Thank you for the uplifting and very helpful comments yesterday. You gave me some great information and ideas. Your ideas and energy just led me to discover that there might be a more local option for R's surgery. I'm not sure yet but there's a chance.
Sometimes, all you need is some good friends and a lucky break... I'm not sure if we have the lucky break yet but there's hope!
I'm amazed by how much this process exhausts me. I think I'm figuring out a plan and then something makes it fall apart - again and again. Earlier today, I felt like quitting for a while - not calling or emailing any more vets. But then I realized that sometimes I just have to persist until a break comes our way.
Now it's time to take the Duo for a walk and perhaps see a beautiful sunset.