Shortly before the dance weekend started, Schmendrick says to me "The dryer isn't working." Nice. It has to wait all weekend for me to look at, because of course dancing takes priority.
So I borrowed Troy's meter, bust open the dryer, get the schematic, and start trouble shooting. I quickly find that the circuit that runs from the "push to start" through the dryer door, to the motor has an open in it. Further investigation of the schematic shows a safety fuse in the circuit, and even further investigation shows that it is the fuse that is causing the issue.
Unfortunately, this fuse is buried deep within the bowels of dryer, I can barely see it, and a tactile investigation showed it to be riveted onto it's location. **DO NOT TRY THE FOLLOWING AT HOME, SPECIFICALLY, MY HOME** So I rewire it without the fuse in the circuit, it starts up. Cool, I am not letting this get too far out of my sight, I run it for a few minutes, it has a funny smell, but more like dust or lint got onto the heating coils, but it goes just fine for three or four minutes. Double cool! I grab some wet shirts, towels, socks and chuck 'em in, and check on it every couple minutes, but there doesn't seem to a problem.
I have to go, so I get ready, suddenly smell something funny, and walk out to smoke billowing out of the dryer ... okay, seeping would be more accurate, but still. I flipped the circuit breaker, carefully opened the door (no flames), and took my clothes to the safety of the table. The smoke was gone almost immediately, and after about two or three minutes, the heat disappated, so I quit fretting about it.
So now I need a new dryer, and I did have to rewash my clothes that were in there, but they all survived. No pets were even inconvenienced in the whole thing. I just have clothes on hangers all of the place drying.