Last night, DH went to a baseball game with the boys (apparently some wives showed as well, which is fine, but I hate baseball, so no thanks!).
It's been a long time since I had a night on my own. I picked up dinner on the way home and once there left the dog crated while I ate. He was very patient, and I treated him appropriately.
Once he was out and had the chance to look around, it quickly became clear that Daddy wasn't with me. He gave me a puzzled look and sat down facing the back door for awhile, but no Daddy appeared. After awhile, he looked at me beseechingly, his liquid brown eyes clearly asking "Mommy, what did you do to Daddy?" I told him Daddy would be home later.
(sidenote, yes, we call each other Mommy and Daddy to the dog. cheers!)
Jonah got more depressed as the night wore on. Not only was Daddy gone, and maybe NEVER COMING BACK!, but mean Mommy wouldn't give him any strawberries and wouldn't let out to play with the dogs in the courtyard (in fact, I put him back in his crate until they left, because I'm not supposed to lift anything heavier than 10 pounds, and he qualifies and picking him up and moving him away from the windows is the only way to get him quiet when they are out).
The longer the time that passed, the more morose he looked. He spent at least half the night stretched out under the rocking chair with his back to me. The few times I called him, he would come over, but he looked very worried and sad. I scratched his ears, which he normally loves, but I only got a half-hearted tail stump wag. He settled near me after long time, but clearly couldn't decide whether he thought I was to blame for Daddy's disappearance or whether he wanted comfort and reassurance.
Eventually I called DH and told him that he had to play with the dog when he got home, put him up and went to bed.
This morning, when I went downstairs, a totally different dog greeted me. OMG! MOMMY! YOU ARE HERE! AND DADDY IS HERE TOO! HE CAME HOME! HE CAME HOME AND DIDN'T LEAVE FOREVER AND EVER AND NOW WE'RE ALL TOGETHER AGAIN AND THIS IS THE BEST DAY EVER! Grinning, happy, leaping back and forth between us, not only his stump but his entire back end waggling with glee.
It's sort of sweet, really. We know that he has some separation anxiety, which is why we crate during the day, but usually if he's occupied, he seems completely unconcerned with our being gone. He's such a happy, enthusiastic dog that we've always said that we could give him to another family and he'd forget us completely.
It's nice to know that's not entirely true. Our wonderful barky dog lurves us to pieces and his world just can't be totally happy if only one of us is there. Sniffle.