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Melissa and Zigzag Dan enjoy a quiet moment

On a pale horse, an injured vet soldiers on

Army veteran Melissa Valliere insists she doesn’t want to seem “corny” when saying, “We fixed each other.” She needn’t worry. As she describes how a gray racehorse with mischievous eyes comforted her on days so painful it was hard to get out of bed, her story becomes one of hope in the darkest hours.

Valliere, a disabled vet, met her lovely gray gelding on the backside of Suffolk Downs in 2003 as she queried trainers about every other horse except Zigzag Dan.

Coming up empty on a chilly April day, she perched outside Zigzag’s stable door, and chatted with a groom.