Charlie is a young, lovely, castrated male Labrador. His owners, Mr. And Mrs. C, are somewhat desperate because, on a regular basis he runs away. The story is somewhat peculiar (this must awake any homeopath’s sensitivity). Charlie only runs away when he goes out walking with Mr. C. On walks with Mrs. C., he behaves very well and never escapes.
Charlie joined the household 3 years prior, in time to be educated when Mr. C. was about to take his retirement. Mr. C. does not look forward to his ramblings with Charlie anymore and both owners are afraid that he will get run over because Charlie crosses a major road during his escapades and always ends up in the (small) town-centre.
The advantage is that they know where to find him. Mrs. C. explains to me what happens when they find him: ‘He doesn’t recognise us and runs away from us for the first 15 minutes. After that he is so happy to see us back and jumps willingly in the car to come home. We never punished him for this behaviour.’
This is what I learn in the 10 minutes I am allowed during the vaccination consultation. I explain to them that I may be able to do something for Charlie and send them home with a split dose of Stramonium 30C. This was a very quick prescription based on ‘Mind, recognise, does not recognise his own family‘, coupled with Charlie’s ‘strange’ behaviour. They were invited to come back for a more thorough follow up.
They came back a few weeks later telling me that Charlie had been better (without specifying what that meant) for a few days but had run off again at two occasions.
Physically, everything is fine with Charlie. I ask them to tell me a little more about his ways.
He arrived at the age 8-weeks in the household. He was very timid. He didn’t want to go anywhere: ‘I had to carry him outside to go in the garden or go for a walk until he was three months old. When put outside he explored a little but then wanted to return home as soon as possible.’
A long consultation goes by with the usual stuff describing the typical behaviour of a well bred Labrador. What follows are the few things that stood out a little.
‘When he runs away there is no reason. He doesn’t run after wildlife. He will go where there are children playing but does not let himself be approached by anyone. I don’t think he runs away to go and see them. He just goes suddenly. He always ends up in the same parking area in the centre of town (small town). When we go out on a walk together he never runs off. It is only when he goes out walking with my husband. My husband was not very involved with his education in the beginning because he was still at work but now he spends lots of time with him.’
What else can you tell me?
‘He is like a second skin. He always wants to be on my knees or follows me around in the house. He doesn’t come upstairs because he doesn’t know he can. He always lies where he can see us both. He plays on his own, he can play on his own for hours.’
On my question, has he any fears, she answers: ‘No. He can stay on his own at home without any problems. I think he doesn’t move when we are not there.’
On this, I prescribe a remedy in 30K dilution to be given three times in 36 hrs.
Ten months down the road I learn that since the consultation, Charlie has not run away a single time and that he has become more independent.
It is common to find that dogs are very attached to their owners and follow them around in the house, possibly due to some small errors in their education. It is less common that people say their dog is like a ‘second skin’. Such spontaneous comments have their importance and second skin suggests very close attachment.
I looked in the following rubric:
Mind, holding, mother’s hand, child constantly holding.
One remedy stands out: Bismuthum.
Due to its nature, the substance makes sense in this case. Bismuth is a metal that very easily acquires magnetic properties under the influence of a magnetic field. What is peculiar is that its magnetism will turn in the same direction of the magnetic field and therefore acts as a repulsing force towards the source of the initial magnetic field and a piece of Bismuth will be pushed away. Bismuth is the element that has this characteristic the most. (diamagnetism)
Due to his initial important contact, Charlie became very attached to Mrs. C. When Mr. C. ‘took over’, Charlie had to create a new bond. The way he ran off; ‘suddenly and for no apparent reason’, resembles the magnetic properties of Bismuth.
This was good enough for me to cover the peculiarities of the case.
Ten months later, when I found out about the improvement in Charlie’s behaviour, I am asked to treat him for acute colitis. (very common ailment in dogs). He is not off colour but produces the usual frequent loose stools containing mucus and or some red blood marks. One dose of Bismuthum 30k sorts this episode in no time.
Stramonium in this case was a remedy to which Charlie was sensitive. It produced some change but did not solve Charlie’s deep seated problem. The advantage of not repeating remedies is that the homeopathicity of a remedy to the patient can be easily assessed.
Bismuthum as a remedy comes under the form of a ‘mixture’ of bismithum-subnitricum and bismithum oxide. This is due to the original preparation that was described and proved by Hahnemann.
A few other symptoms that are worth remembering about Bismuthum. (Vermeulen)
Cannot stand solitude.
Starts this and that but perseveres in nothing. Does not lie or sit for a long time in the same position. (symptom applicable in this case)
Thirst for cold water.
Cold water ameliorates (drink, bath, applications).
Epigastric pains. (pathology of the stomach is frequent)
Sticky saliva. (Just like him who is gluey (M. Brunson))
First vomits water then food.
Nausea after abdominal surgery.
Dryness of palms of hands and soles of feet.