Monday was Pickles' first day home alone and she did fine. She woke up and ate her usual breakfast, when out to "take care of business" and played for a bit then it was time to go into the crate. She always gets her Kong with about a tablespoon of natural peanut butter (although I'm thinking about changing that just in case there may be an allergy issue) and went right in. When we left Maddie alone, I would leave the radio on so she wouldn't get too lonely in a quite house but with Pickles, I could leave them all on, with the volume all the way up and it wouldn't matter! Then we all left.
I was able to slip home about 1000 to let her out and she was sleeping it away! I woke her up, we went outside and played for a few minutes then back into the crate and yes...there was more peanut butter...just not as much. Rebecca let her out when she got home and all seemed fine.
After that, we played, went to the park did some training (sit, look at me) and Mommy came home and it was kisses time!
We were winding down for the night when something strange happened. Maddie died in our den and we had her cremated (via a company that owned by Nelson's Funeral Home and they were wonderful) and her ashes are on a table in that very spot. Several years ago, we found a small statue of a Mastiff and had that in the house but I moved it to Maddie's table last week because it was behind the TV so the statue had been there the whole time Pickles has been there. But Monday was different. Pickles began to whimper and growl while looking at Maddie's table! The hair on her back stood up and she began to bark...at the table...and would not take her eyes off of it. We tried playing with her and distracting her but nothing worked. She put her paws on the table, as if she was looking at the container Maddie's ashes are in, and barked again. The whole incident went on for about 30 minutes and was really strange. I though, at first, it might be the statue but she'd seen it before so now I had a different thought. I began to think that she was actually communicating with Maddie and I think Maddie was trying to get the pecking order straight. It is said when you lose one sense the others become more developed and since dogs aren't told there are no such things as ghosts they see what they see and feel what they feel. I certainly believe in ghosts!
[Aside: My grandfather died in 1973, when I was seven, and I was heartbroken. One night, after the funeral, I remember waking from a sound sleep and looking into a dark room and seeing an even darker area. What I saw, in that dark area, was the outline of my grandfather. He had on his hat and everything! Nothing was said but I felt a peace fall over me as if to say everything was going to be alright and it was. To this day I miss him but after that night, I no longer felt the heartache I had the day I found out he died.]
Since talking to Pickles wasn't working, I talked to Maddie. I told her that she was still my puppy and that no other puppy could ever take her place but I wanted another doggie to love like I loved her. I told Maddie about Pickles being tied to a tree and being in the pound and that no one adopted deaf dogs so it was likely that Pickles would have been put to sleep. I told Maddie that it didn't love Pickles the same way I love her but it was still love and she was my puppy now as Maddie was then. I also told Maddie that they needed to get along and learn to live with each other. I was holding Pickles while we talked and Pickles began to settle down and her hair went down. She seemed more calm. Whether this is actually the case or not, it seemed to work. Pickles played for a bit but was still cautious of the table and then, with Kong and peanut butter in mouth went to bed and drifted off to sleep.
Pickles had a good first day alone and I believe she and Maddie got everything worked out because there hasn't been a problem since. I'm not saying there's not going to be one in the future but for now everything seems to be fine.