My friends have a ~5 year old beagle/basset mix, who was a "rescue" some years ago. He's very intelligent and pretty well trained.
Unexpectedly, they'll be in the hospital for a couple days so I am going over to check on the dog a couple times a day. The dog knows me, I've cared for him before.
By the time I heard they would be gone and made it to the house, the dog was a few hours off his usual schedule and very upset. He had also urinated and defecated in the house, which is fine for me but it was clear that he was upset about it. I fed/watered him the usual, gave him a treat, tried to comfort him. He knows something is up because his owners aren't home and have been gone for a day, but I'm worried he thinks it's some kind of punishment for having an accident on the floor. Whereas he usually is very energetic and constantly wagging his tail, his tail is locked forward as if we're hunting. He's also been so anxious that he's been shaking in his legs.
I took him for a nice walk down his usual street to his favorite park. Where he normally is excited and sniffs everything, there was a lot less of that this time. Perhaps I'm personifying, but it also seemed like he was looking for his owners, and thought that's what we were doing on this walk. He's normally happy to go home after this walk, but this time he seemed to want to continue, going down streets that we don't normally go down.
Finally, when I left the house, he just buried his head down and stared. Normally, he'd run and follow me all the way to the door, tail wagging the whole time.
What can I do for him? His owners will be home by the end of the week. If I can at lest find a way to make him not think he's being punished, I'd like to do that.