Pregnancy is both a blessing and a challenge. A blessing because a new life is about to be born, and a challenge because of the many adjustments a mother has to make to ensure she has the baby safe and healthy. One of those adjustments could be letting go of a lovely dog you have counted as a member of the family.
To all expectant mothers, here’s what Sanjana Mandappa can share to you about pregnancy and having a dog while still pregnant.
“Being in animal welfare, one of the most common reasons I hear for giving up a pet is ‘I’m pregnant’. When I have tried to counsel these families, I get it thrown back in my face that since I don’t have children and haven’t experienced a pregnancy, I don’t get to have an opinion. So last year in April, my ever supportive husband and I decided to see what the fuss was about.
I had an unreasonably difficult pregnancy. For the first 6 months, I was glued to my toilet, even hospitalized because I was throwing up blood. The morning sickness really took a toll on me and I didn’t think I would make it to the end of the pregnancy. I had a few weeks of respite before issues from a car accident four years ago started cropping up. My pregnancy became a high risk one for pre term delivery and I was restricted to the confines of my home. I cannot even begin to describe all the thoughts that went through my head but what I can tell you is this; not once did I think ‘hmmm my dogs have got to go.’
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 I had these kids depending on me.
8 months later, my son Ayan was born and I can’t think of anything that could have prepared me as well for motherhood as my furry kids. 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. To all those people I will always say, NOT WITHOUT MY DOGS.’ “
These photos will prove to you these dogs are really a family to Sanjana and to her husband.
One big happy family, isn’t it?
Big sister was waiting for baby Ayan.
Oh, I mean everyone was waiting for the baby to come out!
So, what can you say about Sanjana’s courage to keep her dogs despite her difficult pregnancy?
I must say, bravo! Her courage means life.