If you know someone who’s given birth in the past few years, there’s a good chance you’ve been to a gender reveal party. They’re the latest trend in the baby game: expecting parents reveal the gender of their future baby to close family and friends, usually by revealing something either blue or pink, like confetti or the inside of a cake. They usually make for a good photoshoot.
You see them all the time on Facebook and Instagram, and the really clever ones usually go viral. But one of the most adorable “gender reveals” isn’t for a baby at all.
Instead, one photographer and her friend used the idea to make another precious announcement.
Carlye Allen, a photographer from Lufkin, Texas, did a photoshoot with her friend Joy Stone, which at first seems to be part of a straightforward gender reveal:
But instead of revealing, say, pink balloons, Joy revealed something different:
Her new puppy!
Joy unveiled her 7-week-old golden retriever mix. It would be a fun way for anyone to reveal their new pet, but this photoshoot had an inspiring backstory behind it.
The puppy in the photos was a rescue. She had been abandoned with four siblings at a Texas railroad track. Carlye’s friend Gracie Gonzalez, with My Puppy Love Pet Sitting, took the puppies into her home.
Carlye saw her friend’s photos on Facebook, and passed it along to Joy, who she knew was looking for a new pet.
“She and her husband were wanting to adopt a rescue pup, and I thought that this one would be a perfect addition to their family,” Carlye told WIS.
“It was love at first sight,” Carlye told Bored Panda. “Joy knew that she wanted to give the puppy a new home, but decided to keep it a secret from her husband. I drove two hours to pick up the puppy, and Joy drove hours to meet me.”
Since the new puppy was going to be a surprise for Joy’s husband, the friends took the opportunity to do something fun. With Carlye’s professional photography skills and some decorations on hand, they came up with the “gender reveal” idea.
“I was a hostess for a shower the day prior and happened to have a tank of helium and extra balloons in my trunk,” Carlye told WIS. “I joked about doing a gender reveal to my friend, and she loved the idea. Fifteen minutes later, we were in my yard snapping pictures.”
While keeping the puppy in the metal tub took some work, the photoshoot went smoothly, thanks to some naturally chemistry between the pup and his new dog mom.
“The photoshoot wasn’t hard at all. In fact, it only took about 15 minutes,” Carlye told Bored Panda. “The emotion captured between the puppy and Joy was not prompted. Joy was excited to have a new companion, and the puppy was excited to have a new mom.”
Joy’s husband was reportedly “thrilled” by the new puppy. They are both avid Star Wars fans, and named the puppy Rey, after the protagonist of the recent movies.
“She is so sweet and has loved everyone she has met so far,” Joy told ABC News. “She can also get extremely playful and absolutely loves running around and playing with [the couple’s black lab] Kairi.”
The photo album has been shared over 143,000 times on Facebook. After the photos went viral, the friends decided to use the publicity to do good. In another Facebook post, Carlye announced that she, Joy and Gracie had partnered with Kurth Memorial Animal Shelter to host a “Doggie and Me” photoshoot, taking donations that would go towards supplies for the shelter.
The past couple of days have been overwhelmingly joyful. We never expected quite the response from our impromptu puppy…
It’s an adorable set of photos with an even more precious story behind them.
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