Shoot! I just lost my message! Oh well... I too remember finding dog hair for awhile after our two passed. I used to joke that our TRD shed Japanese Chin fur. Pa Gaw isn't much of a shedder, but he would collect Ulu's loose hair when they played. The two boys were best friends. When Ruya had to be put down, Pa Gaw didn't really care. She LOVED people, but tolerated the boys and other dogs. Even with their things packed away, we still have many good memories. I agree with what you said though, it looks like we never had three dogs. Everyone meshed well and things weren't crazy like many people assumed it would be. Everyone had their own spot to eat, sleep, and knew where to settle down for TV viewing or ride in the car. Now its just the one dog. He's my co-pilot, but I do miss the others.
Glad to hear I'm not the only one who puts things away immediately. In all honesty, I'm that person who, right now, could go puppy shopping on the internet (by which I mean researching breeders). I would have had no problem going out the day he died to pick up a new puppy. I guess I have just never been one to see a new puppy as a replacement for one lost. My stepdad is that way. He did NOT want Dude because he felt we were getting him to replace his Dalmatian (who's short, stiff hairs we found embedded in fabrics for years after she left us). I see it as, well, now I have an open spot for a new family member. We have decided, though, that since we rent and the house is small with no fenced yard, that we are going to wait until we move. It'll be at least two years, but I am okay without another puppy right now. I think it's because I finally have my heart dog (Iorveth) and just don't feel a need for another quite yet. He's sleeping pressed up against my back as I type this. Ha. With Buck, he hit 8 months and I was on the hunt for another dog. Iorveth is 2.5 years old and the need for another dog hasn't hit me like it did when I had just Dude and then Dude and Buck.
I think sniffing Dude's body helped them to understand, and they said good by in their way and sort of made peace with it. I really believe they do that. We have gone on farm calls at work to put down a horse, and the owner will walk the other horse/horses over to the body and let them sniff and say good by in their way. So, I believe it's horses as well. I think it is good for them, both dogs and horses to do that. They need to say good by and grieve in their own ways as well.
Honestly, I think these two just didn't much care. He helped teach them manners as puppies, but they have each other and left Dude out of their games (much to Dude's relief). I would much rather they be able to sniff his body and know what's going on than to just disappear with a living Dude and come home without him, but I don't think they'd care then either. I don't doubt other dogs grieve and a Xolo friend said her dogs looked for her oldest Xolo for 6 months after they lost him, but mine sure didn't. There hasn't been an ounce of odd or unusual behavior around here. I prefer it that way. It's kind of sad that Dude got no "emotion" from them after he was gone, but I would much rather have dogs that go about business as usual because 1) I can rest easy knowing they aren't stressed and 2) it would make it harder for ME to watch them behave as if they didn't understand where he had gone.
I think it will be a different story entirely when Buck goes. Buck's only 4 so that's a LOOONG way off yet (knock on wood), but he and Iorveth are so dang close and Iorveth just adores Buck with every fiber of his being. It's like watching a little boy idolize his older brother who occasionally gets annoyed with him.