Oh, and before I retire to the ice slab, I may as well relate one conversation with the Bear this evening.
She checks the paper each day looking for someone who is giving away free hamsters. Apparently the gerbil needs friends.
Today, however, she suddenly decided that she needs another dog as well. Apparently Zephyr The Insane Labrador Retriever isn't enough. Well, I equivocated in just the manner that any other male in my position would: "You're definitely going to have to consult mommy on that one".
Her reply: "But mommy always says 'no'".
I have nothing to add.