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The day I took this photo was like so many, I was focused on a subject in the opposite direction; an old train car in a field of grass and I was looking for the perfect shot. As always, just behind me, sat Ilex watching my every move. I turned to check on her, and I found a better subject and this was the result. For over 16 years, this was our routine. She knew to stay behind me when I took photos, as I moved she followed and found her spot somewhere just out of sight, and watched. My only regret is that I did not turn more often to smile at my friend, to say thank you, and let her know she was appreciated; however, I always knew she would be there, because this is what true friends do.
A year ago today, we lost her. I still take photos, I look for the perfect shot, and try to look behind me more often and acknowledge my true friends. Because I know they, like her, are still there watching me and making sure I am safe, because this is what true friends do.