Saturday morning was spent with one last wander around downtown Charleston before saying goodbye and finally getting a move on up to the Magnolia Plantation, where we spent a few hours wandering the gardens before getting ourselves over to Charleston International Airport to board a 7:17 flight to Atlanta and from there climbed onto a 9:25 jet back here where we touched down a few minutes past 11 p.m. L.A. time and were home around midnight to find all our animals safe and mostly sound.

By mostly I mean that Shadow began manifesting some odd symptoms that our pet sitter called and told us about Friday night that either could have been a stroke or an ear infection (she’s otherwise mobile and alert, but with a marked loss of equilibrium, “drunken” walk and a head tilt to one side) and they ended up taking her to our vet yesterday and keeping us posted.

The vet thinks it’s none of the above and are running blood tests because they think it might be kidney related, noting that her blood is excessively thick. We’ll know more tomorrow when the results are back from the lab.

But in the meantime she’s happy to see us, as are all the animals — even moreso us seeing them — and we’re going to work hard chilling and milling around our own little plantation today.

UPDATED (8:49 p.m.): Further regarding Shadow’s condition, Susan went searching onling and her efforts seemed to have hit a diagnosis square on the head: Canine Peripheral Vestribular Syndrome.