The slightest little thing
Yesterday at obedience class Elsa was off; she was distracted and whiny, very unlike her. I told the trainer that something was up with her; no "it's just puppy A.D.D." she said. I knew she wasn't being herself; sure she is 14 weeks old and gets distracted but this was different. I didn't push any of the teaching as she was so distracted that it was pointless; just then she did a huge mushy/runny poop. "I knew it!!!"
We know our dogs; no one knows your dog like you do. When you have a very close relationship with your dog; you know all of their little things. I don't know how many hours I spend just watching my dogs; when I am working with them, grooming or playing with them I am always watching. When we watch our dogs interact with people and dogs we learn all about them; we learn what is the norm and what is out of character.
I have been to Veterinarians before who didn't want to hear what I have noticed; they want the facts and that's it. What is normal for my dogs is not normal for other folks dogs and what is normal for one of mine may not be normal for another of mine. It is essentially important to know your dog/dogs very personally. A different look; a certain tilt of the head can be all that is needed to know that something is off. Luke is very expressive and one look can give me enough information to know that something is not right.
Tilley is a tougher read facially; with her it is more a behavior thing that tips me off. Many dogs are very ritualistic on a daily basis and anything out of the ordinary may be enough to let you know that something is array. Ears and tails are very good things to watch always. An inch lower or higher can mean a great deal for dogs. They are usually the first sign at how a dog is reacting to anything.
I have often been asked "how do you know?" when I explain how one of my dogs is feeling at a particular moment. It is easy to know if you are accustom to how your dog regularly displays their emotions. Yes I said it, emotions. This word in itself causes great controversy in the dog world but how better to explain what is going on? It's emotions. It stems from the action/reaction but incorporates so much more as each individual deals with life.
Knowing your dog's every ism is so very important; are you in the know?