Weekend Open Thread – Animal (And Baseball) Edition


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.



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31 Responses to “Weekend Open Thread – Animal (And Baseball) Edition”

  1. kenoshamarge Says:

    I love anything to do with animals! Cannot get enough. However I don’t know if this image is exactly what you had in mind. I thought it was hilarious. Lou? Not so much.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      ROTFLMAO – gee, can’t imagine why Lou didn’t like it! 😀

      Right there with you – we are so lucky to share this planet with so many incredible animals!

  2. kenoshamarge Says:

    Dogs going to war is nothing new:

    S. Medeiroa, of the Army’s 26th Division, holds the unit’s mascot, Little Joe. Ottweiler, Germany. March 21, 1945.

  3. kenoshamarge Says:

    And I had to leave this here – it cracked me up and anything that makes me laugh is welcome these days.

  4. kenoshamarge Says:

    And Americans aren’t the only ones who have reason to be grateful to their four legged fighting friends. How about this story from the French?

    During one of the war’s most horrifying battles, the German siege of Verdun, a French garrison was trapped, surrounded by enemy guns. This garrison, having run out of ammunition and food, was on the point of losing all hope when one soldier spotted something strange and dreadful racing towards them: an angel or perhaps a devil – black, with wings, a massive head and huge, strange eyes.

    As the form moved closer the desperate men realized that what they were seeing was a dog and a dog they knew well, Satan, a black greyhound collie mongrel. What had appeared to be bug eyes was a gas mask, and the wings two wicker baskets on either side of his back.

    Satan had almost reached his master Duvalle, when the men saw him lurch sideways and fall. The French author, Terhune, a witness, writes “A German bullet had found him. He staggered to his feet, reeling and dizzy. For an instant he seemed to have lost his way. Then he settled into that steady run again.”Another bullet tore into his leg and Satan fell.

    Stricken, Duvalle leapt up onto the parapet, and in full view of the enemy, yelled,”Courage, mon ami! Venez pour la France.” At his master’s voice, Satan rose and struggled on, trailing a shattered limb. He arrived at Duvalle’s feet, delivered the precious missive and collapsed dead, riddled with a dozen bullets. On his collar was a message, pleading with the garrison to hold out, to wait for the relief that was being sent. On Satan’s back, in each basket, was a pigeon. The French put a duplicate message into the cylinder round the neck of each pigeon, giving details of the position of the deadly German battery and begging for it to be silenced. The pigeons were released and the French garrison watched with bated breath. One pigeon was shot down but the other flew through the gunfire and on home. In the space of minutes, shells from the French artillery poured into the German battery and silenced it.

    There are other stories about brave dogs who server during WWII at this link: http://soldierdog.net/inspiration-for-soldier-dog/

    The stories are both heartwarming and heartbreaking.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      What a powerful, moving, yet sad story. What a true warrior Satan was, persevering even after being shot numerous times. Think of all the lives he saved…

      Thank you for this.

  5. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    I had posted a story abt this latest from Carson and Trump, but Redstate’s take on it is too good to pass up (h/t Facebook friend): http://www.redstate.com/absentee/2016/05/28/through-ben-carson-donald-trumps-god-fraud-is-revealed-exposed-and-sigh/

    I didn’t realize that Carson had been fired from the VP selection committee for commenting to the Press. As the article highlights, sure will be interesting to see what happens on THIS topic.

    Bottom line, it appears Trump lied AGAIN, abt his FAITH. That is just beyond the pale. WOW…

    Here’s the Hill article I mentioned: http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/281571-carson-trump-starting-to-believe-in-greater-power

  6. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    A friend had this article at Facebook. Apparently, Trump wants a VP who will do the daily governing, the stuff he doesn’t wanna do. No, seriously: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/there-are-presidential-duties-trump-doesnt-want-do

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      Are you fricking kidding me? He now wants to redefine the office of POTUS? I am quite literally speechless.

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        It is mind boggling, isn’t it?? I mean, we all thought Obama didn’t really want the job, just the trappings, but at least he had the good sense to keep that to himself and PRETEND he wanted the whole thing.

        Trump? Not so much! He is proclaiming to one and all that he doesn’t give a damn abt wanting to actually do the WORK of President. He just wants the trappings and power of being President.


    • helenk3 Says:

      this is what the trumpettes think is going to be their savior. God help this country

      • helenk3 Says:

        he spits in their face and they call it holy water

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        This is what it means to be members of a cult. Nothing he says or does matters to them. It is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen.

        I thought the Obots were mindless idiots with their love of race. That at least made some kind of sick sense. They were racists. They called everyone that didn’t see that melanin enhanced God a racist and never realized that racism was looking back at them every time they looked in a mirror.

        This love of Trump? I can find no hint of sense. No hint of decency. No hint of intellect. It is just plain sick.

  7. helenk3 Says:


    wish more people understood this at the time.
    Another reason the republican party is no better than the democratic party

  8. helenk3 Says:

    twice I have tried to post something and it does not show up?

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      A cartoon or image? I tried 3 times and gave up on the first one I posted this morning. The rest posted fine. I never know if it’s the computer playing with my mind or if I did something wrong. If I can help let me know. Although as you can see, I don’t know much.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Oh, no, Helen! There is nothing in Comments. Let me check Spam just in case WordPress has lost its mind…

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        Dangit! Sure enough, that is where your comments were. WTH?!?! It is up now, right above your alert that it wasn’t showing.

        SORRY, Helen!!

  9. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA – finally, some comeuppance for Trump shooting off his mouth. This is FANTASTIC: http://therightscoop.com/judge-in-trump-university-lawsuit-acknowledges-his-insults-rules-against-him-in-info-release

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      Isn’t that amazing? And there is some fool calling herself Liberty Linda saying well at least he wasn’t responsible for Benghazi. As if there was a moral equivalency test.

      This shows that this 70 year old adolescent hasn’t the self-discipline to keep his big, ugly mouth shut even when it is in his own best interest. So do we then think he will show more restraint when it’s in the country’s interest? A man who has never shown he cares about anything except himself?

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        Good grief. People. Really. I just sit here SMH at the idiocy of too many people in this country…

  10. helenk3 Says:


    not only is he bad pay, he is a draft dodger

  11. helenk3 Says:


    interesting idea

  12. helenk3 Says:


    does he want fake greek columns too?

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I’m sure he wants something equally as extravagant to go with his ego.

      The Republicans have no one to blame but themselves for this man’s rise…

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