I can't sleep... I should be asleep, I have to get up at 8am tomorrow. But I keep thinking about all the things I have done this year without my dogs for the first time, and all the things that are still coming...
I always took my dogs a lot of places and events and things like that, especially Ginger so there are a lot of things that remind me of them, and a lot of things I am going to be doing for the first time without them.
This weekend is a Dog Easter Egg Hunt. I always took Ginger and Pooch to that, and they had a lot of fun. The first time we went, Pooch quickly learned how to pop open the plastic easter eggs with his teeth and get at the treats inside. Every year he would find and open the eggs himself (I had to open Ginger's eggs.) They used to just have the eggs in an open field which seemed a little boring to me so I sent the park district a message suggesting they hide the eggs. Last year they did which made things more interesting. I also met a really handsome longhaired GSD last year and when his owner saw me posing Ginger and Pooch on a rock, she brought him over to join us. This year I plan to take Bianca to the event, but it will be hard to go for the first time without Ginger and Pooch.
I've already had a number of "firsts" without them and each one has been difficult... Halloween, Christmas, the holiday pet bazaar shelter benefit I always took them to, the Chicagoland Pet Expo... At the Pet Expo this year I almost started crying when I petted Ginger's friend Mattie who is also a Golden. Ginger and Mattie only saw each other once or twice a year but they always recognized each other. We used to volunteer for the Dog Scouts booth at the expo and Ginger and Mattie always drew a lot of attention when they both posed up on the platform. I also used to enter the "Lovable Pooch Contest" at the pet expo, usually I would choose either Ginger or Pooch to enter and each one had one the contest several times.
Ginger and Mattie (different years)-
Pooch (in costume that won the contest, the prize was this photo taken by a prof. and some other stuff)
I know as the year goes on there will be more and more firsts, and each one reminds me all over again that they are gone. As the weather gets warmer there are more events and things where I would normally be taking Ginger and Pooch... We had a lot of "traditions" of events we would attend every year.