Overcoming the preceding questions, we ran into the toughest question of them all. What will we do with Baxter? Baxter is Martha's eight year old Olde English Bulldog. He's a member of the family. He and Martha are extra tight. It's a mutual lovefest. We were going nowhere until Martha was well satisfied that Baxter would be safe and have the best of care during our absence.
To the rescue comes a cousin-in-law who is a genuine dog lover, who already knows Baxter and keeps a pretty good pack of 6 or 7 dogs that Baxter will get to live and play with and get back to his wolfen roots with. (Say it again Martha, "My dog is just a dog, he's not a hairy baby").
So, with Baxter in good hands, we'll be able to push off without any concerns for his welfare.