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Thursday, November 7, 2013

animal lover

I'm linking up with Kat Sloma's Photo Heart Connection today, in which I choose a photo from last month that really speaks to my heart, and then tell why. While looking through my Lightroom catalogue I came across these two photos of the garden next to our front porch.

These were just quick practice shots I took the other day, picking up my 'big girl' camera for the first time in months after shoulder surgery in August. As is so often the case, a casual snapshot accidentally captures something special, and ends up worth keeping. These two photos remind me why I love my husband.

I call this my Hamster Memory Garden, the final resting place for Lulu, Buddy, Scooter, and now Henry. You can see the four stone 'markers' (one is actually a neat grouping of smaller stones). Two of these little guys - Lulu and Henry - started out as Erin's pets (Lulu was initially thought to be female, but the vet eventually informed us otherwise, but we never did change his name); the other two were mine from the start.

Bob never wanted to hold or even pet any of my hamsters (being a street cop in Toronto held too many memories of real-life encounters with large urban rats...hamsters are, after all, rodents).
UPDATE 11/8/13: After Bob read this post he clarified his position on petting the hamsters..."I just didn't want to get attached to the little critters..." He also routinely feeds the squirrels (also rodents), as well as the dogs next door.
But when Lulu, the first one, died it was Bob who talked me into going to the pet store to fill the void in my heart; I came home with Buddy. Then when Buddy died, Bob went to the pet store with me and helped me choose Scooter. Henry - the last one, and the sweetest - passed away in September.

It was Bob's idea last year to find a Saint Francis statue for this little corner of the garden, to watch over my beloved little critters. It was Bob who carefully dug each small grave, deep enough for the little kleenex-lined box to remain undisturbed. It was Bob who stood by my side - patiently, quietly, respectfully, each time as I tearfully said good-bye. Together we covered them with dirt and a simple stone marker (also his idea). And this last time just a few weeks ago, when I put a few peas and a sprinkling of broccoli slaw on each grave, he smiled as I reminded the little fellas,

"Life's short: eat your peas first."

And yes, the four tiny pumpkins were Bob's idea too.



Until one has loved an animal,
a part of one's soul remains unawakened.

Anatole France


Linking up with
Photo Heart Connection
Texture Tuesday

texture used (top two photos only):
Multiply ~50%
+Soft Light ~65% 

pre-Photoshop editing in Lightroom:
Dave Delnea's preset: C+V Washed Vintage-001

then my own RadLab 'recipe':
Edge Blur
+ Derelicte (39%)
+Homestead BW (28%)
+Boutwell Magic Glasses II


  1. What a precious post, and what a keeper Bob is :) Pets are so much more than pets, and each time one leaves they take a little bit of our hearts with them.

  2. Oh Cindy, what a sweet and heartfelt post. Your hubby sounds like a jewel and definitely one you want to keep around....Pets can get into our hearts faster than the bat of an eye and they stay there forever....

  3. I can tell that you are a love-with-your-heart-wide-open kind of person, Cindy. And Bob is clearly a special guy, to understand and help you celebrate that love even if he doesn't feel it himself for the critters you care for. A beautiful story, with beautiful images, that helps us know you and your husband better. A perfect Photo-Heart Connection, I think.

    1. After your thoughtful comment I had to update the post:
      UPDATE 11/8/13: After Bob read this post he clarified his position on petting the hamsters..."I just didn't want to get attached to the little critters..."

  4. omg, this post had me tearing up at work. How sweet.

    1. IKR...This morning Ner clarified his position on petting the hamsters. I updated the post (see above). :)


  5. Such a wonderful and heartfelt post. I can understand why this is your photo-heart connection of October. How sweet your husband is! He has created a very delicate corner. Beautiful images