Today I helped my friend say goodbye to her baby hippo, Ingrid. It is always hard to lose a companion and Rachel had Ingrid for less than a year. Given that it was such a short amount of time it would be easy to be bitter, we rarely bring home a pet and expect such a short time with them, but Ingrid was almost 10 years old when Rachel took her home from the animal shelter. For a rottweiler that is already old but Rachel didn't care, she knew that not many people would consider a dog of her age.
It was obvious that Ingrid had been cared for but that she had not been exposed to much. Initially many commonplace things startled her or made her unease but as the weeks passed she became more comfortable. Ingrid loved almost everybody and was good with children of all sized. Despite her substantial size that garnered the nickname "baby hippo" Ingrid was a surprisingly spry old gal.
Sadly she started to limp a few days ago and when it became worse the vet took an x-ray and confirmed the worse, Ingrid had bone cancer. The cancer eats away at the bone compromising its integrity and creating the possibility of a catastrophic break. With this type of cancer it is always best to say goodbye a day too early than a day too late so a little before noon Rachel called to tell me that today was the day. I threw on my coat, grabbed some cookies and was out the door. Ingrid was the type of girl who made a lasting impression and if I could give her a little comfort (and maybe some to Rachel too) it was the least I could do.
So I ask you all to give you pets a big hug from me in celebration of Ingrid's life. No matter how it began I can guarantee you that it ended as one full of love and happiness.
Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
16mm, f2.8, 1/320 sec @ 400 ISO