Listen when your dog shows you something different.
I awoke last night at 1:30 am. As I rolled over to get comfy I saw Elsa's silhouette in front of the patio window. She stood frozen, tail down and staring at the ground. This was not normal. I watched her for a bit and she didn't move. Finally I said "what are you doing?" Her tail wagged and I grabbed my robe as I asked her "do you need outside?" She ran happily down stairs and outside for a very fast pee. Had Elsa waken me up with not a word, no sound? Had she awaken me with some sort of canine/human connection? Perhaps. I've always wondered how she would wake us up if she needed out at night but she never has. All of our dogs have told us in different ways; maybe Elsa's way was through some sort of mind meld thing.
Most owners know when something is not right. It makes me crazy when outsider dog professionals say "she's fine" when you know that she is not. I remember having Elsa at puppy classes when she was 3.5 months old. I noticed a change in her behavior one day and said "she's needs to go out." The teacher said "she's fine, she's just being a puppy," and I corrected her saying "she needs to go out." The teacher said again "she's just being a puppy." Elsa did a huge diarrhea poop on the floor. So there! I blamed myself of course; I knew she needed out but the teacher had insisted she was fine and to stay in the class. Then the teacher cleaned up the mess. ;)
I have been at a Veterinarians who also told me "she seems fine." I've even had blood results in front of me saying that she was not fine when the Vet told me "looks good, nothing to worry about." Of course I'm not going to that Veterinarian anymore. If you know your dog, I mean really know your dog; then you know when something is not right. Do not listen to anyone else when you believe there is something wrong. I don't care if someone has Dr. in front of their name; I know my dogs. Any professional who does not listen to the signs of behavior change given by an owner is foolish.
Some dogs are harder to read than others. Tilley was a tough read, she kept all weaknesses hidden away from anyone. She was one of the toughest dogs that I have ever met but there was always something to let me know. Dogs naturally hide pain; to show it is to display that you are weak. This is something that you just don't do because when you are weak you are susceptible to attack in the canine world. Of course there are some dogs who are weinies, just like there are weinie people. Luke is an easy read, Elsa not so much. As you all know, I'm a watcher; it is what I do, I watch. Every little thing from a dog is a signal. Signals are given to other dogs and people but they also are also signs of what is going on with your dog.
When you see something new, different, even just a little, pay attention. Go with your gut, always listen to that inner self.