Thanks, gang, for the thoughts and prayers - they're really appreciated, and seem to be working. I just called for an update - Nemo is still hanging in there. He has a drain, and won't be able to leave the clinic till it is removed, and is begging to be taken home. He also has an infection, and is getting transfusions of antibiotics. The vets say he still isn't completely out of the woods, but stands a good chance of surviving. Because of his size and weight (well over 100 lbs., and he's still got a lot of growing to do), they want to do "hydrotherapy" once the incision is healed, i.e., have him swim a lot to strengthen his muscles so that he can bear his weight on three legs. The vets find him "unusually stubborn for a St. Bernard". Sounds like he's got a Dachshund's temperament. My youngest nephew, the one who didn't latch the gate properly, will be ten tomorrow, and isn't going to have a happy birthday with all that's going on. Poor kid. I feel sorry for him, but maybe this will teach him to act more responsibly. I just got into this subject with our 11-year-old niece on the phone this afternoon. I've got her parakeets for the next week and a half, and all she had was enough bird sand for two days and enough feed for three days when I picked them up Sunday evening. I naturally bought a 2-month supply of sand and a 6-month supply of feed yesterday, and gave the cage a decent scrubbing, but decided to give her a piece of my mind today about being a responsible pet owner. I also told her parents that it's their responsibility to make sure that she meets her obligations, which probably has p.o'd them. Not that I really care.