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The vet said the news probably wasn't good. He hadn't eaten for a week, his water bowl was untouched, and he couldn't lift his empty 40-pound brain casing to so much as gaze longingly at the tempting doggie biscuit. We feared our canine companion was a goner. Saddled with a sense of duty to at least give it the old college try, we agreed to the aggressive course of antibiotics and to the X-rays of his heart and lungs. Approximately $300 later, our former eating and drooling machine was still doing neither. Something was clearly wrong, and the doggie doctor now cautioned that it was a very big, very expensive something. We were advised to schedule a series of four-figure tests involving general anesthesia, scopes, and various sharp objects at a more serious, better-equipped facility. The woman in the white lab coat prepared us for the possible findings, the remedy for which might include chemotherapy or surgery. And that was assuming there was a remedy. Then, on D-Day minus ...