Tanja Brandt is a German photographer who has dedicated her career towards photographing animals and wildlife.

 In one of her most recent projects, Brandt shot photographs of a highly unlikely pair of friends – Ingo, the Belgian shepherd; and Poldi (Napoleon), the one-year-old owlet.

Brandt describes the relationship between Ingo and Poldi as somewhat of a ‘protector-protected’ relationship. Ingo is a guardian for Poldi, whom Brandt states “doesn’t know how to live free”.

Poldi didn’t hatch until two days after his six brothers and sisters, and has always been very vulnerable due to his size. Ingo, on the other hand, comes from a family of strong and oftentimes ruthless police dogs.

Ingo is very protective over the year-old owlet, and their bond is as strong off-camera as it appears in Tanja’s photographs.

“They respect each other and they can read each other.”

Photos: Tanja Brandt

Even though Ingo is physically stronger and protective over him, it is clear that the Poldi also takes care of his canine companion. Their friendship is ultimately mutual – they love and care for one another – and this is clear in Brandt’s photographs.

Responses to "Meet Ingo and Poldi: Tiny rescued owl and dog are madly in love"

  1. ❤️Oh my❤️

  2. these are so touching

  3. Unknown says:

    These photographs are especially touching for my wife and I. We live on a rural ranch and have a Malinois for protection. To see Ingo with Poldi tells the true story of the breed. Mals are fierce and loving. An unusual combination but understood completely by those of us fortunate to have a Malinois in the family

  4. Bill B. says:

    If this isn't the most adorable thing I've ever seen, then I don't know what is. =)

  5. A heartwarming story an one we human beings can learn from. Thank you for sharing with us. I love the photos! <3

  6. Unknown says:

    Unthinkable Love story of those whome we say Wild

  7. Anonymous says:

    i just blown out of my chair and fell in love...

  8. Betilda60 says:

    Their bond is a very beautiful thing. Your photos really captured them, just beautiful.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Though I count numerous hunters among my friends and acquaintances, one has to wonder about the act of killing wild animals. Observation of all sorts of animals leads inevitably to the conclusion that it's not only canines (including wolves) for whom love is an indispensable part of their lives.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Animals are sentient beautiful beings!

  11. Unknown says:

    In today's world we often have to search for real beauty. It's elusive. Then quite unexpectedly, there it is right before us...the unnatural friendship and bond between two very different creatures who by all rights should be enemies. Would that we, the 'superior creatures', could learn from such as these.

  12. Jake says:

    Too kool

  13. "Oftentimes ruthless"? The same could be said about owls, or any animal. Ruthlessness is a human trait.



  15. balibali says:

    Super cute... Animals are beyond amazing so why is most the world still eating and treating them like they have zero soul..

  16. balibali says:

    Super cute... Animals are beyond amazing so why is most the world still eating and treating them like they have zero soul..

  17. Unknown says:

    Can these photos be turned into a calendar, please? Or a children's book? Or both?

  18. Sunny says:

    Beautiful.....just absolutely beautiful...and the reason I love animals so very much..brought a lump to my throat...�� ��

  19. Kathleen says:


  20. This pair was the cutest thing I've seen in my entire life, but what I will remember most is the astounding photos that were captured to live on forever.. just too beautiful and lovable! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Neverjetna ljubezen med malo sovico in nemškim ovčarjem!

  22. Anonymous says:

    These are beautiful photos of the most beautiful emotion all of us (human and nonhuman) can share: love. May this remind all of us that all animals are sentient beings and we should consider not eating them--out of love and respect.

  23. Awesome best buds💕

  24. Anonymous says:

    Ingo & Poldi bring to life John Lennon's song "Imagine."

  25. Anonymous says:

    Dogs and trees are my favorite things on earth...then there's homemade pies...Tiny owls are the cutest ever but the two together are just awesome and the photography is out of this world. What a talent!

  26. Animals are true role models.

  27. SLKite says:

    If only we humans could take our cues about love, responsibility, devotion, AND forgiveness from our animals, the world would certainly be a much better place...Ingo and Poldi are showing us how this is done..

  28. Anonymous says:

    Awe Beautiful! The only thing is if one passes, the other is going to be sad :( but guess it's nature. Love it, thanks for sharing

  29. Unknown says:

    one word: WOW

  30. Unknown says:

    What a fascinating phenomenon! A beautiful thing to be witness to. They seem to have brought the best out from each other.

  31. Unknown says:

    These are some of the sweetest pictures I have ever seen. A beautiful expression of (L)iving (O)ne (V)ibrational (E)nergy and a reminder of how we should all take care of each other :)

  32. Goddess says:

    Wonderful pictures. I can tell you are very talented as a photographer and as a guardian of these two.

  33. Androi says:

    stops my mind--almost unbelievable

  34. Unknown says:

    De wonderlijke grillen van de natuur, prachtig (Y)

  35. Unknown says:

    The Owl and the "Pussycat"...;^)

  36. Anonymous says:

    Amazing photos revealing a wonderful bond. Thank you, Tanja.

  37. Don Thoms says:

    LOVE your work! The series on Ingo & Poldi is amazing!!

  38. Anonymous says:

    so amazing and awesome!! <3

  39. Anonymous says:

    Those are the sweetest pictures I have ever seen between two different species of birds and dog's.

  40. Anonymous says:

    People could learn from so called ANIMALS. I love DOGS!

  41. Unknown says:

    That's the kind of love we all need! Enormous,unconditional, big as nothing else in this world

  42. amazing great post.Good Cute Dog...!

  43. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful. Brings to mind Isaiah 11: 6-9 where God says all creatures will dwell together in harmony on His holy mountain where there will be no harm or destruction.

  44. What are you doing to me ~ I'm in love too!!!

  45. PDXRose says:

    My personal fav? The owl on the branch, branch in dog's mouth. That dog has the biggest grin and looks so proud of his little friend. I want that for my screen saver!!

  46. Possibly the coolest couple on the planet!

  47. OMG, too cute for words!

  48. Anonymous says:

    Oh how very sweet! Love it!

  49. Diane says:

    These photos are really unique and beautiful. It looks like an amazing friendship. I would treasure those photos and share them. It shows that natural instincts can be overcome. Amazing!

  50. Unknown says:

    Overwhelmingly touching.

  51. tomwat says:

    Wonderful. Thanks. I write about my many unusual often many unusual, often paranormal, experiences with animals, mostly my companion animals, as well as with the souls of others, both living and dead. Thomas Ramey Watson, author of Baltho, The Dog Who Owned a Man, and others.

  52. Amazing photos!! These photos speak volumes. Amazing captures, they really show the love they have for one another. Love seeing different species get along so well. We could all learn from this.

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