When Aditya Raheja and Sanjana Madappa learned they were going to have a baby, they were, like all first-time parents, ecstatic. And like any other couple, they immediately announced the great news to their family and friends.
But while their friends and relatives were happy, they immediately started with unsolicited advice. The biggest point of contention? The couple’s many dogs.
Sanjana works with an animal rescue organization called CUPA in the couple’s home city of Bengaluru, India. As a result, she’s taken in five dogs and fostered many others. The couple loves each one of them, but other people had other ideas.
“I was told by my family, friends, and even my doctor to get rid of my dogs, that my baby came first.” Sanjana wrote. They were concerned for the safety of the baby, or that the dogs would demand too much attention.
But Sanjana, who has worked with animals for years, and has seen many dogs given up because of a new baby, was firm in her response. Her dogs were staying.
“I was told the same things that all those people who have given up pets tell me,” she wrote. “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. To all those people I will always say, NOT WITHOUT MY DOGS.”
And to show her dedication to her family, both human and canine, she and Aditya posed for a fantastic maternity shoot starring all five dog siblings.