Like many other pet owners around the world, Aditya Raheja and Sanjana Madappa consider their fur babies to be part of their family.
But when the couple conceived their first human child they came under enormous pressure to give up their dogs.
The couple, from Bangalore, India, took to Facebook to explain that friends, family members and even doctors had advised them to get rid of their five rescue dogs. But they refused.
Instead of shying away from criticism, the couple staged a defiant maternity photoshoot that included their furry friends.
Madappa, who works at an animal charity, said she's proud that she got through her difficult pregnancy without putting her dogs up for adoption.
"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," she writes.
"So last year in April, my ever supportive husband and I decided to see what the fuss was about."
Madappa, who gave birth to baby Ayan in December, suffered from severe morning sickness for the first six months of her pregnancy. At times she even vomited blood and was considered to have a high risk of premature delivery. But she never considered giving her dogs away.
"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'," she recalls.
"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. Leela 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."
And Madappa says having five dogs around helped her prepare for motherhood.
"I can't think of anything that could have prepared me as well for motherhood as my furry kids," she said.
Answering her critics, Madappa says that she couldn't abandon one family member so that she could make way for another. "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," she explains.
"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."