When my 160-pound English Mastiff was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer, I was crushed. Together Gizelle and I had been through college, boyfriends, our early 20s, and a move from simple Tennessee to big and scary New York City. This dog wasn’t just my best friend — she was my roommate and confidant. What does the vet mean she only has a few months left?
My sobbing seemed unstoppable, but Gizelle was sensitive and didn’t like to see me cry. I had to be strong. So I decided we would bury our worries in the dog park and create a bucket-list adventure of everything we wanted to do before she died. It was my mission for us to indulge and explore life’s joys. We’d escape the city and search for waterfalls, cook lobster, and nap in the grass. We’d jump in the ocean without towels, just to enjoy the sun drying us, and never stress about details like sand in the car.
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. So paw in hand, we packed our bags and set off. Here are some of our favorite adventures.