For those who've inquired, Hero et al (my female GSD, our collie, the cat, the two parakeets and the bunnies) are staying at home, in their familiar surroundings, with my eldest son. Even at times when all of us leave on vacation, the critters get sat at home, in our home. My retiree sitter comes to feed, dewater and water, and she generally even stays overnight and spends time during the day with the critters. So, they are not being boarded or ignored.
On a good note, Hero's residuals on catheterization are starting to get below 200 ml. If he maintains that progress, then we can stop the catheterizations. On the gut issue, he now gets pumpkin pie mix for fiber (dogs love the stuff) to help decrease the neurological sluggishness in his gut leading to stasis and bacterial overgrowth, which causes the diarrhea. He is also on another course of Flagyl for a week, then we'll continue the Flagyl intermittently to keep things normal for him.
Also good, all three dogs went to the doggie spa today, and got baths, nails, brushing. They are all fluffy and fuzzy and clean. I've never taken all three at once before, but they needed it. Chase, the rough coat collie, is going to be put on a regular schedule since he won't let us brush him much at all - he gets nippy with us, but behaves for the groomers. We're thinking that will more regular visits a) he won't be so tangled b) each visit won't take so long and c) he'll get used to the grooming/groomer and it will be less stressful on all. In that light, he returns for more brushing tomorrow, and in a week. Then we'll put him on a six-week schedule to keep things neat and tidy and comfy. The shepherds I generally only take seasonally when they are blowing their coats. Hero loves to be brushed! And Furminators are wonderful brushes for double coated animals!
All the dog beds are being laundered to go with the clean dogs. Thank goodness for front loading washers!