I Took My Dying Dog on a Bucket List Adventure – by Lauren Fern Watt

A post with words to make every dog owner hug their own a little tighter today. Creative and beautifully written, you’ll love and laugh and cry for Gizelle and her owner, Lauren.

Kindness Blog

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…

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Doodle “Thanks”

My precious pooch of fluffy white will go through surgery tomorrow morning to repair a torn meniscus and ACL in his left rear leg.  Yes, this doodle dog of mine seems to be living with “Chronic Conditions.”  Like me and others in my family.  This will be his third surgery on two of his four fuzzy legs within the last three years.  It will be followed by another eight weeks of rehab here at my home.  When I asked the vet if I had any other possible options, there was only one.  “You could put him down,” she said, adding “I don’t think you want to do that.”

Obviously the good doctor is right.  No, I do not want to put my Doodle dog “down” simply because he had an accident with his leg.  I am his mother in a way.  Several years ago, when this four pound cream puff climbed into my lap, up my arm and licked my face…he stole my heart along the way.  How can I put a price on that?  No way….

So tomorrow at 8 am, Doodles will be dropped off at a little building of red brick and burnished stone with windows of bright light.  There, he’ll silently sleep while the skill of a surgeon’s hands will repair his injured leg.

Doodles would like to thank everyone for their best wishes and prayers.  No more pain, no more surgeries….ever.  Please????

Cute Bichon Frise puppy sitting on grey background

Prayers for “Doodle” Dog

Upon returning from vacation last Saturday evening, I learned of my beloved “Doodle” dog’s injury. Opening the door to plop overstuffed bags down on my entry tile floor, a familiar howl of excitement greeted me.  There he was!  A fluffy white head cocked to the side as if to say, “Where have you been?  “Why did you leave me?”

Doodles did not jump upon my leg in order to be petted or picked-up as expected …a telltale sign.  Instead, dark eyes stared wide and open, misty even…pleading in puppy-dog communication.  His nose, normally jet black and moist to the touch appeared coca-brown, uneven in color.  Bending down for a kiss, it felt warm and slightly rough upon my lips gentle brush.  A few seconds later, Doodles limped away from me.

It was midnight, what could I do?  Doodles lay upon my bed the whole night through.  A few hours later, the first appointment available was made at the vet for 10:00 pm.  There was nothing to be done except to make him as comfortable as possible and wait.  Sunday near midnight, I learned of the extent of Doodles injury.  In fairness to our pet sitter, she texted me earlier in the week to let me know that he had been running when suddenly he stopped with a short yelp.  Afterwards, he started limping.  It wasn’t her fault and she certainly didn’t know how serious it was.  Accidents happen.

My dog-baby has completely torn most of the ligaments in his left-rear leg and blown his ACL.  I’d like to believe otherwise, but most likely he will need surgery.  An appointment is made to see a specialist and surgeon early next week.  Until then, he’s on medication, sleeping on a fuzzy fleece bed to the side of my half-moon desk.

Normally, I take this kind of news in stride except Doodles has already had two surgeries on a different leg at two different times for the same reason.  Two surgeries, two months of rehab (each), lots of $$$$ with a tremendous risk, a lot of pain, and no guarantees…ever.  I’m used to living with “Chronic Conditions,” but my “Doodle” dog?  Ironic it is and yet….not so much.   So, here I go again, what to do?

Doodles is a member of my family.  He rises with me in the dawn of morn to sit beneath my desk until the dusk of night.  He follows behind me trotting to the coffee pot, not caring if my bathrobe is scraggly or that my hair isn’t combed.  He cherishes a ride in my convertible and loves to feel wind whisper fluffy white fur atop his cotton candy head. Glancing at him in side view mirrors, a smile spreads across my face to see such euphoria.  Each passing car toots a horn at the sight of such pooch delight!

During each and every day, Doodles sits upon my lap to watch fingers tap letters from black keys, cocking his head in wonder as they move up and down.  Sometimes a fresh groomed paw will push them away, stopping the flow.  When it does, I scoop him up.

With a furry body of four long legs together with tender paws, we seek an adventure in the out of doors.  Together, we breathe fresh air deep into our lungs while feeling the warmth of the sun.  He stops to sniff hidden scents under dark green shrubbery along chipped sidewalk paths of poured cement while walking on a leash, frayed and painted in our team of “Cardinal” red.  Happy, he is.

That’s all I want for my “Doodle” dog.  Happiness…and to live and walk again without an ounce of pain.



“Doodle” Bandit

There I was in the midst of, ‘everything.’  Running around and about, I was busy cleaning up, sorting mail, and emptying trash when I saw them.  Crumbles of hard caramel-colored pieces sprinkled here and there.  They were left in a trail thoughout the house much like “Hansel and Gretel” would do in their fairy tale.

Nubby golden nuggets shaken like salt and pepper led me down the hall through my bedroom to the point of origin.  The door was wide open to my walk in closet.  Sitting on the floor where I had left it the night before was the small tote bag that I had carried on the plane.  Peeking through the zippered opening to see,  was only a warm fuzzy blanket.  The rest was a mystery to me.

So, I shut the door to go about my day.  I did not have time to play.  Still, everywhere I went were  reminders of the evidence.  Wherever I walked, wherever I stepped, nubby brown nuggets stuck to the bottom of my feet.  Then, up from the stairs bounded my favorite fluffy fur ball, jumping into my lap with greetings of love.  It was my “Doodle” dog.  Ha!  I had my answer now.  Surely, he was the one.   I needed to find out what he had done….

Like a white creme puff, I carried him to my closet where I opened my tote to get to the bottom.   Slowly, I unraveled the warm fuzzy blanket.  Shaking it out, more  crumbles fell out.  All of a sudden a crackling sound could be heard.  Clear cellophane paper appeared!

Sitting on the beige carpet, I looked to my left where Doodles sat upright together with two white legs and black paws, in front.   Like a small child, he knew he’d been caught.  He  knew he’d been found out.   Beneath his dark eyes and under his black nose, the evidence was clear.  Looking closer now, I could see.  It was there, underneath his chin.  Chocolate that he had tried to lick off, but couldn’t quite reach.

In my closet, in my tote, Doodles had sniffed it out.  He dug through the blanket to ‘carefully’ scratch open the cellophane, paw by paw.  The clear was not slit down the middle nor shredded to bits.  No, he was smarter than that.  He lifted a piece of my favorite sponge candy out of the fancy wrapped bag, one piece at a time.  Like you or I would do.  It was obvious he didn’t, ‘wolf it down.’  No, he finished the first before returning for the second.   Perhaps he was saving a bite for me?

You may wonder why I’m writing this, but I have a lesson here.  This is not the first time…..  I should have learned by now from this “Doodle Bandit” of mine.  My dog is addicted to chocolate.  I’ve called the vet who has told me that some dogs are allergic to chocolate.  They may get sick or even worse.   Not Doodles.   He simply steals and devours it with glee.

Long ago I came home when he was just a pup to find an up-opened box of Godiva chocolates sitting oddly on the floor.  I took the lid off.  A few were missing.  Others were pinched.  Yes, pinched by a small white paw.  The box was perfect.  No papers out of place, no chocolate to be found anywhere.

Crazy I know, but isn’t that what a cat burglar would do?