The Moving Story Behind This Newly Adopted Dog’s ‘Birth’ Photos

Written by: Arin Greenwood

February 1, 2016

The doggie “birth” photos were unplanned, and deeply meaningful.

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Sidney Dell and her husband Aaron had been trying to conceive a child for several years, without success.

“I was feeling hopeless and realized that one of the few things getting me through were my dogs and my family! We realized that a baby probably wasn’t in our near future so we started considering a third dog,” Dell tells BarkPost. “Aaron and I are probably the definition of crazy dog people, we are the ones that go to a party or event and hang out with the dogs.”

Copper Pumpkin Spice is a wee pup who’d been kept outside on a chain, along with his siblings and mom. A Good Samaritan convinced the dogs’ owner to give them up, and all were put up for adoption in the fall.

Dell and her husband saw little Copper online, and had that feeling he was the one.

“His foster mom called him a Tasmanian devil so I knew he could handle Luci and Meeka” — the couple’s other two dogs — says Dell.

They drove 1.5 hours to meet Copper at his foster mom’s house. The dog was sleepy, and irresistible.

They adopted him on November 18, 2015.

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Dell’s best friend Julie Marks is a photographer who specializes in newborns. Dell had thought about memorializing her third dog’s adoption with a shoot.

“I haven’t had the opportunity to have a baby to do that with so I thought this would be a fun idea,” she says.

This particular pictures came about spontaneously. The day he was adopted, Copper and Dell went to Marks’ house for a visit.

Copper, who’d had a very big day, conked out from exhaustion.

Marks thought the moment was right. She rocked him, and stroked his face, “just like she does in a new born baby’s session,” says Dell. “He slept like a rock and let her swaddle him and readjust him without even a flinch.”


Dell describes the hour-long photo session as “amazing.” She loved watching her friend attend to Cooper; she loves the result.

“As unplanned as the photo shoot was I am so glad it happened the way it did because I feel like Copper and I were able to bond,” Dell says.


Dell and Aaron are still hoping that their future will include a human child. They are open to adoption; they are just excited at the possibility of sharing their love with a tiny person.

Now, a couple of months after Copper’s adoption, the family that they have is thriving.

“Copper immediately fit right in our home,” says Dell.

Of course, being a puppy, Copper is prone to misbehaving. Just like all new parents with a rascal on their hands, Dell especially likes to look at Copper’s birth photos during those moments.

“When he is doing his naughtiest puppy shenanigans, I pull them out to remind me of how cute he can be,” she says.


Written by: Arin Greenwood

February 1, 2016

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A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.


A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.