We are all living, working, schooling, and playing at home. The COVID-19 crisis has forced us to hunker down and take care of all of life’s essential business within the confines of our house. With so much uncertainty, worry, and frustration swirling around it is imperative that we inject a bit of levity in our lives. Now more than ever, we are coming to understand the power of a simple smile.
Wildlife photographer Tanja Brandt has a large family of animals. Among them is a Malinois named Ingo and a tiny owl named Poldi. Ingo and Poldi are tightly bonded and have posed for hundreds of photos together. Taking a scroll through some of these photos is a heart-lifting exercise during this trying time.
Ingo must be a super-relaxed guy. As you can see, he has no problems letting his little owl friend, and other owls from their mixed-species family, sit on his head, stand on his legs, or just hang out in very close proximity to the handsome dog. Ingo appears completely nonplussed by the presence of the birds. Tanja mentions pre-COVID-19 visits to parks and other places that were filled with distractions of people and other wildlife. Ingo and his owl friends seem to have a laser-like focus on Tanja’s lens, regardless of what is going on around them.
In response to Tanja’s most recent posts on her Instagram account, followers comment that Ingo and his feathered friends are a highlight to their day. “Your posts are one of the most refreshing parts of my day. Thank you and your wonderful animals ❤️,” said one follower. Another said, “Thank you Tanja (Poldi & Ingo), once again, for brightening many peoples day.. giving us a humorous & loving smile. It’s a tall order these days and you somehow manage to shed your light for others 😘💗.”
In case you think this may be a fleeting friendship or a few lucky shots from a patient photographer, think again. Ingo and Poldi’s unique relationship extends back to at least 2015 and seems to only grow stronger over time. Tanja told Bored Panda in 2015, “I’ve always loved animals, since I was a baby, unlike the rest of my family. When I was little, I found every sort of pet and then hid it from my parents. I love the beauty, power, loyalty, courage, and friendship of animals. Many people could learn from them.”
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