Every mother-to-be deserves to have her pregnancy commemorated with a gorgeous maternity photo shoot.
When a two year old pregnant pit bull was found wandering the streets near Fort Mill, South Carolina, she was hardly ready for her close-up. The dog was hugely pregnant and clearly exhausted from being homeless and alone. Animal control picked her up and brought her to a local shelter, where her owners were contacted.
Sadly, the dog’s owners decided they didn’t want her anymore and refused to come pick her up. The shelter transferred the dog to Pits & Giggles Rescue, an organization that provides maternity and postnatal care for pregnant bully breed dogs and their puppies, ensuring all are spayed and neutered before being placed in adoptive homes.
Lauren Casteen Sykes of Enchanted Hills Photography has been volunteering for Pits & Giggles for four years. She often offers up her services as a professional photographer to help raise awareness for the animals in their care. She’s passionate about the work the rescue does each day and was eager to help Mama Pickles the minute she met the sweet dog.
“Pits & Giggles Rescue has a mission like no other,” she explained. “They specialize in maternity rescue and care. They save pregnant and nursing mama dogs from shelter and provide them with the care they need to bring their babies safely into the world. […] Photographing these mamas and their babies gives them the exposure they need to get adopted!”
Lauren set out to photograph Mama Pickles just days before the dog gave birth to eight healthy female puppies. She says the mama dog was a delight to work with, even if she was a bit of a “pit bull in a china shop!”
“Mama Pickles is all tail wags and smooshy kisses and must be underfoot and in your space at all times! She is definitely a ‘velcro pitty,’ and certainly has a little bit of mischief in her eyes.”
“She was so excited she could hardly sit still,” Lauren went on. “She loves affection and treats and was happy to participate! The hardest part was getting her to stay because she loves people SO much!”
Lauren tried to get Mama Pickles to pose during her photo shoot, but the dog proved to be a natural model without any help from the humans on set. Even though her enormous belly got in the way the dog still absolutely glowed with love and good health as she grinned up at Lauren’s camera.
“It was hilarious,” Lauren laughed. “She is ALL belly and a bit clumsy, so getting her posed was not difficult, but getting her to sit still long enough to get a picture was no easy task! Her bows were crooked, falling off and tripping her up — we couldn’t help but laugh, she’s such a cartoon!”
After Mama Pickles had her litter Lauren followed up with another shoot, this time including all 8 wriggling puppies. The mama dog was attentive as she sweetly looked after her brood, and Lauren hopes that the pictures will help all of the babies find loving forever homes.
“This girly was clearly used repeatedly for breeding and we’re excited to make sure this is her very last litter,” Lauren said. Mama Pickles will be spayed when her puppies are fully weaned, and then she’ll be up for adoption as well. Lauren is confident that the good people at Pits & Giggles Rescue will find the very best home for this sweet little lady when the time comes.
You can see the pride and happiness in this animal’s eyes! She’s so grateful to her rescuers for taking her off the streets and providing the care she and her babies needed. We’re grateful too — thank you to the animal rescuers of the world who tirelessly devote themselves to helping animals!
Share this story to raise awareness for this important cause.
Share your story & inspire the world.
If you have an uplifting story we would love to hear about it! Share it with us here.
Want to be happier in just 5 minutes a day? Sign up for Morning Smile and join over 455,000+ people who start each day with good news.