07/26/2014 AT 05:15 PM EDT
07/23/2014 AT 04:05 PM EDT
When one New Yorker learned his dog was dying, he decided he didn't want to wait until his pet's last day on earth
to give his friend of 16 years a special experience.
James Garcia and Elmo
In early July, James Garcia received some heartbreaking news: His loyal dog Elmo had a host of canine ailments, from liver cancer to kidney failure, and would have only a few months to live. Wanting to make the most of the last days of the dog he co-parents with his ex, Garcia made a bucket list – the two of them would spend their final summer together on a series of magical N.Y.C. adventures.
James Garcia and Elmo at the Charging Bull statue in Bowling Green
Their list of destinations was any tourist's dream: Shake Shack, MoMA, the beach and more.
Elmo at the beach
The lucky pup got to watch the sun set during Manhattanhenge
, and even met one of the Times Square Elmos with whom he shares a name. (This one, fortunately, was not a criminal
Elmo in Times Square
"I never wanted him to feel lonely in the apartment and he loves the outdoors so much," Garcia explained to Buzzfeed
. "He goes with me to restaurants, grocery shopping, and naps in the park."
Elmo in Washington Square Park
What makes Elmo so special is his personality," Garcia told PEOPLE. "He's sweet and cuddly as well as stubborn."
Because Elmo can't walk, Garcia wheels him around the city in a baby stroller. He loves it.
Elmo on the subway
"Soon after learning of Elmo's diagnosis, I felt it was important to share new experiences with him as well as share some of my favorite N.Y.C. hang out spots," Garcia said. "This experience of sharing has helped me cope with his fate and created memories that will last a lifetime."
Elmo with some canine friends
James doesn't know how long exactly Elmo has left, but wherever the dog goes, his loving owner will be by his side.
Elmo and James Garcia
Selena Gomez and her husky, Baylor
Michael Simon / Startraks