Yeah, I've heard it.
"Why are they spending all that money to save a horse that will never race again."
"It's ridiculous the attention people are paying to a horse."
Yada Yada Yada
I understand the cynics. It's tough to explain how many can slave over the life of an animal, when human beings die every day in senseless ways.
It makes no sense.
On one hand it shows how often our priorites are a bit mind-boggling. On the other, it shows how an animal can become more than just a pet.
Barbaro captivated the country with his underdog-to-superstar story. He was a horse that wasn't supposed to be near Churchill Downs, let alone in the world's biggest horse race.
His triumphant rise to fame was quickly soured with his infamous trip out of the starting gate at Pimlico. The support poured in from all over. Cards, letters, flowers -- any and every way to say "get better."
It's likely those people, and the ones whose hearts dropped when learning of today's news, have been touched by a pet or some animal.
Certainly the case for yours truly.
Ever since I can remember, animals have been important. And as I said before, it's hard to explain.
To put it simply, they're there when ya need them and they have a lot of attributes we should be jealous of.
As a matter of fact, I just watched "Because of Winn Dixie," yes I admit it. It's yet another mushy movie about a kid and her dog. The duo, in the typical Hollywood way, go onto teach adults real lessons.
It may be the movies, but it's not as far off base as one may think.
Was the Barbaro story overplayed? Possibly.
Should people care that much about a zillion-dollar horse when real people are sometimes forgetton? Absolutely not.
But there's just something about certain animals that makes us as silly as child, but as emotionally attatched as we'll ever be. That's just the way it is.