Finding a good home for a stray dog can be quite a challenge. But finding one for a stray pit bull — especially one who’s pregnant — is nearly impossible. Mama Pickles is a two-year-old pit bull with a caramel and white coat, golden-brown eyes, and a very full belly. She was abandoned by her previous owners and after a brief stint at a shelter that was unable to properly care for the pregnant dog, Mama Pickles wound up at the Pits and Giggles Rescues in Charlotte, North Carolina. The shelter specializes in assisting pregnant dogs without a home through their delivery and the first few months after the birth of their litter. As the name suggests, the organization mainly works with pit bulls and pit bull mixes.
Volunteers at the rescue — including photographer Lauren Casteen Sykes — fell in love with Mama Pickles’ playful disposition and decided she had the perfect personality to take part in a doggy maternity photoshoot. Sykes managed to capture several amazing photos of the pooch, including a few with her eight adorable puppies. Sykes told Insider that Mama Pickles struck the perfect balance between friendly and fierce, posing perfectly from one moment and stumbling over her big pregnant belly the next.
Mama Pickles poses during her maternity photo shoot. Lauren Casteen Sykes
“It took a lot of hands and tons of treats to help her focus on channeling that inner goddess!” Casteen Sykes told Insider.
Mama Pickles poses for a photo. Lauren Casteen Sykes
“She was amazing and you could really see her soaking up and loving the attention. She’s a typical pitty in the sense that she will do anything for pets and praise!”
Mama Pickles’ eight puppies. Lauren Casteen Sykes
“These dogs are just so incredibly special,” Casteen Sykes said. “They’ve gone through such a difficult journey. Having an opportunity to share that with people and help them find their homes is the most amazing feeling.”
Mama Pickles licks one of her puppies during the photo shoot. Lauren Casteen Sykes
“This rescue pours so much in to each of these families,” she added. “And makes absolutely certain everyone is spayed or neutered.”
Mama Pickles poses proudly with her baby girls. Lauren Casteen Sykes
“I can’t say enough about this awesome organization,” Casteen Sykes said. “I’m so excited to continue capturing these incredible mama dogs and sharing them so they find their way home!”
You can learn more about Pits & Giggles’ work or find information about volunteering or adopting at the organization’s website.