We’re rounding up some of our favorite dog stories of the year—and this one can’t be missed! When Brazilian photographer Ana Paula Grillo took photos of her neighbors’ pregnant dog Lilica, she didn’t know they’d take the world by storm. Within a few days, hundreds of thousands of people had admired the photos, as news outlets of all kinds picked up the story.
The idea of a dog maternity shoot may seem strange to us, but it turns out that maternity shoots are a really big deal in Brazil. Of course, their subjects are usually expectant human moms! Last year, NPR reported on the trend, which is only growing in popularity there. Every weekend, Rio de Janeiro’s parks are filled with pregnant women and photographers documenting their every move.
So for Lilica’s family, the photo shoot was only natural. Lilica, a four year-old pinscher mix, beams radiantly in all of her pictures. Grillo attached a bright pink flower to her special collar, and it became the look seen around the internet.
For Grillo, it was a dream project. She’s an animal lover who volunteers to help stray and abandoned pets in her spare time, and has often taken photos of animals professionally, too. In an interview with The Dodo, she said, “it was amazing. [Lilica] smiled in a way that was just so nice.”
Believe it or not, Grillo captured these images just one day before Lilica gave birth! She had a litter of five healthy puppies, all of whom secured loving homes.
It goes without saying that Lilica deserves her fame. These photos are stunning. Enjoy them…and don’t forget the importance of spaying and neutering pets. Not only does it reduce the population of homeless animals, but it also has numerous health benefits for cats and dogs.