Sorry to be so absent for the last bit; out of town for several days, during which our Fat Dachshund, Gus (whom some of you have met in the pages of BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE [g]) developed pancreatitis and kidney failure of unknown cause. Our son was watching house and livestock for us, and called to tell me Gus was having bloody diarrhea (sorry for the details), so I asked Sam to take him to the emergency veterinary clinic (this being the weekend). We thought we might lose him at least twice over the last two or three days, and he's frankly not doing well--but he's still got a chance, and we want him to have it, as long as he's in good hands and not suffering. So he's on "supportive care" at a very good animal hospital, and...we'll hope he gets better. All good thoughts much appreciated.
I'm going down to the hospital to visit him now (they let you visit 24 hours a day); will give him all your good wishes. Thanks.