Olivia Dufresne said when her family dog Yogi turned 12 years old, it was time to celebrate one of life’s milestones. That is the age one normally graduates elementary school in Quebec. Because our pets often seem like members of the family, especially when we do everything together.
Yogi, a Maltese-Yorkshire terrier-Shih Tzu mix, and his big sisters Pamela and Olivia Dufresne have are very close.
“We adore him and, even if he is not a human, we consider him a full member of our family,” Pamela Dufresne said. “He is our little prince, our little treasure.”
Yogi is such a big part of their lives, he acts almost human.
“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 time playing hide-and-seek with Yogi. Yogi is 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.”
“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 adventures have been quite entertaining for his sisters! When the sisters began talking about Yogi graduating this year, they decided to finally make it a reality.
“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 with me and my sister’s graduation pictures with our dog’s graduation picture.”
This took a few hours of careful Photoshop work, but the effort was well worth it. Olivia did such a good a job, 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.”
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’s 13th birthday is on March 31, and his sisters are already plotting how to mark their brother’s teenage years.
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