My boy hadn't asked for a gallop for a long time, but we did a lot of hacking in the snow over his last few years. It was great exercise for his stifles. With the first snow came the reminder that I will never take him out for a hack in the snow again. He won't reach out as we pass a snow laden cedar and bend back a branch that will fling it's load all over me as it snaps back when he lets it go. We won't head out into the glow of a moonlit snowscape, or wander through a forest of bare limbed trees as snow gently falls.
First snow hack without my boy. First Christmas without my boy. I miss him still. These firsts bring back the loss, but without the tearing intensity of the first days after he was gone. It's a bittersweet sadness as the first snow, first hack, first Christmas without him remind me of the times we had together.