have to put him to sleep in the end? I'm sure there are naysayers that agree with that. I do not. The Jacksons admit that after 30 years of thoroughbreding they had made the cardinal mistake: falling in love. Having fallen in love with animals myself and having paid thousands so that they might be more comfortable as they head to the end and so that I might still get to enjoy them a little longer, I am happy that there are people like the Jacksons that would do the same for a beautiful prize-winning horse with an even more beautiful spirit. This 'ol Earth needs more people like them.

Here is a quote from the NYT's article:

"When he was asked to make sense of the deep feelings Barbaro had summoned from complete strangers and from those who knew him best, Dr. Richardson (Barbaro's steadfast veterinarian) perhaps wrote Barbaro’s epitaph:
“People love greatness,” he said. “People love the story of his bravery.”"

Glory Days: Winning the Derby ahead of everyone else by 6.5 lengths with the fastest time (1:40) EVER and remained undefeated!

Life is good! Enjoying the pasture during time after Derby.

Barbaro at the Preakness breaks back right leg. His vet uses 27 pins during intricate surgery in an effort to save his limb and his life.

The day after Barbaro's surgery as he is lifted out of a pool.

Barbaro gets laminitis in a foot causing 80% of the hoof to be removed. Straps and slings are used to keep pressure off his ailing leg.

Even after needing 80% of a hoof removed, Barbaro rallies in September 2006 and hopes are high again that he may recover. Here he is with Dr. Dean Richardson, who was known to hand feed the horse himself.

So loved. So missed. You taught us that life really is worth living even through difficulty, with a spirit that was sweet even to the end!
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