Dog Gets Very Own Graduation Picture So He Doesn't Feel Left Out

"We laughed for a good 10 minutes, then we cried a little out of proudness.”

Our pets can often seem like members of the family, especially when we do everything together. So when it comes time to celebrate life’s milestones, it only makes sense that our dogs and cats would join in too.

That’s exactly how Olivia Dufresne felt when her family dog Yogi turned 12 years old — the age one normally graduates elementary school in Quebec.

Yogi the dog with Pamela Dufresne in Quebec
Pamela Dufresne

Yogi, a Maltese-Yorkshire terrier-Shih Tzu mix, and his big sisters Pamela and Olivia Dufresne have a very close relationship. “We adore him and, even if he is not a human, we consider him a full member of our family,” Pamela Dufresne told The Dodo. “He is our little prince, our little treasure.”

Yogi has become such a big part of their lives that he almost seems human … almost.

Yogi, a Maltese-Yorkshire terrier-Shih Tzu mix dog
Pamela Dufresne

“He’s very intelligent, and he understands a lot of words that many dogs wouldn’t,” Dufresne said. “Talking to him is like talking to a human.” The sisters love spending afternoons playing hide-and-seek with Yogi, and when they’re not having fun, he’s an especially kind younger brother — always there when they need a little emotional support.

“When we cry, he tries to make us laugh by licking our tears,” Dufresne added. “When we have an argument, he puts himself between us.”

Yogi the dog plays with sisters
Pamela Dufresne

Being a dog, there is only so much Yogi can do, but that doesn’t stop the sisters from imagining what could be possible — if he just had a little less fur.

“Since we were young, my sister and I love to imagine different scenarios in which our dog acts like a human: going to school, playing soccer, crossing the border illegally, playing video games, getting arrested,” Dufresne said. “In our imagination, he did all those things!”

Yogi’s epic (and not so epic) imaginary adventures have been quite entertaining for his sisters, so when they started talking about Yogi graduating this year, Olivia decided to finally make it a reality.

Yogi the dog's graduation picture
Olivia Dufresne

“As a surprise, my sister Olivia decided to secretly make a graduation picture,” Dufresne added. “Then, while nobody was at home, she replaced an old baby picture that was hanging between me and my sister’s graduation pictures with our dog’s graduation picture.”

Yogi's graduation picture hangs over mantelpiece
Pamela Dufresne

The entire endeavor took a few hours of careful Photoshop work — but the effort was well worth it. In fact, Olivia almost did too good a job, as her family didn’t notice the swap on the mantel for quite some time.

“When we did, we laughed for a good 10 minutes, then we cried a little out of proudness,” Dufresne said. “To this day, Yogi’s graduation picture is the main attraction of the living room.”

Pamela Dufresne

Thankfully, the whole family is in agreement that Yogi’s picture deserves a place of honor. “It will probably stand there ‘til our death,” Dufresne added. “We love him so much!”

Yogi at home in Quebec
Pamela Dufresne

For Yogi's next birthday, his proud sisters are already plotting how to mark their brother’s next major milestone — his teenage years.