When Sanjana Madappa, an animal welfare worker in Bengaluru, India, got pregnant with her first child, she was over the moon. Along with her husband, Aditya Raheja, Madappa excitedly shared the news with family and friends.
As Buzzfeed reported, along with all the congratulations and well wishes, Madappa received something else: Lots of unwanted advice telling her that she needed to get rid of her dogs.
As an animal-rights worker at Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA), Madappa is a bonafide champion of four-legged creatures, as well as the proud owner of several dogs.
Hence, you can imagine her shock and dismay when many of her closest friends and relatives told her that she should get rid of her dogs in order to make room in her life for her new baby.
Madappa was so angered by this advice that she decided to take a stand against this type of thinking. And since a picture is worth a thousand words, she turned her maternity photo shoot into a love letter to both her unborn child and her beloved dogs:
Madappa also took to Facebook to share her thoughts about this poor advice, explaining that her dogs are part of her family and not something to be tossed to the side when something new comes along.
Madappa shared that she had a very difficult pregnancy in which she was put on bedrest. She revealed how her dogs actually helped her, writing:
“My dogs are the reason I got through my pregnancy with my sanity intact. The days I spent crying, I had the comforting weight of Diego’s head on my lap reassuring me things would be ok. The nights I spent on the bathroom floor, Leo kept me company, gently pawing me now and then to see if I was okay. I lost a very special little girl along the way, Leela, who kept me smiling with her silly antics till the end. When I could finally fall asleep, I had Cujo resting at my feet. I couldn’t afford to stay in bed feeling sorry for myself when T had these kids depending on me.”
Madappa drew comparisons to how our pets depend on us like our children, and we should not cast them aside:
“I was told by family, friends and even my doctor to get rid of my dogs, that my baby came first. I was told the same things that all those people who have given up pets tell me. To all those people I can just say this. I couldn’t ever in good conscience give away an animal that loves me and trusts me with the same innocence and purity that my baby does. I couldn’t abandon a family member to bring in another. I will not betray a life that depends on me as much as my son does.”
How sweet is that?
Plus, stress can be dangerous during pregnancy, especially when a mother is having a high-risk pregnancy. Hence, anything a mom-t0-be can do to help limit her stress, such as cuddling her loving pups, is a good thing. (Bonus: They make excellent vacuum-cleaners once the new baby starts inevitably throwing Cheerios off her high-chair!)
Madappa’s son Ayan was born shortly after her maternity photo shoot and we have no doubt that he is a confirmed dog-lover just like his mama. Congrats!