One could relate this dog’s name to the remedy that helped him. He is called Wicket, as in the wicket in the game of cricket. The wicket is a part of the stumps which have three vertical wickets on which rest the two horizontal bails. These wickets have to be defended by a cricket team. The opposing team aims to hit the wickets with the ball. If the wicket falls, the batsman is out.
This little dog is not a cricket player but in a way he found himself in a situation (just like the wicket) not knowing where he was going to end up. The wicket is in a fragile situation likely to fall down any time. This dog found himself in a fragile situation: not for falling down but knowing where to end up.
A very regular client rescued him from a couple who were separating. Both parties moved into different housing and neither could keep the dog. Nevertheless it was planned that the Mrs. would have him back in the near future when her new life was settled.
In the meantime he would return every 1-3 weekends to one of his previous owners which, as we will find out, upset him.
This is when my client comes with Wicket to the surgery. He is a lovely 4 year old castrated Jack Russell Terrier. She inherited him with a box of steroids which he takes to control the itchiness caused by a low grade skin inflammation. The diagnosis is most likely Atopy. This condition can be compared to psoriasis in humans. It is an allergic condition where the origin of the allergens is usually airborne.
My client is used to homeopathy and we don’t go into complicated blood tests etc. There are no fleas, she has already changed his poor quality commercial diet to fresh food which improved the skin noticeably in 2 weeks (and eliminated an unhealthy fat layer) but one can see that he needs more help.
“He bites his feet in the morning. I don’t see him biting himself during the day”. There are a few mites in his right ear.
“He is possessive of me.” (which is understandable having come from a disrupted family.)
“He is dainty, he would wear white covers over his shoes. He doesn’t want to walk in the wet grass. He is more attracted to women. He settled in the house as soon as he arrived. He is calm and friendly with everybody.”
I have not much to go on. The dog only recently arrived in his temporary home. His general tranquility and the funny observation that he would wear white covers over his shoes, being called dainty, inspired me to give him a few doses of Sulphur. The first dose in 30C allows the steroids to be dropped after seven days. He then started to scratch more. A dose in 30 C followed by one in 1M doesn’t make much difference. (Not a brilliant first strike, but we managed to reduce the steroids to none.)
The selection of Sulphur was based on this somewhat clumsy repertorisation.
SKIN – ITCHING – morning
MIND – JEALOUSY
SKIN – ERUPTIONS – suppressed
SKIN – ITCHING – eruptions – without
MIND – CLEANNESS – mania for
MIND – FEAR – dirt; of
EXTREMITIES – WETTING a part – Feet agg.
GENERALS – WET – getting – feet
MIND – FEAR – alone, of being – night
Two weeks later, we sit down for a slightly longer consultation.
He returned to his previous owners for the weekend and came back very tired. The scratching is worse than ever since that weekend. He bites his feet and scratches under his belly. There are no lesions on the skin. His ear is also slightly worse. I received the following information in the interview:
“He is not so very interested in Brean. (Brean is the 2 year old female terrier owned by my client. She is lovely but somewhat wild). Brean makes advances towards Wicket but he thinks ‘why care, I can do nothing anyway’ (being castrated). The advances have no effect on him.
He wakes up in the middle of the night to scratch. He doesn’t want to walk on the grass. He keeps to the paths in the garden (Brean, the other terrier races all over the place.) He doesn’t like his feet to be dirty.
He has been very bold recently: he attacked the boxer dog in the pub. I don’t know why. He is not macho.
He tends to lick people’s hands.
During the night he sits on the bed and howls. It is difficult to stop him from howling.”
When I saw Stramonium in the previous repertorisation in correlation with the howling in the night, I decide to give him two doses of Stramonium 30.
The lack of good guidance in his life was a further justification for this remedy so was his ‘wildness’ in attacking the big dog.
The Stramonium helps our little patient to take a big step forward in life.
When I see him 4 weeks later, I am told the following:
“He has started to play with Brean (the other dog). The itching is less. He is now walking on the grass. He defended me against a big dog but when he realized how big this dog was he ran under the car. Overall, Wicket is more settled and sensible (realized the other dog was bigger than him). The howling in the night disappeared quickly.”
No prescription. Wait and see. I am not convinced all is well because there is still marked itching in the morning but we can be happy for Wicket because he is more balanced in himself.
A few weeks later my client comes to see me again. Itching has become worse again. She noticed it aggravates every time Wicket stays with his previous owners for the weekend. It is thought that he receives poor quality food there but I have a suspicion that it has more to do with all the changes.
Based on the physical symptoms of the skin problem, I make the following repertorisation looking for inspiration:
SKIN – ITCHING – eruptions – without
SKIN – DISCOLORATION – red – scratching; after
SKIN – ITCHING – morning
How generous of Radar to propose Petroleum as a first choice: the remedy that looks for stability.
Two doses in 30C solve the skin problems.
Wicket takes the remedy three times in the next 6 months, each time after he stayed for a weekend with his ‘legitimate’ owners. Each time, the itching disappeared in no time.
Finally, Wicket moved back in with his original owners. With good advice from my client they offer better quality food. Wicket is happy with them and has not needed any further medicines.
There is a 6 month feed back on this case.
A few words on Petroleum:
Philippe Servais talks about the, finite and infinite, unlimited and limited being the source of concern for the petroleum patient. The patients have great trouble in concentrating themselves: they either can’t concentrate or see/concentrate on only one tiny problem that fills their view and takes all their attention.
Jacques Lamothe says the patients have a problem with structure: you can make anything from an explosive to plastic with petroleum; the substance can evolve in all sorts of directions. The patient will display a false personality, they portray themselves different from what they are.
Marc Brunson talks about the need for stability, a stability coming from outside. Petroleum is formed and collected only when it is caught in a rock covered by impenetrable clay. If petroleum appears on the surface of the earth, it dissipates in various ways.
In the rock it is held in the microscopic pores that are present in the rock. This illustrates the tendency to cause pathology in the fine ducts of the body: mammary glands, tear ducts, ducts from sweat glands (=skin), Eustachian tube, vas deferens.
This need for stability coming from the outside and the illusion that this stability is not there, translates into some of the better known qualities/difficulties of this remedy: travel sickness, difficulties in company, loss of direction, skin suppuration doesn’t heal, sensitivity to cold, aggravated eating cabbage (flatulent food).
For Wicket, our patient, it was not an illusion of being in an unstable situation. It was a reality. Petroleum helped him every time when this reality caused him to lose his balance. Once the stability returned, he did not need further doses of his remedy.