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Monday, January 29, 2007

Animal News

Today I heard the sad news that Barbero was put down. All his doctors and the horse himself put up a good fight for the past eight months. I didn't see the race where he broke his leg, but I was rooting for his complete recovery.

When I heard the news today I was reminded of the race back in July 1975 when Foolish Pleasure and Ruffian raced in a male vs. female competition, inspired by the Billie Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs tennis match. I saw that race and as the two horses neared the mile marker both jockeys heard the sound of a bone breaking. The race was over, Ruffian had broken her leg. She still tried to continue the race on her shattered leg. After 12 hours or surgery, she awoke disoriented and thrashed about wildly and fractured the new cast and her other leg. She had to be put down. We watched that race with my four year old son. He remembered that scene for quite a while.

On to better news. A duck is recovering at a wildlife sanctuary in Florida after being shot by a hunter and stuffed in a fridge for two days. The hunter's wife discovered the duck was alive when she opened the fridge and he lifted his head and looked at her. When she recovered from her shock she and her daughter took the duck to the hospital.

The story doesn't end there. Today, I read that Perky (his new name) stopped breathing Saturday while a vet operated on her. But the vet, repairing one of Perky's damaged wings, used CPR to save him.

I know cats have nine lives, but I didn't know that ducks did too.

Have you lost a wallaby? Residents of Fleetwood, Pa spotted a runaway wallaby hopping around town. How the animal, which is native to Australia and Papua New Guinea got to the town is unclear. The nearby Lehigh Valley Zoo says it is not missing a wallaby.

And now a happy story about horses. A blind woman in Bethlehem, NY gets around with the help of a guide horse. "I've found that horse intelligence lends itself well to guide work", said Ann Edie 58 who's had Panda since 2003. The 29 inch tall, 120 pound miniature horse is protective, plays fetch and (most importantly) is house-broken.

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