Mom Sends Dog ‘Back To School’ To Cope With Empty Nest After Only Daughter Leaves For College

by Caralynn Lippo
Caralynn is a writer, native New Yorker, TV enthusiast, and dog mom to Hobbes.

Back-to-school season is both a stressful and celebratory time for many parents.

Moms and dads are often hit with a mix of emotions after shuffling their kids out of the house and onto the school bus, especially when it’s the kid’s very first day of school, or their very last.

Some moms choose to celebrate the occasion — like one exuberant mom whose first day of school photo recently went viral, with her less-than-impressed kids in the background. After all, summer may be fun, but it’s also stressful to have to look after your kids 24/7 without the occasional break that the Monday-through-Friday school days supply!

But one mom found her back-to-school picture days all behind her when her daughter grew up and started college — and she wasn’t very happy about it.

So, the nostalgic mom came up with a creative way to combat her empty nest syndrome.

Scroll through to see photos from this hilarious photo shoot!

Thumbnail Photos: Instagram / Nikki Stansberry // Instagram / @dukesthedoodle

[H/T: BuzzFeed]

Nikki Stansberry recently experienced that bittersweet moment that all parents simultaneously dread and crave when her daughter Kaylin left home for college.

Kaylin, 18, is attending Eastern Washington University as a freshman this fall.

For Nikki, being an empty nester isn’t exactly something she was looking forward to — especially because Kaylin is an only child.

“She’s my only one, so it’s going to be very tough,” Nikki told BuzzFeed.

When Nikki saw her Facebook friends who have younger kids sharing their back-to-school photos at the beginning of September, she was sad. According to Kaylin, annual photos on her first day of school were a necessary tradition.

“Whether I liked it or not, my mom always had to get some pictures in,” the teen told BuzzFeed.

Just when she was feeling down about not taking a back-to-school picture for the very first time in 14 years, Nikki looked over at her goldendoodle Duke and had a stroke of genius.

Nikki decided to dress up a very obliging Duke in his back-to-school finest and take pictures of him instead.

The hilarious mom sent the photos to her daughter, who shared them on Twitter. From there, the funny photos quickly went viral.

Duke is clearly a natural in front of the camera and a pro at working with props.

Just look at how perfectly still he stays while Nikki is taking the pictures!

I particularly love his little backpack and his glasses. Duke certainly looks very scholarly.

If I tried to put a backpack on my dog, he would have a fit and probably eat it.

Way to go, Duke!

Nikki dug up Kaylin’s old backpack and gave it to her “kinderdoodle” to complete the look.

Needless to say, people can’t get enough of sweet Duke’s “first day of school” photos.

“This is beautiful,” one Twitter user commented.

“I’M CRYING […] he is so precious,” another wrote.

Check out Duke’s Instagram account @dukesthedoodle for even more of the pup’s hilarious photo shoots.

If you absolutely love Nikki’s back-to-school pictures of Duke, don’t forget to SHARE this story on Facebook!