When Lauren found out that her best friend, a 160-pound English Mastiff, had only a few months left, she was devastated.
Lauren and Gizelle had been through a lot together. This dog wasn’t only her best friend – she was her roommate, confident, and companion through difficult moments as well as happy ones.
But Gizelle didn’t like to see Lauren cry, because she would get depressed too. So Lauren decided she had to be strong and do something special for Gizelle. So she took her on a bucket list adventure.
“Doing a bucket list for Gizelle not only helped me cope with losing her, it was also one wild ride. It helped me live in the present and see life for what it truly is: a sweet, simple, precious adventure.”
Here are some of their favorite adventures.
1. Ride in a canoe
They often watched The Little Mermaid together, and one of their favorite scenes was the one in which Ariel is chauffeured in a row boat by Prince Eric.
2. See Times Square
They went very early when the streets were not crowded and stood at the Crossroads of the World for a few moments. It was magical.
3. Cook lobster in Maine
4. Eat ice cream on a dock
They found a quiet dock where they could peacefully have an ice cream, observe the boats float by, and enjoy. Gizelle loved it!
5. Go on a road trip
Lauren, her friend Rebecca, and Gizelle went on a four-day girls-only road trip across New England. They left all problems behind and traveled without a particular destination in mind and navigating with a paper atlas. The only true problem during the trip was trying to figure out if Gizelle preferred Taylor Swift or the Beach Boys.
6. Cuddle as much as possible
Gizelle was bigger than Lauren, but that didn’t matter.
“She helped teach me that love is the most wonderful gift I can receive, and it is the best thing I have to give. My lap became her desired seat, and it was awesome.”
7. Spend a whole day at Washington Square Park
They sat for a whole day in Washington Square Park in downtown N.Y.C. and crowd watched.
8. Go to a party and meet a cute boy dog
Gizelle had always been Lauren’s wing girl, so now it was her turn.
9. Find the best doughnut in the world
They went on a quest to find a family-owned doughnut-store recommended by a friend. It was located up the coast of Maine. They ate the whole box sitting in the grass.
10. Meet Santa
Lauren knew that 2014 would be Gizelle’s last Christmas, so she really wanted her to meet Santa.
11. Sit on the beach in the winter
The vet said that Gizelle wouldn’t make it until Christmas, but in January we sat in the beach in Maine while it snowed the day before she passed away. She asked herself if this was her plan the whole time, to take her on an adventure.
“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. I knew she would live on through my experiences, and that I gave her the best life I could. And that to me was infinitely healing.”
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