As I was preparing pie crusts and cranberry sauce today, I was thinking (as this time of year invites us to do) about the things in my life I am thankful for. The list includes my bright, dashing partner; my cats; my health; my job; my friends; and living in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area. But another thing I'm thankful for are horses, such as the great Lost in the Fog (pictured here). I miss that speedy boy. Cancer is a scourge not just to human beings.
It may seem funny, but by far the most people I've "met" because of this blog have been horse racing fans who send me emails out of the blue. Horse lovers, it appears, are generous to a fault. There's a stereotype of racing fans being cigar-chomping men who've plunked down hundreds on a horse's nose to win and who couldn't care less about the horses otherwise. 'Tain't so! For sure there are some of those, but every single horse racing fan I've met adores the animals, admires and respects their athleticism, and even loves certain individuals--because surely horses, like anybody, have unique personalities. (I've only been through the shedrows at Bay Meadows once, but I distinctly remember Monty Armi's horse, Comstock Cat, sticking his head out of his stall as I passed by and poking my shoulder with his nose. He wanted a scratch right THEN and THERE. Who could say no?)
I wrote a week ago or so about my partner's and my fantasy about finding the means to retire Proud Patrolman. (The darker side of horse racing is that there are some selfish owners and trainers who will run a horse into the ground; this is not to say that Proud Patrolman's trainer would do that, but Proud Patrolman is getting up there in years--9--and that's kind of old for a racehorse. He's put in his time. He's earned a half million bucks over his lifetime running in levels just a notch above the bush tracks. Yes, he's a bottom level claimer, but he's got a huge heart, and it's high time he got to relax and just hang out in a pasture and munch on grass and be given peppermints to crunch.
There's a wonderful place in Glen Ellen, CA (Sonoma County), a non-profit ranch run by a woman named Pam. She'd take Proud Patrolman if we could pay for his board (which we can't). My partner and I are willing to buy the horse outright or at least help buy him (or claim him, if we must, but that's a mighty commitment for us--$4,000 if we have to claim, assuming he doesn't get placed higher next race since he won his last race. Darn it.) But it appears sponsorship of a sound horse is $150 a month; I'm guessing to board a horse is even more. So I am hoping we win the lottery sometime soon.
In the meantime, because I am grateful that Pam at GEVA does such meaningful and needed work, I made a small Thanksgiving donation through Paypal to GEVA. If you are a horse lover, or an animal lover in general, I urge you to do the same. Check out GEVA's website here.
Thanks for helping.