Thank Heavens for the weekend. Now that the Republican nominee is (unimaginably and unbelievably) Donald Trump, without a doubt, we need a break from All Things Politics. Well, I know I do anyway.
There is something that always helps bring some joy to my soul, even in the midst of the lunacy and idiocy of Politics these days. That would be animals. I love all kinds of animals. In fact, I am hard pressed to think of any animals I DON’T like. But as many of you know, I have a seriously large soft spot for horses.
In this case, I refer to a particular horse, one of the greatest racehorses ever, Zenyatta, the Dancing Queen herself.
Now, I am not being hyperbolic or biased when I make this assertion. Back in 2010, “^0 Minutes” did a lengthy piece on her as you can see below:
Sadly, Zenyatta, racing on a muddy dirt track for the first time, got caught in a rut at the start. For the first time, she had mud thrown back in her face, which made her 2010 bid a difficult one. Despite it all, she lost by just a nose. Her jockey, Mike Smith, in a tearful post-race interview, said it was all his fault that she lost. Honestly, he was right. He did lose that race, not Zenyatta.
Still, she is, without a doubt, one of the greatest horses ever. Add to her amazing speed her engaging and welcoming personality, and you get an idea of why this horse is adored by so many around the world. And she most definitely is adored, this Dancing Queen.
Which is why this young girl, Tiana, who is 10, came all the way from California to Kentucky where Zenyatta now lives. It was her wish fulfilled by the Make-A-Wish Foundation for this lovely girl who has myeloid leukemia. As this post from Zenyatta.com shows, Tiana and Zenyatta became fast friends (and please note that Tiana dressed in the colors of the silks the Moss Family use) Photos were taken by Krystal Mitchell/Ginger Snaps:
Look at the face – just sheer joy on Tiana’s face as the great Zenyatta nuzzles her. How wonderful that this little girl from California was able to have her wish come true and spend some time with this once-in-a-lifetime (or more) horse. Good on the Moss Family for making it so. They understand how beloved is their girl, Zenyatta, and how much joy she brings, off the racetrack as well as on (though she is retired now and having babies). You can see more photos by Krystal Mitchell/Ginger Snaps of this momentous occasion at Zenyatta’s blog.
Next up is another animal story, and one that takes place on the baseball diamond. That’s right, I said baseball (thanks to my sister-in-law for sending me this story). That is to say, it combined not just my love of animals, but also my love of baseball. And not just any baseball, but Yankees baseball. Okay, it was at the Double-A level, but still – it included a Major League player doing a rehab stint, the slugger, Alex Rodriguez, known as A-Rod, in Trenton, NJ. From WaPo:
The return of Alex Rodriguez was upstaged by a four-legged critter during the ballplayer’s minor-league rehab assignment in New Jersey, not that A-Rod seemed to mind.
The New York Yankees’ Double-A Trenton Thunder team has a tradition of using bat dogs (not to be confused with bad dogs) to retrieve bats from the field in the first inning of their home games. Derby (short for H.R. Derby) is the top bat dog, following in the pawsteps of his father, Chase, and he’s training his son, Rookie, to follow after him. […] (Tweet below included in WaPo article. Click here to read more.)
How stinkin’ cute is THAT?! Love the look on A-Rod’s face.
That isn’t the first time A-Rod has encountered Derby, though. Check out this video all about the Trenton Batdogs:
Don’t you just love these batdogs? What a blast that would be to see them at the ol’ ballgame, am I right? I mean, really – they brought a smile to the face of one baseball’s superstars, no doubt helping his rehab along.
And while I am on the Animal kick, I JUST got this photo of Rocky on Friday from the Squirrel Handler:
Isn’t he just the cutest little squirrel?!?! Love this photo of him all happy and healthy, and in the Great outdoors (though it looks like he isn’t straying far from home). Adorable!
Horses, dogs, baseball, the Yankees, and Rocky – now that’s a recipe for some Major League happiness in my book!
How about you? What’s on your plates for this holiday weekend (a separate post will be up on Memorial Day)? Taking a break from politics perhaps? You could do worse than hanging out with some animals, in person or online. At least that’s what I think!
This is the Weekend Open Thread.