Below is the editorial that appeared in our new issue, emailed today.
Barbaro: why loving him made sense, and still does
The past few weeks have been tough for those of us who loved a very special racehorse named Barbaro. I was one of those fans you’ve been reading about in the news – during Barbaro’s eight-month fight to recover from a broken leg at the Preakness, I checked for updates on him daily, and followed every report with hope. My dream, like the dream of many others, was that Barbaro, who was only three years old, would heal and go on to live a happy, peaceful, and long life in green pastures.
People are debating in the media whether or not it makes “sense” that so many people cared about Barbaro. After all, there is so much pain and suffering in the world, why care about the loss of one horse, a horse you never even knew?
I would ask a different question: does it ever make sense not to care when any animal, whether it’s a champion racehorse or a newborn kitten, is injured and fighting for its life?
We are all inspired, every day, by courage or greatness. An Olympic athlete who wins a gold medal inspires us to exercise a little harder. A person who rises from poverty to achieve great things makes us believe a little more in what we can accomplish. A cyclist who conquers cancer makes us feel braver in the face of illness.
We are also touched by innocence. Why? Maybe because we were all innocent once, and time tends to take that away from us.
Barbaro was both a great, courageous champion and an innocent young horse. We wanted to see him conquer what turned out to be insurmountable odds, and live. Perhaps if Barbaro had walked triumphantly out of the hospital one day, whole again, something in each of us would have felt whole again, too.
We wanted a miracle, a happy ending. And we were heartbroken for Barbaro when he – and we – didn’t get one. But we did get something else -- a chance to care.
And that makes perfect sense to me.
Photo credit: www.timwoolleyracing.com
To read the full February 14 issue of "Our Place to Paws" click here