Lauren Fern Watt‘s posted this great story of the last days of her English Mastiff, Gizelle. Gizelle was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer and Lauren was told that she only had months to live. The two grew up together, and as it goes with dogs – they became best friends.
When Lauren heard Gizelle’s time on Earth was coming to an end she decided to take her on a little farewell adventure. As you’ll see in the pictures below, it looks like the trip helped improve not only Gizelle’s life, but Lauren’s as well. Lauren said it helped her live life in the present and see her time here for what it is: a sweet, simple, precious adventure.” So with paw in hand (pun intended), they packed their bags and set off to complete Gizelle’s bucket list.
Step 1: Canoe Ride!
All dogs love water. Or at least most dogs. Gizelle liked not only the water – she also liked The Little Mermaid. So Lauren summoned her inner Prince Eric and rowed the 160lb Gizelle around the lake. In the above picture you can see Gizelle enjoying a light breeze as she rests her head on the side of the canoe.
TL:DR – Dog goes boating in beautiful lake.
Step 2: Visit Times Square…
Lauren and Gizelle normally avoided Times Square because of the crowds, but they managed one more trip by going early in the morning. Here you can see Gizelle enjoying Times Square before she departed on her…
Step 3: Road Trip!
A four-day road trip through New England, to be exact. The girls took turns sticking their heads out the window and dancing to music, most of the trip was spent discussing if Gizelle preferred Taylor Swift or the Beach Boys. We’re gonna go with Taylor Swift.
Step 4: Sample local delicacies… (Gizelle Ate Lobster in Maine)
Lauren traveled all the way to Well’s Beach in Maine so Gizelle would have only the best lobsters. Lauren let the lobsters loose and seemed to get along with Gizelle, but they decided to eat the crustacean anyways. Lauren felt bad starting such a short-lived friendship but, as you can see in the picture – the two clearly they had a moment. Shortly after, Gizelle was eating hot buttered lobster chunks. They’re probably now hanging out in heaven, having an awkward conversation.
Step 5: Enjoy Ice Cream!
In Manhattan it’s easy to forget the simple pleasures in life so Lauren made it her mission to find a quiet dock where Gizelle could eat ice cream, watch boats float by and enjoy life. No trendy truffle-oil gelato or fancy flavors, they ate plain vanilla ice cream and loved it.
Step 6: Cuddle Often…
Sure Gizelle was bigger than Lauren, but that didn’t matter. After Lauren discovered Gizelle was dying, dog hair on the furniture and slobber on her face didn’t seem to matter anymore, she just wanted to spend time with her friend.
Lauren says those last few months helped teach her that love is the most wonderful gift she could receive and the most wonderful thing she has to give. Lauren’s lap became Gizelle’s favorite seat, and these moments are some of Lauren’s favorite memories.
Step 7: Last Day at the Park!
Gizelle loved the park so the pair spent an entire day roaming NYC’s Washington Square Park. Gizelle attracted lots of new friends that day, and with that face – who can blame ’em?
Step 8: Party with Cute Boy Dogs…
Gizelle was always Lauren’s wing girl when she wanted to meet guys in the East Village so now it was Lauren’s turn to hook up Gizelle. Her friend was having a party with some single dogs – so Gizelle went looking to meet someone special. As fate would have it, she met the cute blonde above, Auggie.
Step 9: Eat the World’s Best Doughnuts!
Gizelle’s appetite deteriorated with her health, but Lauren knew she loved donuts. A friend suggested the two head to Congdon’s Donuts, in Wells Maine. As you can see above – they were both glad they did. The duo sat together in the grass and ate the entire box. Sounds like the perfect… dog day.
Step 10: Meet Santas Paws…
2014 was Gizelle’s last Christmas, but she got to meet these three awesome Santa’s before she left. Gizelle might be afraid of a tall fat man with a big white beard, but she definitely wasn’t scared of these adorable little Santa Pugs. Lauren gave them Gizelle’s Christmas list before leaving: Rib eyes, hot dogs and vanilla ice cream!
Enjoy a Wintry Beach.
Gizelle wasn’t expected to make it until Christmas, but all the fun adventures helped her last until January. Clearly Gizelle was a strong girl. Here you can see the pair on a peaceful beach in Maine – it later began to snow, and this would be the last full day the two friends would spend together. Gizelle passed from this life the next day, peacefully – and surely satisfied.
“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 along 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.”
More of Lauren and Gizelle @ laurenfernwatt.com