The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
Marriage is a constant and delicate negotiation. It is the grand compromise. When Kathrin suggested I forsake the sunless hills of Taunus for a writing and riding workshop in Tenerife (Spain) I feigned a no but quickly said YES. Kathrin and I have been to Tenerife several times and it is objectively a very special place on this pale blue dot. Before packing up the bike and my sunny weather apparel, we took a second trip to the veterinarian to confirm Rumi’s pregnancy. The second ultrasound reconfirmed that Rumi was pregnant with a single walnut, and maybe two. This positive news made a junket to Tenerife much more relaxed.
For anyone who has the opportunity to visit Tenerife, I would implore you to do so. In the winter months, it is the only place in Europe where one is guaranteed quasi-tropical weather. We focus on staying in the South of the island, La Caleta/Adeje in order to be on the water. But there are a thousand fincas throughout the countryside, from Chio, to Arona to Vilaflor that are equally brilliant. A lifetime in Miami and I took the water and the sun for granted. I now have a renewed reverence for a warm sunny day on any given day, particularly in the winter months. At over 3,800 meters elevation, Mt. Teide in Tenerife is the highest peak in all of Spain. So several days of cycling in Tenerife, from sea level to 2,200 meters each day and I felt spiritually renewed. Ready to return to grim central Germany and continue some form of fitness on the indoor trainer. These personal goals were playing a distant second fiddle to seeing Rumi’s offspring enter the world. But this was not meant to be.
Earlier this week, Rumi made her third trip to the veterinarian to better determine the viability of her pregnancy. The first two trips were for ultrasounds and suggested the presence of at least 1 - 2 puppies. On the third trip, we had an x-ray taken and hoped that it would confirm the presence of a second, or even third, puppy. This turned out to be wishful thinking in the extreme, as the x- ray revealed there were exactly ZERO puppies. This news was as confusing as it was disappointing. Not the festive Frohe Weihnachten outcome we had come to expect. But these things happen and everything indicated that Rumi had the human equivalent of a miscarriage. Looking on the bright side, Rumi is happy, in excellent health and will be back in the breeding saddle in the springtime. As noted in a prior blog, we have learned that there are many obstacles to successfully breeding, however we remain undaunted.
In the meantime, keeping up with our newest Shiba family member, Yuki aka Trudi aka Yoshino, leaves little time for circumspection about Rumi's unsuccessful pregnancy. Yuki has quickly ascended to the top of the food chain in our household and is (pound for pound) the toughest, most tenacious and most confident little puppy that I've ever observed. The rate at which she and Sugu became best of friends was also astounding. As was the patience of our Shikokus with this little red devil that playfully bites at their legs from morning to night.
For now, none of the dogs have eaten the goose or destroyed the Christmas tree, so we are lucky for that. In fact, we are lucky for so many reasons and happy to share our first Christmas with Yuki… our second with Rumi and Sugu. The inaudible foot of time marches on and soon it will be Spring and Rumi will be flush with her first litter. Hope to share more soon. Until then, Merry Fucking Christmas and Happy New Year to all.