Today was the first time in 10 years that we went Christmas tree hunting with out Rigby. He was so steady and trustworthy. Those were traits that came in handy when we hiked the forest looking for a tree. I’m having to learn how to live with out him to rely on. I relied on him for more than I knew. He has protected us from bears, wolves, moose, snakes, holes , cliffs- you name it. He was goofy and stubborn but I always knew if I needed him -he’d get the job done. I’d often scale a hillside with one hand on his harness- him willingly guiding me up. He’d always lead us to paths that lead back to where we had come. Or he’d run ahead with the older boys-always keeping them close. I wasn’t looking forward to searching the forest for a tree with out him this year. It’s a tradition we all normally count down to. We love it. But part of what we loved involved him. My in-laws have a sweet new puppy and although he wasn’t Rigby, I felt honored to have him close. I found that his innocent presence eased my soul. I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to life with out our pup , I know we’ll always miss his presence but I do know we will find joy in the process. .