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Gizelle's Bucket List

My Life with a Very Large Dog


The epic adventure of a 160-pound English Mastiff and the twentysomething girl who grew up alongside her—“as much a story about growing up as about letting go of things that cannot be changed…and a reminder of the profound healing connection that can exist between humans and the pets they love” (Kirkus Reviews).

When Lauren Fern Watt moved to New York after college, she took her 160-pound English Mastiff, Gizelle, with her. And though it wasn’t easy, she managed to find a dog-friendly (albeit tiny) apartment in the middle of it all—Times Square. Gizelle was there for Lauren’s first job, her mother’s struggle with addiction, her New York romances, and the ups and downs of becoming an adult in the big city. But when Gizelle got sick, Lauren realized her best friend might not be such a constant after all, and she designed an epic bucket list to make the absolute most of the time they had left.

Bursting with charm, Gizelle’s Bucket List is “an inspirational, uplifting experience that will leave you feeling that anything is possible. For anyone who has had a pet; who has loved and lost; who has hoped for the future, this is an enchanting story of an unlikely journey that will stay with you for a long time” (Elle, UK).

Photograph © Raphye Alexius

Lauren Watt was born in Dallas, Texas, and grew up in the suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee. After college, she moved to a tiny New York apartment with her 160-pound English Mastiff, Gizelle. Her first book, Gizelle’s Bucket List, has been translated into eleven languages and optioned for film.

"Watt proves courageous. She reckons with her romantic relationship before Gizelle’s death and begins to make peace with her mother’s long-standing addiction. For anyone who’s ever owned and lost a dog, this account holds familiar strains of sadness, comfort, and hope."

"As much a story about growing up as about letting go of things that cannot be changed, Watt's book is also a reminder of the profound healing connection that can exist between humans and the pets they love. A tender, heartfelt story."
Kirkus Reviews

"An extraordinary book—wonderfully moving, beautifully written, and sure to resonate with anyone lucky enough to have loved an animal who changed her life. This one will earn a permanent spot in your library and in your heart."
—Gwen Cooper, New York Times bestselling author of HOMER’S ODYSSEY: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned about Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat

"Lauren Fern Watt poignantly captures the unique joy and heartbreak of sharing one's life with a great dog and how such a dog's love and loyalty can carry us through life's moments big and small."
—Teresa Rhyne, New York Times bestselling author of THE DOG LIVED (AND SO WILL I)

"Gizelle’s Bucket List explores the unique bond—a complete integration of spirits—that can occur between a human and a dog and make us better than who we were. Told with humor and compassion, this book will also move you to tears."
—Larry Levin, New York Times bestselling author of OOGY: The Dog Only a Family Could Love

"There are a thousand ways to say good-bye to someone who has stolen your heart. Gizelle's Bucket List is one of the best: sad and funny, wise and uplifting."
—Ted Kerasote, nationally bestselling author of MERLE’S DOOR: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog

"Gizelle—big-bodied, big-spirited, inconveniently big at times—is a big-hearted mastiff in declining health who uses a bucket list tour, a loving gift from her human (the author), to quietly wiggle a return gift into Lauren’s own big heart."
—Steve Wolf, author of COMET’S TALE: How the Dog I Rescued Saved My Life

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