Many dogs tend to hide pain and discomfort.
That doesn’t mean you cannot detect the signs if you observe carefully. I believe that the degree to which dogs share with us when something is bothering them is a matter of trust. If that is so, Cookie trusts us explicitly.
Cookie and I have entered a new level of trust and cooperation.
Cookie has always been good about letting us do things to her, understanding that’s our idea of caring one for another. That doesn’t mean she volunteered for such things; quite often she’d try to negotiate her way out of it. Just like Jasmine did. Never resisted, often negotiated.
If Cookie yelped and I suspected she might have stepped on something, I had to convince her to let me check out her paw. If she limped and I wanted to start investigating from the feet, it also took some convincing.
That has changed.
Twice already Cookie managed to step on some debris and get it stuck to her foot and be in the way. It was some kind of a small rock the first time, and some kind of a plant pod the second.
Initially, she tried to walk on it, perhaps in hopes that it was something that has already come off but still hurt a bit. Or maybe that it might come off as she walks.
I was already on alert because her posture was just slightly off.
Then Cookie stopped and looked at me. Okay, something isn’t right, and she’s looking to me to fix it. What isn’t right?
And then she’d lift her foot; not just off the ground but turned upward which gives the best access.
As I went to look, Cookie held the foot up for me to examine it. The entire time.
After a bit of looking, I discovered what I figured could be the culprit and removed it, waiting to see if I got it. In both cases, I could tell right away that I did get it.
I find that level of trust rewarding.
I think Cookie might too. The foot got taken care of, and we could continue on our walk. Everybody wins.
I always encouraged my dogs communicating but this was still touching.
Does your dog tell you when something is wrong and let you take care of it?
Is Your Dog Pesty? Give Them The Benefit of the Doubt
8 Signs Your Dog Really Does Trust You