Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, September 22, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 10



 Mountain Views-News Saturday, September 22, 2012 

species of 
animals, at 
various levels on the food chain have fallen prey to a predator 
that is very different from what one might expect. This 
private predator is not located in the forests or in the deep 
depths of the ocean, where most wildlife survival attacks 
take place. This predator is rarely ever pointed out in public, 
and rarely claims the blame or admits taking part in 
the prey and attack process. The predator I am referring to 
is the incredible human being, and the attack is not only 
physical, but mental and spiritual as well. 

The human’s tendency to spread negative rumors and create 
long-term urban legends that cause irreparable damage 
to the reputation of other species is typically based on ignorance 
and fear, and the preferred prey can vary tremendously 
from one species to another. Unusual behavioral 
patterns or physical appearances of creatures that are extremely 
different from ourselves are often misunderstood, 
so rather than taking the time to learn more about other 
creatures, and understand why they look or act the way they 
do, we humans often put them into a category that defines 
them as creepy and extinguishable. I find it rather ironic 
that so many living things on this earth that play a major 
role in the survival of we humans, are those that we tend to 
fear the most. Of the many creatures who have fallen prey 
to the human’s presumptuous paranoia throughout history, 
the spider is most likely among the top on the list. I think 
that this is really quite unfortunate, because spiders play 
such an important role in the balance of our ecosystem. 
In fact, without spiders this world would be in big trouble, 
both on a local community level as well as on a mega-scale 
level, in the overall scheme of survival. Spiders are among 
the approximately 100,000 species that fall into the classification 
of Arachnids, mainly characterized by the fact that 
they have four pairs of legs and a body that is separated into 
two segments.

There are about 2,000 different species of spiders in the 
United States, and although, with the exception of one family, 
all spiders do carry venom to subdue their prey, very few 
are likely to cause concern to the human being. More often 
than not, any cause of concern related to a spider bite is due 
to an allergic reaction. Only two species of spiders found 
in North America are known to be a serious threat to the 
human. They are the black widow and the brown recluse. 
When you line up the true facts, break it down and do the 
math it becomes clear that the risks that spiders present are 
minimal, and arachnophobia becomes nothing more than 
another form of paranoia on the part of the human. Now 
that we know the truth about the minimal risks spiders 
present, let’s focus on the good things they do and the hard 
work they perform on a daily basis to ensure the health and 
welfare of our existence.

All spiders produce silk, with which they weave their wonderful 
webs and this fascinates me beyond words. Some 
webs can be so large they cross the street from one tree or 
telephone pole to another. I saw a huge one recently during 
a walk with my dog, and I wish I had had my camera with 
me at the time, because it was absolutely gorgeous - a real 
remarkable work of art! But, aesthetic beauty is not necessarily 
the purpose of the silken spider’s web. As we all know, 
the main reason why the spectacular spider weaves its’ 
sticky, silky web is to catch insects and other small creatures 
to eat. This is the most important role that the spider plays 
in nature, and it has a direct positive impact on each and 
every one of us. If you annihilate every spider in your house 
and in your yard, you will most definitely find out (the hard 
way) just how valuable those eight legged creatures are to 
you. Indeed, you will probably find yourself calling the exterminator 
numerous times thereafter, because your home 
would most likely become infested with every type of tiny 
creature that you can possibly imagine. The truth is that the 
spider keeps our local bug population in check in a way that 
no one else could, including a human in a uniform with a 
can of killing chemicals!

So what would you rather have? A delicate, illusive, shy 
eight-legged being who is more afraid of you than you are 
of him, or an entourage of stinging, biting or just plain annoying 
insects invading your living space, both inside and 
out? The answer comes easy for me. I prefer to keep my interesting, 
artistic spider friends around where I can benefit 
from their gorgeous works of silken art, and their veracious 
appetite for certain blood-thirsty creatures who would otherwise 
over-populate and potentially make my life miserable. 
Isn’t is amazing how just a little information can do 
so much good for the reputation of an historically misunderstood, 
feared creature? In tune with my typical “Happy 
Tails” theme, I encourage all my human friends to educate 
themselves better about all living things, particularly those 
that differ from us, and learn to appreciate the value of their 



Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc


This dog will melt your heart. Meet Tuffy (A4483720), one of the cutest 
fur balls to walk the California roads. Tuffy is a kissy one year old tan 
male Terrier mix puppy that was found in El Monte and brought to the 
Baldwin Park Animal Care Center on September 4th. Weighing a mere 
ten pounds, Tuffy walks okay on the leash, but where he really wants to be 
is in your lap. He is fine with other dogs, and volunteers think he is the 
perfect dog to help tire your kids out. Tuffy will be a spectacular indoor 
pet for an active individual or family in any living situation. To watch a 
video of Tuffy please visit:

 To meet Tuffy in person, please see him at the Baldwin Park Shelter, 
located at 4275 N. Elton, Baldwin Park, CA 91706 (Phone: 626-430-2378 
or 626-962-3577). He is currently available now. For any inquiries about 
Tuffy, please reference his animal ID number: A4483720. The shelter is 
open seven days a week, 12 pm-7 pm Monday-Thursday and 10am-5pm Friday-Sunday. This is a high-intake shelter with 
a great need for adoptions. For more information about Tuffy or the adoption process, contact United Hope for Animals 
Volunteer Adoption Coordinator Samantha at or 661-309-2674. 



The legendary Zenyatta, winner of the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita and Horse of the Year in 2010, 
will be honored for all-time by Santa Anita Park as a life-sized statue of the great mare will be unveiled in Santa 
Anita’s Paddock Gardens area on the first Saturday of Santa Anita’s upcoming Autumn Meet, on Sept. 29.


Additionally, the inaugural Grade I, $250,000 Zenyatta Stakes (formerly the Lady’s Secret), a race won by Zenyatta 
over three consecutive years from 2008 through 2010, will be run on Sept. 29.


Zenyatta, who at the age of eight is currently enjoying her role as a broodmare at Lane’s End Farm in Kentucky, 
will be joining two of the greatest horses of all-time, John Henry and Seabiscuit, as her statuary likeness will now 
join these legends of the American Turf adjacent to the track’s grandstand.


Named after The Police’s blockbuster album “Zenyatta Mondatta,” Zenyatta is owned by Rock and Roll Hall of 
Famer Jerry Moss and his wife, Ann.


“Like the song written by Sting and performed by The Police, everything Zenyatta did here will always be magic 
for the entire Thoroughbred industry,” said Santa Anita President George Haines. “Her win against the boys in the 
2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic is considered by many to be the greatest moment in Santa Anita history.”


The incomparable Zenyatta retired with a remarkable 19 wins from 20 career starts and $7,304,580 in earnings. 
Although she was defeated by a head in her final start, the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic, her stature as one of the 
sport’s all-time greats remained undiminished as she was voted the Eclipse Award as Horse of the Year for 2010.


“The breadth of her accomplishments at Santa Anita alone is astonishing,” said Haines. “She won a total of seven 
races here, all stakes and six of them were in Grade I competition. Her story will forever resonate with our fans 
and we know we’ll have many thousands of people coming here over the years to admire her statue, which will be 
situated on south side of the Kingsbury Fountain, directly across from John Henry.”


Trained by John Shirreffs and ridden in her final 17 starts by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, Zenyatta made her 
third career start on Jan. 13, 2008, winning Santa Anita’s Grade II El Encino Stakes by 1 ¾ lengths under David 


As was the case in her 2009 Classic victory, all nineteen of Zenyatta’s wins came in last-to-first fashion.


After winning the El Encino, Zenyatta’s subsequent Grade I wins at The Great Race Place came in the 2008 & ’09 
Lady’s Secret Stakes, the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic, the 2009 Classic and the 2010 Santa Margarita Invitational 


“We’d again like to thank the Mosses for running Zenyatta here and we look forward to welcoming them back as 
we again honor ‘the big mare’ on Sept. 29,” said Haines.


Sculpted by Nina Kaiser, who also created the statue of John Henry, Zenyatta’s likeness stands at her height of 17.2 
hands, and weighs 1,200 pounds, which is approximately what Zenyatta weighed throughout her racing career. 
Commissioned by Santa Anita, the world-renowned Kaiser worked on the project for more than two years.


Santa Anita’s 2012 Autumn Meet gets underway on Friday, Sept. 28. For more information or to make dining and 
seating reservations, fans are encouraged to visit or call (626) 574-RACE.