Uncle Fred's heart just stopped. He had spent the day at the vet getting iv antibiotics, still without a diagnosis. He looked a little better and came home eagerly around five, with iv fluids and antibiotics for the night. He would have gone back to the vet for the day again tomorrow. Steve picked him up, and he wagged at him, climbed in the car, walked up and down the street, peeing on his favorite trees, and came in. I got off the train around six, and Steve drove me home. He was laying on the floor and looked at me, wagged a couple of times, and flopped over on the floor in an apparent coma. He was like that for two hours, weirdly howling to himself with worsening breathing. The howling did not sound like he was in pain, just hound talk. He wasn't arousable. Then, just now, he stopped breathing with all the kids around him, petting him. None of us can quite imagine life without him and his big personality. This time last week he looked as healthy as could be. There are still labs out from today- maybe tomorrow we'll have some kind of idea of the cause, but maybe not. Today the vet was calling Rutgers University for advice. We just don't know. This dog lived in the house, was always walked on a leash, had no access to anything toxic. Horribly abused as a pup, and extremely traumatized and timid when we got him, Uncle Fred became a courageous, loyal and loving dog. He was an ambassador for his breed. I know at least 5 people who now own coonhounds because they wanted an Uncle Fred-all are rescues. He had style. I have this video on my iphone from a couple of months ago of him dancing and howling on command for me. He would get into a play bow position, and then rear up in the air to get maximum volume out of the howl. "Aroooooo!!" We will miss you forever Uncle Fred- you were the best dog I have ever had.