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Lauren Fern Watt‘s English Mastiff was recently diagnosed with terminal bone cancer.

She knew that, relatively soon, her best friend was about to go away forever. And that’s no understatement. Fern Watt’s dog Gizelle had been with her through everything: A scary move to New York City, the new faces of college, the never-ending drama of boyfriends and the soul-searching period of her early 20s.

“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?” She wrote in her blog.

At first, the news was devastating. But Gizelle decided to “bury [their] worries in the dog park” and create a tribute worthy of such an amazing friend. She created a bucket-list adventure of all the things they wanted to do together before Gizelle died.

“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.”

Fern Watt said the journey not only helped her cope with losing her dog, it was an experience she’ll never forget. Here is her personal account of the experience: