Long story short, my dad had some surgery and still has stitches in. With all that's happened, the dogs haven't seen him for at least a month now, and they cannot figure out what's going on. Buster (a.k.a. Mr. Sensitivity) is taking it especially hard, and is constantly moping around the house - he absolutely loves my dad, and is constantly at him for scratches. Even Lady, who is usually pretty laid back and carefree, is starting to show a lot of disappointment and sadness, especially if my mom comes to our place without my dad.
I'll admit it: I'm one of those strange pet parents. I've gone to great lengths to let the dogs know that my dad is ok, and the other day I caught myself trying to explain things to them like they would actually understand. I've held the phone up for them so my dad could talk to them, and they could sniff the little speaker hole. To someone looking in from the outside, it probably looks completely ridiculous, but it seems to help a little bit. Buster mopes around for a while after a call, but eventually he recovers and goes back to gnawing on one of his favorite rawhides or to snuggling under 50 different blankets.
My dad's stitches are being removed this coming week, and I'm hoping that a visit with the dogs will be in the very near future - I know they're going to go nuts when they see him! And once Buster & Lady know that everything is back to the way it should be, the little rain clouds above their heads will disappear. :)