Even though he has faced many obstacles recently — including a stinging defeat in our Hall of Fame balloting of a couple of months ago — Barbaro has somehow always found the will to survive. And now the racehorse is on the verge of the most dramatic triumph of all, as doctors announced on Wednesday that his cast is nearly ready to be removed.
Dr. Dean Richardson said Wednesday night that Barbaro has been walking so well lately, that "we're probably going to be removing the cast next week." The cast would be replaced by a splinted bandage. The 3-year-old colt's left hind foot continues to grow back after 80 percent of the hoof was removed when laminitis struck in mid-July.
It may interest you to know, by the way, that Barbaro is still getting letters. And in a new development, apparently his fans have taken to calling him "Bobby." Here are a few recent ones:
• Barbaro, wanted to say hello again. I keep thinking & praying 4 U! U R my inspiration. Stay STRONG & Keep FIGHTING CHAMP!!!! — Kevin R. Devanny, 35; Cobleskill, NY, USA
• Hi Bobby, Did you go trick or treating??? Or did your Mom bring you lots of treats!!I hope you enjoy your day and keep getting better. Love, Vicki&Snickers
• BARBARO! And how's the most adorable, loveable, thought of horsie doing 2 day? Hope U r having a good day and U made it thru all the trick or treaters... Happy November! ALL my love... forever! — Cathy, 44; NJ
• Barbaro, it's Tuesday and I sure do miss your update. Hope you are doing better and better. You sure are a handsome thing! lv, — Kathleen Tweed, 51; Locust, NC, USA
• Hi Barbaro Wonder Horse. I wear a bracelet every day with your name. Now I think about you ALL THE TIME. Grow that hoof and stay strong XOXOXO — Dale CasaBianca; Davis, CA,
We can think of no better way to end this post than with the poetry stylings of Edna Tucker, from the Heavenly Images poetry section. With today's good news, it just seems appropriate.
TO MY DOG
They say you have no soul, my little canine friend,
But, when we laid you down and heaped the mound,
I could feel that I would never fondle you again.
Barbaro's Cast May Come Off Next Week, Vet Says [MSNBC]
Planning For That Sad Time When Barbaro Leaves Us [Deadspin]
Deadspin HOF Nominee: Barbaro [Deadspin]
Barbaro Message Board [University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Medicine]