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Gizelle's Bucket List: My Life with a Very Large Dog

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  1,084 ratings  ·  256 reviews
The playful, epic adventure of a 160-pound English Mastiff and the twentysomething girl who grew up alongside her—Marley & Me for a whole new generation.

Lauren Watt took her 160-pound English Mastiff to college—so of course after graduation, Gizelle followed Lauren to her first, tiny apartment in New York. Because Gizelle wasn’t just a dog; she was a roommate, sister, conf
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 7th 2017 by Simon Schuster
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Judy On page 48, when Lauren is describing her first apartment in New York, she tells about how she and Kimmy looked for abandoned furniture. "Kimmy's dad …moreOn page 48, when Lauren is describing her first apartment in New York, she tells about how she and Kimmy looked for abandoned furniture. "Kimmy's dad even found a couch on the street by their house in Hartford after a rainstorm. It was nothing short of hideous... We marched it to the back of Rio's patio and it became affectionately known as Swamp Thang."(less)

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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  1,084 ratings  ·  256 reviews

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Éimhear (A Little Haze)
Feb 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Dog lovers everywhere and fans of stories about New York
I am an unabashed dog lover. I firmly subscribe to the view that your life isn't complete until you've got a furry canine companion to share your days with. My family got our first puppy when I was still very tiny. And then our second came along soon after. These dogs were my childhood. They were there every step of the way. And when they died, as dogs inevitably long before us do, my young heart didn't know if it could ever love as much again. But my parents gave me another dog, a gorgeous west ...more
Dash fan
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
This is a beautiful heart-felt book about a story of love and friendship between a girl and her dog and their adventures on their bucket list.

I can truly say this book has taken me on a journey of emotions, I have shed a few tears, laughed alot, but most of all been on a huge journey with Lauren and Gizelle of discovery, love, friendship and adventure.

This book is very close to my heart as I have had 3 dogs since I was a baby and my current cockerpoo is now 6years old and he is my baby boy I lo
Karen R
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
As a dog lover, I could not resist reading this book. So glad I did. It is a touching and delightful tale. Author Lauren Fern Wright shares her journey through life’s joys and challenges accompanied by her loveable and loyal 160 lb. dog Gizelle. At times laugh out loud funny and other times sad, Lauren writes from the heart and pens a wonderful tribute to her best friend and confidente. Well-done.
Jessica White
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I write this with tears all over my keyboard and my precious pup tucked under my arm.
This makes me want to love on my dog a little more than usual tonight.
You never know when something bad could happen and after reading this I'm hoping it never does.
When Lauren was 19 years old, she picked up her best friend Gizelle. She knew her puppy was going to be big, but she didn't realize she would be a 160 pound big puppy.
Their story starts here and grows.
From Nashville, to New York City, to Maine.
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely beautiful. When I borrowed this book I was not really sure what a 'bucket list' was. Now I know and of course there is always an underlying sadness and poignancy throughout the book. A lot of life is like that though isn't it and without a doubt the best parts too. Well done author and Gizelle just beautiful. ...more
This is the new Marley and Me for sure; there’s even a movie version in the works already. Watt and her mother adopted Gizelle, an English mastiff puppy, on a whim one day while Watt was a nineteen-year-old Tennessee college student. After graduation she and Gizelle moved to New York City, miraculously finding a Times Square apartment that would fit two humans plus one enormous dog. It’s easy to sympathize with the author’s feeling of being out of her depth, even after she landed a boyfriend and ...more
Apr 18, 2018 rated it liked it
easy going read about the author and her dog gizelle and their life together and the final times together
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is every animal lovers heart in a written format. This book made me laugh, it made me cry, and most of all it made me so grateful for my 'fur children.' I am very much of the mindset that animals are part of our lives for reasons and this book reconfirmed that for me.

In this book we get to join Lauren and Gizelle (her Mastiff) recount Gizelle's life and a bucket list adventure. The book is a beautiful tribute to her dear friend and it made me cry. I love that connection they shared and
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a big crying mess as I write this review. This is a sweet, very heart-wrenching story about a girl, Lauren, and her very big dog, Gizelle, that is her dearest companion and friend, and making the best of that big, beautiful dog's last days. The book was well written and really kept me captivated from the time Lauren first brings Gizelle home, their time in college together, their move to New York City and trying to find an apartment large enough to fit an English Mastiff, to their last days ...more
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Generally speaking, I hate to disparage any book about a dog. I love dogs and have lost dogs, so I picked this up on a whim after seeing at the library. Don't get me wrong - I loved Gizelle! I just didn't love her person. And I don't think her person is a very good writer. I will admit I don't know anything about English Mastiffs, but having one in a NYC apartment seems unbelievable to me - didn't Gizelle deserve more space? Also, when she began failing, Lauren kept her alive too long, completin ...more
The Blonde Bookworm
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a dog lover, I knew I was going to love this book. I have grown up with at least two dogs in my house at all times, and we always treated our dogs as people instead of animals. They ate leftovers from our dinner, they slept in our beds, and they rode next to us in the car to school everyday. They were always much more than just a pet, they were family to us. When you become attached to a dog, there is a small part of you that knows you'll have to say goodbye to them one day, but you always tr ...more
This was a sweet story! Leaving home, finding your first apartment and job is a big task for a young woman. Throw in a 160 pound dog and you know there are going to be some interesting adventures. With the help of her huge mastiff - Gizelle, Lauren grows up and learns some important life lessons - what love is and what it is not. And she learns the hardest lesson of all - how to say goodbye. 3.5 stars.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy and the opportunity to review t
Laura Harrison
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Possibly even better than Marley and Me. Well writing, engaging-loved it!
Jennifer Blankfein
If you love your dog like I do you will be reading this in one sitting and through tears from page 150 to the end! Have you hugged your pup today? Loved this heartwarming story!
Dedra ~ A Book Wanderer
I was provided an advance copy of this novel from the publisher through Netgalley.

Anyone who knows me well knows I don't like dogs. Dogs and I have a troubled past. I was chased by them as a child, bitten recently when out for a bike ride, and just generally fearful of them. So no one was more surprised than me when I requested to read this touching memoir about one of the largest breeds of dogs. AND when I kept postponing this read--finally purging many of my Netgalley arcs when I had been too
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
A couple of months ago Simon and Schuster offered me a free copy of Gizelle's Bucket List - My life with a very large dog by Lauren Fern Watt in exchange for an honest review. As a dog owner I had to read this. It sounded so intriguing and although it had been on my TBR for a while before I managed to pick it up it was so worth it.

This book should actually come with at least two other recommendations.

1. Grab some tissues.
2. Snuggle up with your puppy.

Lauren picks up this big English Mastiff pupp
La La
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to La La by: Everyone who loves dogs.
This book was about so much more than a girl and her dog. It was about family, addiction, friendship, change, relationships, growing up, letting go, and living life. The ending of the story destroyed me, so this is about all you are going to get from me as to a review right now.

I have not read a dog book in ages, especially a true story narrative, and I enjoyed it exceedingly more than I presumed I would. In the beginning I thought it was going to be a nice quick little read about the misadventu
Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'd give it more than 5 stars if I could! What a beautiful life. So glad the author chose to share it with the world. ...more
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love, love, love. Such a beautiful tribute to a special dog. A must read for all animals lovers. Get out the box of tissues because you're going to need it! Thank you Goodreads and Simon & Schuster for the Advance Reader's Edition. ...more
Paul Pessolano
Jan 19, 2017 rated it liked it
“Gizelle’s Bucket List, My Life with a Very Large Dog” by Lauren Fern Watt, published by Simon and Schuster.

Category – Memoir Publication Date – March 07, 2017.

There is not much one can say about a book about a dog other than you have to read it.

This is the story of Lauren Fern Watt and he dog, Gizelle. Lauren got Gizelle as a pub, well one should say that Gizelle is an English Mastiff and pub and small do not apply. Lauren took Gizelle to college, and upon graduation Gizelle weighed in at over
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So I knew this wasn't the best day to be reading a story about a dog that had a bucket list. Anyone who reads my reviews regularly knows I mention my animals a lot, and recently I lost on of them completely unexpectedly. I love animals though, and animal fiction just as much, and somehow experiencing someone else's love and loss helped a little.

This book is beautiful, deeply personal and well written. Even with Austin on my mind constantly, this provided a distraction. Five stars.
Mar 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I read this book in one sitting, during a plane ride. As the owner of a very large dog who passed away from osteosarcoma myself, this book resonated with me. It felt very familiar, from loving that giant puppy, to people's crazy questions and commentary, to connections made over the magnificent beast and to feeling there were things I wouldn't normally do, but could be confident doing with my big dog keeping me and my girls safe! Even the disease and death were agonizingly mirrored.

As far as th
Rhiannon Morgan
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Once I started to read this book I couldn't help but think why I thought it'd be a good idea to read it in the first place, it was obviously going to have a very sad ending and would no doubt make me cry. Well, I did cry, but it was such an immersing read, I felt like I knew Gizelle personally, and had experienced all of her adventures with her. A truly beautiful book for any dog lover, especially a lover of giant curvy dog breeds 🐶 ...more
Tisha (IG: Bluestocking629)
4.5 Tissues...I mean 4.5 Stars.

*Sob sob* great book, *sob sob* big puppy....

Please hand me the tissues....

*Sob sob*
Mar 31, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sweet story. Felt a little like a young adult read.
Dec 23, 2018 rated it liked it
I need a break from books that make me cry like a baby.
Apr 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Read for a book club. Sweet book.
Jan 18, 2019 rated it did not like it

I went into this book assuming Gizelle would die in the book. It's a book about a dog's bucket list. That part seemed obvious.

What I wasn't expecting was this somehow-glorified story of a girl with too much traumatic baggage in her life, using a dog as a crutch to keep herself stable. I have no doubt that Gizelle was loved, deeply. But was she cared for adequately? Was all the human food good for her? Was living in a tiny apartment, with occasional leashless-romps through Central Park
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read a pre-release copy of this book on a flight back home: it made me laugh; it made me cry; it brought up memories of my late dog. Watt connected to me as a reader in a way I hadn't suspected. Her moving story resonated with me in surprising ways. Sure, she was able to conjure up the loving memories I had of having dogs: with all the concomitant trials and tribulations, but she was able to relate her unique story -- with all its emotional twists and turns. Her story is more than a simple sto ...more
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
A beautiful story about a girl and her dog.
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