Violet, Pot-Bellied Pig, Age 12

Kendalia, Texas


A version of this story ran in the May 2012 issue.

I travel to sanctuaries across the country to photograph animals that are elderly or at the end of their lives. I began “Elderly Animals” after I had spent a year helping my sister care for my mother who has Alzheimer’s disease.

I took these pictures to gain a deeper understanding about what it means to be mortal, and to exorcise my fears of aging. I have come to realize that these images are self-portraits, or at the very least, they are manifestations of my fears and hopes about what I will be like when I am old.

See more of photographer Isa Leshko’s work. “Elderly Animals” is on exhibit May 4-June 23, 2012, at the Houston Center for Photography. CALL FOR ENTRIES: Seeking Texas-based documentary photography that captures the strangest state. Please send inquiries to [email protected].