Feel Good Sunday Part II: Horse born with no ears defies the odds to happy life at rescue center

By Lauren Fruen as published on StoryTrender

“Many thanks to our good friend Jerry Finch of Habit for Horses for turning us onto this delightful story.  Job well done, guys.” ~ R.T.


“A horse born with no ears is loving life at Habitat for Horses

Pia, five, was born missing her right lobe completely and with a stump on the left side of her head.

Studies have shown that horses use their ears to communicate and talk to their equine friends.

They are understood to use the subtle movements to talk and they are so important that if its ears are covered up another horse struggles to know what it is thinking.

But Pia – who could have struggled to be part of the herd – is living a happy life among other horses at rescue center Habitat for Horses.

She was rescued along with 11 other horses and vets believe she was born without her ears.

photo courtesy of HfH

Spokesman for Habitat for Horses, Amber Barnes, said: “She is completely missing her ear on the right side and only has a deformed nub on the left.

“She does seem to have some hearing out of the left deformed nub. It looks as though her ears are pinned back.

“Horses use their ears a lot to communicate with one another and we humans usually watch horse ears to better understand what they are communicating.

“Not having ears can be pretty problematic for a horse. Without them, interactions can be more difficult.

“The vets aren’t positive about the origin of Pia’s condition. We believe it may be a congenital defect, meaning she was born with it.

“Looking at a horses ear position and tail position can tell you if they are listening, relaxed, nervous, scared.

“Often, if a horse’s ears are pinned back they aren’t too happy so if you were to look at Pia, you might think she is pretty unhappy as it looks as though her ears are pinned back.

“However, Pia does an impressive job holding her own among the other horses. We don’t have to keep her separate.

“Some horses that live in particularly cold climates may suffer frostbite and lose parts of their ears. A newly born foal could lose their ears mostly to frost bite.

“However, the vet believes Pia’s condition is congenital and she was born with only the deformed nub of an ear and no ear on the other side.

“Pia doesn’t seem too concerned about her condition and she has lived with a group of horses for years without many issues.

“She can really hold her own in the herd and I think other horses who live with her read the rest of her body language and determine her tone effectively.

“A new horse may have some trouble but would likely learn pretty quickly to understand her.”

Feel Good Sunday: Horse Uses Drive-Thru to Acquire Late Night Shake

by R.T. Fitch

Okay, people have a lot of things on their Bucket List like do Mt. Everest, see the Pyramids, dive the Great Barrier Reef but it seems that Marcella Gruchalak of Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania had something a little more down to earth that she wanted to accomplish; that being riding her equine companion ‘Bunny B ‘ through the Wendy’s Drive in to get a milkshake.

Well, as her YouTube stands in testimony of her accomplishment, two questions still remain; How many Wrangler Iced Teas did Marcella have prior to the ride and did ‘B’ get brain freeze when he drank the shake?

Inquiring minds want to know.

The Mad King Flies His Flag

Opinion by Timothy Egan as published on The New York Times

“They call me ‘Dinky’ Zinke?”

The emperor of the outdoors rode into town on a horse named Tonto, and soon demanded that his own special flag fly outside his headquarters whenever he was in Washington.

He believes fracking is proof that “God loves us” and, despite being from Montana, doesn’t know how to properly set up his fly line when fishing in front of the cameras.

“He had rigged his reel backward,” Elliott D. Woods wrote of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in a wonderful profile in Outside Magazine. “Seems like an inconsequential thing, but in Montana, it’s everything.”

As it turned out, it was quite consequential. When the magazine next tried to dial into an Interior conference call, it was denied access.

You may think that Stormy Daniels is in charge of the natural world under Donald Trump. And yes, the boorish behavior of the president and the porn star makes for better reading than an account of the quack running Interior.

But if someone were trashing your house, you’d want to pay attention. And Trump, using the very strange Zinke, is going after the sacred foundations of America’s much-loved public lands, brick by brick.

Zinke has been called the Gulfstream Cowboy for his love of using charter planes to fly off to the nesting grounds of wealthy donors. But he’s more like a mad king. And this monarch has control over the crown jewels of America’s public land.

They are not in safe hands.

Last month, the secretary attacked Patagonia, the outdoor retailer, after it protested the largest rollback of public land protection in our history with a website home page of a black screen and stark message: “The President Stole Your Land.”

It is your land, all 400 million acres of it, though you wouldn’t know by the way the Trump administration has ceded control to the private predators from the oil, gas, coal and uranium industries.

It is also your water, the near entirety of the outer continental shelf that Trump is opening to extractive drilling. Almost a dozen states have protested. The waters off the coast of Mar-a-Lago, in Florida, were given an exemption after Zinke met with the governor, who said drilling was bad for tourism. Your public servant at work.

Zinke is upending a century of bipartisan values as part of a Trumpian culture war. When asked why the president shrank national monuments in the Southwest by two million acres, Zinke said it was a way to strike back against “an elitist sort of hunter and fisherman.” Huh?

Could this be the same regular guy who took a helicopter to ride horses with Mike Pence? The cabinet member who wants to charge $70 to get into our most iconic national parks? The man whose nomination was championed by Donald Trump Jr., elephant killer and dictionary definition of elite hunter and fisherman?

Defenders of public land have pushed back. This week, a majority of the nonpartisan National Park Service advisory panel resigned in frustration. The board, federally chartered to help guide the service, said Zinke had refused to convene a single meeting with the members last year. Silly bird-lovers. Don’t they know you need to charter a plane for Zinke if you want to get his attention?

A much less-connected group, the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, responded with an essay from a board member who lives in a 500-square-foot abode in the Rocky Mountains. “We hunt, gather, garden, can, smoke, dry, jelly and pickle as much of our own food as we can,” wrote Tom Healy. “According to Mr. Secretary, I am an elitist.”

The writer is from Whitefish, Zinke’s hometown in Montana. Where have you heard that before? Ah, yes, a tiny energy company from Whitefish with two employees — three if you count Zinke’s kid when he was an intern on a side project — finagled a $300 million, no-audit, no-bid contract to help rebuild Puerto Rico’s electric grid. Zinke said he had absolutely, positively nothing to do with it.

Look, it could have been worse: Sarah Palin was an early favorite for interior secretary. Zinke is an ex-Navy SEAL, and looks the part. Enough nutty things come out of his mouth to make him a perfect Trump guy.

“The government stops at the mailbox,” he said at a rally last year, “and if you come any further, you’re going to meet my gun.” Note to Mr. Secretary: Don’t shoot the sheriff, or the census taker.

It took a bribery scandal to bring down an interior secretary in the Teapot Dome affair of the 1920s. Today, the corruption is all upfront. Energy Secretary Rick Perry gives bear hugs to coal barons while doing all he can to have the government prop up their industry. The Environmental Protection Agency is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the polluters it is supposed to regulate.

Over at Interior, they haven’t yet figured a way to charge Americans for the air we breathe. But the next time Zinke’s flag is up, something may be in the works.

Hey, There WERE Cyldesdales at the Super Bowl…

“In my most humble opinion” by R.T. Fitch

“It was Patriotic…”

Hey, I said if there was no kneeling at the National Anthem I would do something I have never done before, as in watch the entire game, (Drum Roll) and I did.  With Patriots and Eagles playing it doesn’t get any more patriotic than that, so before I rode off to LaLa Land afloat several industrial sized Wrangle Iced Teas I noted a few ads where we did get a few brief glimpses of horses and they were Clydesdales to boot.

The first ad was for the Voice, I think…hard to say as it seemed like some sort of a nightmare that you have when the Tea comes to haunt you after midnight.  It was so unsettling that I actually sat my drink down and stared at it for a moment but once I realized that I could focus on it and the ad was over I felt better.  But there is a horse in it, check it out.

Now the next ad had almost the same effect upon me, but after watching it a few times, now, I have to say that it was one of the more clever and original ads that I have seen…and yes, we have a horse in it, actually two.  Tighten up your cinch for this one.

And of course Bud did have an ad, it was without horses but it was not without heart.  Pure genius and true, we have friends who still cannot get into their homes due to the flooding of Harvey.  We had 20′ of water in our back pastures and the house and barn survived with the flood waters only inches away.  Thanks Bud for the good deeds you did for Houston and elsewhere.

And finally, as we posted last week, for all of us Clydesdale lovers Bud DID give us a nod with an internet ad that feeds the equine need in us, thanks for the shout out Bud.

…Hey, what was that halftime show all about, I really didn’t have THAT much Tea, did I?

Feel Good Sunday; Hurricane Rescue Dogs Will Steal the Show at the 2018 Puppy Bowl

Raisa Bruner, Time

Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Pre-Game Show: https://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/puppy-bowl/full-episodes/puppy-bowl-xiv-pre-game-show

If football isn’t quite your cup of tea, fear not: the annual Puppy Bowl is here to save you on Super Bowl Sunday, offering an adorable dose of furry canine competition.

How do I watch the Puppy Bowl?

Team Ruff and Team Fluff will face off at Puppy Bowl time, 3:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, Feb. 4, making for a nice pre-Super Bowl LII taste of lower-stakes competition before the big game gets underway.

https://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/puppy-bowl/

The Puppy Bowl channel is Animal Planet, which is available to those with a cable subscription, and there’s also an online Puppy Bowl live stream with your cable login.

So how do I watch the Puppy Bowl without cable?

If you’re not a cable subscriber, you can check on services like DirecTV Now or Sling to get channels on-demand. PlayStation Vue also carries Animal Planet through its “Access” plan, which offers viewers a five-day trial.

https://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/puppy-bowl/

Who’s in the 2018 Puppy Bowl Lineup?

Before the show, you can familiarize yourself with the starting lineup of pups — like Blueberry Pie, a 15-week-old miniature poodle and chihuahua mix, or Buckalew, a 13-week-old chihuahua-dachsund — on the Animal Planet site.

What performances should I look out for?

And there’s even halftime entertainment of the animal variety: cat lovers will be pleased to see that a Kitty Half Time Show is scheduled to take place, echoing Justin Timberlake’s own performance.

A piano-playing chicken named Jokgu will kick things off with “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “an adorable blended bunch of baby barnyard cheerleaders, including ducklings, piglets and baby bunnies” will be playing cheerleaders on the sidelines. African grey parrot Meep the Bird will help host, too. It’s quite the menagerie.

What else should I know about the Puppy Bowl dogs this year?

The best part? The 90 dogs who will appear on the show are all rescues from different natural disaster zones, hailing from 48 shelters in Texas, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Miami and more. And they’re all up for adoption — and could even be yours, if you act fast enough.

Can I adopt Puppy Bowl dogs?

You can. But most will have been adopted by the time the puppy bowl airs. (The Puppy Bowl has a 100% adoption rate, according to an organizer, but often the dogs come from shelters with others in the litter who might still be looking for a home.) Meet some of the lucky pets who found homes here. And those cats from the Kitty Bowl are adoptable too.

Space Shuttle Columbia 15 Years Later: Like the Horses, We Shall Never Forget

by R.T. Fitch ~ Co-Founder/President of the Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“Feb 1st 2003 changed the lives of millions of people.  As a country and a human community we lost 7 brave souls over the skies of north Texas and Louisiana, that day.  The space shuttle Columbia came apart as she attempted to re-enter the atmosphere and the course of space flight was changed forever.  And likewise that day the experience was my very first glimpse into the soul of the horse.  Take it any way you want but I began to seek, explore and delve deeper into the equine/human relationship just 15 short years ago this very day.

The passing of the seven angels perhaps saved many future lives with the their sacrifice by highlighting safety as a major concern in future space flights; but their ultimate gift also opened up a few humble eyes to mysteries unknown, my own being one such pair.

Below is the story and excerpt from our book, Straight from the Horses Heart: A Spiritual Ride through Love, Loss and Hope that was written in the cool, crisp dawn after the events of Saturday, February 1st, 2003.  It is the first equine insight I ever penned and because of that it will always be special.  We offer to you, today, in memory of those who lost their lives that day and to the memory of all those I have loved and lost since.

I mean it most sincerely when I say, ‘May the Force of the Horse® be with You!'” ~ R.T.


I Sit in Wonder

It started out as any other Saturday; up before the sun, make coffee, check email, say ‘hello’ to the dogs, greet the horses, and review the list of projects that needed to be accomplished before the sun set in the evening; however, this Saturday had a few dramatic twists.  I needed to be several places at one time during the same time frame, so there would have to be some fancy juggling.  The electricians were coming out to wire the new horse barn; at the same time, the farrier was arriving to trim the horses’ hooves; plus, we needed to pick up a load of hay prior to noon.  So, it was time to dance.

On the morning of Saturday, February 1st, 2003 all of Lafayette Parish, Louisiana was under a dense fog warning.  I stepped out of the house at sunrise, it was obvious that things might be moving a little slower until the fog lifted.

Ethan ~ by Terry FitchI was immediately greeted by the pair of happy-go-lucky German Shepherds who are always excited on Saturday morning as they get to go for a ride in the Big Red Truck to get hay.  Oh what fun!

As I gazed out into the pastures, I could not make out the four pampered ponies, as the fog was too thick.  I walked out through the back of the barn and no one was to be seen, so the odds were pretty good that they were in the back pasture munching down on their round bale.  I stepped out several yards, gave a call, and waited.  The mist swirled around me like foam in the surf as I listened intently for rumbling hooves, but the morning maintained its silence.

Unhurriedly, like dolphins slipping through the depths, the phantom shadows of the horses gradually began to materialize before me.  One at a time, in order, in line, they calmly walked up to me in formation for their rub on the withers, pat on the chest, and scratch on the belly; each taking their turn at receiving their morning hello, until all four circled me.  Together, we walked back to the barn.

At the barn I stopped and surveyed the new side gates that lay in place, waiting to be installed by the part-time ranch hand – me.  While Harley gently mouthed my cell phone in an effort to steal it from my belt, I began scratching down a list of hardware that I was going to need to accomplish the gate project.  I dropped my pen which meant Harley hit pay dirt as he quickly grabbed my cell phone and gracefully twirled it above my head by the antenna.  A big grin emerged on his face as this is his favorite game and he managed to accomplish the cunning feat without my interference – Harley one, Human zero.  I carefully retrieved my phone and bent down to pick my pen up when suddenly I heard a distant pop, bang or shot.  Immediately, I became alert to the fact that I was standing amidst a small herd of horses, in limited visibility, with “scary” noises occurring.

Quickly, I looked at the horses and then relaxed as they did not spook; they were not flustered or even nervous.  In fact, they were standing in an alert stance, heads held high and ears at full extension looking to the north/northwest, the opposite direction from whence the sound had come.  I wondered if it was a gun shot.  The thought slowly slipped away into ‘LaLa Land’ as I proceeded with my tabulations.  After all, who in their right mind would be hunting in the middle of a fog bank?

I remember concluding my list, walking back into the barn, and turning to gaze at our equine children – they were still there, standing in place.  In fact, they were in formation, one in front, three in back staring ever so intently to the northwest.  Their formation reminded me of a delta, a triangle pointing into the direction of their labored glare.  I was confused.  How could they be so interested in looking in the wrong direction; what were they hearing; what did they think they were seeing; and what was going through their minds as they appeared to be mesmerized and in a trance?

The sight of them there, standing in the mist looking off into nowhere, disturbed me to the point that I called to them.  No one budged.  I called again and the head of the Appaloosa slowly turned in my direction just enough so that one sad eye could look at me.  I motioned to him and he slowly turned around, walked to me with his head lowered and nuzzled my hand.  I scratched his forehead and noticed that his right eye had just formed a tear, one lone solitary tear.  I asked if he was sad; I asked if he wanted more food; I asked what the problem was and only heard a gentle sigh in response.  I dusted it off and went back to work.

At the time, I did not know that to the north of our quiet farm, a comet named Columbia was passing overhead, a bright meteor carrying the souls of seven courageous and generous human beings home.  I did not know.  I had no clue that seven souls of my species were headed across the bridge high over heads.  I did not know.

Four horses, however, stood gallantly at attention; four horses looked to the sky; and four horses felt something that I did not.

In reflection, I wonder if I did not miss something else that morning, something that my single-minded human brain did not hear, something special, something wondrous; yet, I was not listening.  I now sit in wonder and roll it over in my head time and time again, that gentle sigh, that horsy response, and the tear in that eye.  What did it say; what did it mean?

Did I really hear something in the gentle escape of air from those equine lips, a sound so profound that it did not compute at the time it happened?

Was that a gentle whisper, a thought, a suggestion?

Was my soul, and not my ears, hearing those quiet words?

Was the meaning really what I now believe it to be?

Was my heart touched by the souls of the four horses when I still failed to understand; yet, admittedly heard the whisper, the soft voice that spoke on another level. “We are so sorry; we are so very, very sorry.”

I sit in wonder.


NFL Disrespect Drive the Budweiser Clydesdales Away?

‘In my humble opinion’ by R.T. Fitch

First time in recent memory; the horses give the Stupid Bowl the cold shoulder

I don’t watch the game; (just a bunch of bulked-up, overpaid males running around a field playing with their balls) but I always look forward to previewing the commercials that are played during the event and of course, the tales told by the Clydesdale’s mini-movies are always the favorite.

Be they patriotic, remember the 911 one, or about being more than you thought you could be; they almost always bring a tear to your eye…but not in this year of gross disrespect and inflated egos, no ponies.

I am not sure why they will not be there, but one thing is for certain; there will be a lot fewer people watching this event than there have been in the past.

This year’s NFL ratings have been abysmal while those who make 30 times the wages of their fans disrespect the flag that many of us served under and know patriots who have died for it, full stop.  (I tried not to comment on this over the past year but it has just got a tad out of hand)

But, good ole Budweiser has posted an internet commercial, below, and after viewing it I am acutely aware that it would offend the NFL and its crybaby management as it shows a flag (oh no) being raised and uses the word, ‘Country’.

“We can’t have that, it is too controversial just like the AMVET ad that showed an American Flag and said, ‘Let’s Stand’, damn those trouble makers.

See for yourself:

Ohhhhhh, all that subtle patriotism might just scare the jock strap right off from one of those sniveling little sissies on the sidelines…BOO!

In memory of years gone by let’s wash our minds out and take a little tour of what the horses DID tell us in their novellas sponsored by adult beverages.  Join us at the end of the ride for some pretty cool viewing alternatives to the numb-skull head bashing of American Football.

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009 (bonus: there were two this year!)

2010

2011 wasn’t very Clydesdale-y, so we skipped it… moving on to 2012:

2013

2014

2015

Now the annual advent of the “Stupid” Bowl is just that for Terry, her parents and myself as it is our excuse to get silly, wicked “Stupid” and spend the afternoon/evening laughing our collective asses off watching:

The Puppy Bowl – on Animal Planet

and

The Kitten Bowl – on The Hallmark Channel

Pick your favorite, furry flavor (or watch both at the same time like we do) and have the very greatest of times.  No politics, no statements, no stupidity; just maybe a little tinkle here and a little poopy there but even when that occurs with a little one its funny.

So you can still have a good time with the critters while grown men try to give each other permanent brain damage and call it a game.

Enjoy and have fun!!!

Feel Good Sunday Part II: Crazy Goat Brothers Keep Each Other Weird


“We are having so much fun with our goofy animal companions I thought I would throw this one in too, it is one of my favorites and it never fails to make me laugh; regardless of how many times I have seen it. 

Watching these kids makes me want to reach out and bottle the free joy and silliness, something that in my opinion you can never have too much of.  Just ask my wife, Terry.  She claims that the reason we don’t have human children is because she has her hands full trying to raise me.  Me; I was always reluctant to mix my genes with a normal person because I was afraid that any offspring of mine would grow hair on their palms and drink out of the toilet. 

The world will never know. 

Turn up the volume and read the captions, ENJOY!” ~ R.T.


Feel Good Sunday: Pics of Animal Companions Who Acted Like Real Jerks, And It Will Make You Laugh Out Loud

photos from WeLikeWorld.com

“If you are a guardian of horses it is all but certain that you are staff to other four legged creatures on your property, dogs, cats, birds, fish…somewhere out there are more critters conspiring to make your life either one of hilarity or continued suffering, it just depends upon your perspective.  Maybe some of the photos, below, will remind you of a similar ‘tail’ that you have lived in real time (if so, please share it with us).  None the less, sit down your coffee, tea, beer or adult beverage as some of these pictures are going to illicit a gag reflex from you, whether you plan on it or not.  Have fun.” ~ R.T.

#1 Are You Missing Underwear?

Are You Missing Underwear?

#2 She Looked Guilty For A Split Second, Then Continued With Her Rampage

She Looked Guilty For A Split Second, Then Continued With Her Rampage

#3 15th Century Cat Leaves Paw Prints On Owner’s Manuscript

15th Century Cat Leaves Paw Prints On Owner's Manuscript

#4 My Dog Drowning Me For My Raft

My Dog Drowning Me For My Raft

#5 One Of These Shapes Is Not Like The Other. One Of These Shapes Does Not Belong

One Of These Shapes Is Not Like The Other. One Of These Shapes Does Not Belong

#6 I Have A Longhair Cat Who Covers His Hairballs With Whatever He Can Find. This Morning, I Woke Up To This

I Have A Longhair Cat Who Covers His Hairballs With Whatever He Can Find. This Morning, I Woke Up To This

#7 Glad You Found Them Comfy

Glad You Found Them Comfy

#8 I’m Coughing So Hard I’m Breaking A Sweat And It’s Like A Million Degrees In My House And This One Won’t Stop Unplugging The Fan

I’m Coughing So Hard I’m Breaking A Sweat And It’s Like A Million Degrees In My House And This One Won't Stop Unplugging The Fan

#9 Was Woken Up By My Parrot Saying “Help Me Help Me” Which Is What He’s Says When He Gets His Foot Tangled In His Toy, Wasn’t Expecting This

Was Woken Up By My Parrot Saying "Help Me Help Me" Which Is What He's Says When He Gets His Foot Tangled In His Toy, Wasn't Expecting This

#10 Cat Pushes Brother Into Pool

#11 Welp, There Goes The Dog’s Food

Welp, There Goes The Dog's Food

#12 Cage Me Again Motherf*cker

Cage Me Again Motherf*cker

#13 This Kitten Don’t Mess Around

#14 Made A Pie Crust. Turned Around To Get Filling. Turned Back Around And This Is What I Found

Made A Pie Crust. Turned Around To Get Filling. Turned Back Around And This Is What I Found

#15 This Is My Life Now, But At Least I Have Pretzels

This Is My Life Now, But At Least I Have Pretzels

#16 Hey, Hey. For Real This Time

#17 She Always Has To Be The Center Of Attention

She Always Has To Be The Center Of Attention

#18 My Dog Is An Asshole

My Dog Is An Asshole

#19 This Jerk

#20 Dutchie Opened The Window During A Car Wash

Dutchie Opened The Window During A Car Wash

#21 Artie Found A Comfy Spot By The Fire

Artie Found A Comfy Spot By The Fire

#22 I Finally Caught Him In The Act

I Finally Caught Him In The Act

#23 Looks Like Dogs Are Jerks To Their Siblings As Well

Looks Like Dogs Are Jerks To Their Siblings As Well

#24 I’ve Altered Your Signal. Pray I Don’t Alter It Any Further

I've Altered Your Signal. Pray I Don't Alter It Any Further

#25 My Husband And I Can Officially Check “Pull A Balloon String Out Of A Cat’s Asshole At 11:30 At Night” Off Our Bucket List. Finally

My Husband And I Can Officially Check "Pull A Balloon String Out Of A Cat's Asshole At 11:30 At Night" Off Our Bucket List. Finally

#26 We Made Ourselves A Cat Door

We Made Ourselves A Cat Door

#27 Woke Up To Find Feathers In The Hallway. Possible Victim: Bird

Woke Up To Find Feathers In The Hallway. Possible Victim: Bird

#28 He Also Pooped On My Puzzle

#29 My Fish’s An Asshole

#30 My Girlfriend’s New Yoga Pose

My Girlfriend's New Yoga Pose

A Respectful Feel Good Sunday ~ For Horse Lovers Who Loved Tom Petty: A Remembrance

By Susan Wagner – President of Equine Advocates

“Now I’m free
Free fallin’
Yeah, I’m free
Free fallin’…”

It was just yesterday when the world learned the results of the autopsy on music legend Tom Petty who passed away last year at the age of 66.

Rolling Stone reported, “After months of speculation, a medical examiner has ruled that Tom Petty died of an accidental overdose, according to a statement from the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner…Petty had been prescribed the drugs to treat emphysema, knee issues and a fractured hip, his family said in a statement accompanying the results. Petty’s coronary artery disease had been a persistent problem throughout his final tour…”

There are some artists whose music speaks to people in a way that is so profound and special that it puts them in a class by themselves. Tom Petty was one of those artists.

He had millions of fans worldwide, but for us at Equine Advocates, it was his acknowledgement of our organization and our work to end horse slaughter that was a real high point for me. In October of 2016, he and his wife, Dana, signed a petition we originated that called for the end of horse slaughter. Petty was the first celebrity among many to sign on and posted news about the petition on the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers official website so that his fans became aware of the issue and could sign the petition as well.

Who could have imagined that a exactly a year later Tom Petty would no longer be with us? I have been a fan of his since the 1980’s and the song of his that has extra special meaning for me is “I Won’t Back Down.” I feel that in every fight we take on in life, one has to have determination…and it is such a universal song that people from all walks of life can relate to it.

Tom Petty is sorely missed but he lives on forever in his music. SW