Lauren Fern Watt and her English Mastiff, Gizelle, had been on many adventures in their eight years together. So when Lauren got the heartbreaking news that her beloved friend had been diagnosed with bone cancer and had only a few months left to live, she knew that they had to fit as many new experiences in as they could in a short time. Lauren was determined to make the remainder of Gizelle's life as beautiful and exciting as the years that had come before it. And so she created the perfect "bucket list" for her four-legged friend.
Ride in a canoe
See Times Square
Cook (and eat) lobster in Maine
Eat ice cream on a dock
Go on a road trip
Cuddle as much as possible
Spend a whole day at Washington Square Park
Go to a party and meet a cute boy dog
Find the best doughnut in the world
Meet Santa (or at least his pug-shaped helpers!)
In her tribute to Gizelle published on Yahoo Travel, Lauren said of their last bucket list item, "I was told Gizelle wouldn’t make it until Christmas, but in January we sat by the ocean in Maine as it snowed the day before she died. Part of me wondered if this was her plan all along, to take me on an adventure, knowing we’d end up on a deserted beach alone. The sky was white, the trees were bare, and even the birds were hiding. The whole world felt lifeless, and it was hard to believe this beach was once filled with rainbow-colored umbrellas and cute boys lathered in SPF. It was then I realized that I was okay with letting Gizelle go."
"Just like I had faith that the trees would sprout lime green leaves again and kids with yellow buckets would splash in the water once more, I had faith I’d carry Gizelle with me. Even in the emptiness of that beach that day, I could see Gizelle running free long the shore, rolling in the sand, awkwardly spooked by approaching waves."