Bulletin on Sam the collie - for his friends

Poor old Sam, my brave old border collie and friend of 14 years is still on his drip at the local vets. Many people will think I am a moral coward not to have asked to have him put down today - but he was so alert when I was allowed to accompany him (and drip) to the nearest grass that I agreed with the vet to let him stay in for another night and see how he is tomorrow when the results of the blood tests will, we hope, be available.

It is strange. Heartbreak has been so much a daily companion since March 2001 (I wasn't up to speed in Feb) that I am surprised at how - although I am distraught about Sammy - this particular sadness is nothing compared to the unnecessary horrors that beset so many last year - they had no power of choice and were bullied and browbeaten by the very people who should have been their strength and stay. My particular friend in Dumfries will never be the same again. And the callous indifference of the DEFRA hierarchy and of the government to what happened has so rocked me that I look at England's green and pleasant land with the same sad feeling of farewell as that I experience when I look at Sammy.

The website may not be updated for a few days while I come to terms with this personal upheaval - but warmwell just has to go on trying to raise its voice in the wilderness. If you can help add volume with facts and figures and calm arguments - please, please do. As someone wrote to the website today, "It is a long drawn-out war, and we continue to face the major obstacle of the huge majority in House of Commons on which the Government can rely, and an ineffective opposition."