Tag Archives: Celebrities

From Britain to Sarasota, Mothers and Babies Need Each Other

A few months back, this irresistible photo showed up on the internet.  Hours after his birth on a farm in Britain, this foal was abandoned by his mother, perhaps because she had no milk. The foal ran from mare to mare, trying to suckle and being turned away.  The farmer brought him, scratched and dehydrated, to Devon-based Mare and Foal Sanctuary. There they named him Breeze, and administered medical care. The ordeal had traumatized the foal, and he couldn’t sleep.  A staff member got the bright idea to put Buttons, a giant Teddy Bear, into Breeze’s stall.  As you can see, Buttons did the trick.  Breeze found a replacement for his mother.

The story about the bond between mother and baby reminded of something I saw last winter.  I visited the Big Cat Habitat near our home in Sarasota, FL.  Big Cat is a sanctuary run by the Rosaire family, renowned animal trainers and rescuers of unwanted animals, mostly cats, for over 35 years.  I looked into an enclosure at a Capuchin monkey with pendulous breasts.  One of the Rosaires, who was standing nearby, told me the monkey’s story.

A little girl visited the sanctuary one day, holding a small stuffed teddy bear. Kylie, the monkey, grabbed the toy and took it to her house.  When the staff tried to remove it, Kylie began shrieking and flailing.  She grew so agitated that the visitor agreed to surrender her teddy bear. Kylie was so devoted to her “baby” that she grew breasts. Concerned, the staff called the vet. They could administer painful hormone injections, the vet said. Or they could leave the wanna-be-mama alone. They left her alone. She guarded her baby with devotion for about two months until it turned to shreds. By then, Kylie was ready to let her baby go. The tattered teddy was removed with no further drama.

Speaking of Big Cat, we have some celebrities in the neighborhood. Two Big Cat occupants are current movie stars. Chance, a chimpanzee, and Handsome, a lion, are featured in the new Leonardo DiCaprio film, The Wolf of Wall Street. They play exotic pets brought into the office of an out-of-control stockbroker. Chance learned to roller skate for the part. Chance and DiCaprio “really liked each other and worked well together,” says Big Cat owner Kay Rosaire.

Kay calls her animals “professionals.” Their earnings help support the nonprofit sanctuary, which also houses many non-working animals.

(Please send me your Godsigns stories, whatever kind of monkey business they involve.)

Novelist Karen Kingsbury Meets Her Hero Rod Stewart

Novelist Karen Kingsbury visited New York City to meet with her publisher. Her novel, The Bridge, had become a best seller; her publisher signed her to a 10-book deal. After, she was walking the High Line elevated park on Manhattan’s West Side, thinking how she wished she could share the news with her father. Her dad, her “first and biggest fan,” had died six years earlier.

She murmured, “Have I told you lately that I love you, Dad?”

The line came from her father’s favorite song: the Rod Stewart version of “Have I Told You Lately.”  Her dad called her when he first heard it.  It summed up his feelings for his family, he said.  “Whenever you hear it, know that I love you.” They continued to call each other whenever and wherever they heard the song. “It connected us,” Karen says.

The title was engraved on her father’s headstone.

Walking with daughter, Kelsey, and son-in-law, Kyle, Karen thought this was “one of those moments when Dad would have been so proud of me, and I couldn’t share it with him.” To distract herself, she suggested taking a picture. She stretched her arm out, trying to hold the camera far enough away that she, Kelsey and Kyle were all in the frame. A man passing by offered to help. He was dressed stylishly in jeans and a sweater, had spiky blonde hair and spoke with an accent.

As the man walked away, it dawned on her.

She sped after him. “Excuse me, sir!”

He turned around.

“Are you Rod Stewart?”

“Sometimes,” he said.

She told him about her dad’s favorite song.

Tears filled his eyes. “Can I give you a hug?” he asked. He pulled her to him. “You made my day.”

Karen writes about the encounter in the August issue of Guideposts magazine. She concludes: “Just when I was missing my dad so badly, the rock star who sang our song crosses my path? Really? You could never plan or even imagine something like that!  But Someone had.”

(Thanks, Linda, for passing along this delightful Godsign story.)