Maggy is a four year old spaniel. ‘She is pathetic’. She developed phantom pregnancy behaviour and she is, at the time of the consultation, completely depressed. There is no milk. A hormone treatment made no difference.
It started after a new kitten arrived in the house.
‘She is very patient with the kitten; she chews it but doesn’t hurt it. Now she does not even want to go for a walk. She has been miserable for a while now. She wants to come on to your lap and have her face close to you, I have to chuck her out of the room so she leaves me alone; it is worse now.
Right from a pup she was dominated by her sister; she really has a yielding personality. She is incredibly easy for a spaniel. She will go to enjoy herself in the garden but does not go far, never runs off. (They have a nice large garden which spills over in the woods and the fields without a barrier.) She will chase the pheasants but not the ducks or deer that come through the garden, she will catch the pheasants but won’t hurt them.
Last night, by accident, I shut the door on her paw and she didn’t even yelp; she just stood there pathetically.
At times she will go out of the kitchen (where we spend most of the time) to sit in a corner of the hall. She will do this as soon as the hall door is open. She just sits there depressed. She has always done this. I cannot remember when it started.
Outside, she will always get in a car if she can and I have to get a lead to get her out if it. This is worse when we all are doing things and she does not get attention.
She puts on weight easily.
She does not have an outgoing personality. She appears unhappy. She always wants attention, at times she gets shouted at but she just continues. You feel mean shouting at her. She is very obedient in every other way but she does not know the word ‘No’. At other times she easily goes to sleep on her own in another room.
She is good with my granddaughter; she plays with her and curls up with her. There is not a nasty thought in her.
She gets on well with the terrier but the terrier started to snap at her to make sure she got out of the car first when we go for a walk. Now Maggy does not even attempt to get out of the car anymore: she just sits there. Once out of the car (I have to use a lead to get her out) she will happily walk with the other dog. She is good to walk with other dogs but will run off if they attempt to play with her.
She had an odd personality for a spaniel right from the start.
She never bothers my husband who is very ill.
She became frightened from thunderstorms because of the terrier.
It is as if everything is in boxes, no fantasy, no learning, not looking.’
A straight forward repertorisation gives away the remedy.
Mind, Carried, desire to be carried
Mind, Yielding disposition
Mind, Will, weakness of
Mind, Delusions, forsaken
Mind, Delusions, life, cut off from life
Bamb-a (4/5), aur (3/5) carb-v (3/5) Carc (3/5) Puls (3/5) Tritic-v (3/5) ant-c (3/5) ars (3/5), Aur-m-n (3/5) etc…
In this case, only one rubric would have been enough: ‘Mind delusion, life, cut off from life’. Just the unusual repeated behaviour of putting herself away in the corridor when the door is open is strange enough to rely on one rubric only: cutting herself from the outside world is exactly what she does: she really lives this symptom. It is nice to see that Bamboo is in the other rubrics as well.
The choice of ‘Sulking’ was unhelpful (= wrong choice) to illustrate the fact she stayed in the car or sat away in the corner. This was more an expression of her non-decision (typical Bamboo).
Of course (apart from the treatment she received from her sister) there is no reason why Maggy should feel like an outcast. The owners are good with their dogs.
What to say about the remedy? The amazingly good description made by the owner at the end of the consultation (last phrase) just summarises it all: It is as if everything is in boxes, no fantasy, no learning, not looking.
Bamboo 200 twice.
Within a few weeks she changed completely. The owner did not come back for follow-ups but I met her one year later and she said that Maggy had become a different dog. She is still behaving well of course but does not have all this need for attention or putting herself away anymore. She is just a normal, happy, loving, family orientated dog now. She is not pathetic anymore.
Millie is twelve, she coughs and is not very lively. She is a Dalmatian.
She had been coughing and retching for the 3 days prior to the first consultation. Her temperature is normal and her chest is fine apart from a mild systolic heart murmur. There is no coughing following palpation of the trachea. She coughs up mucus which is aspirated back in her mouth and swallowed. There is also neck pain but she allows a normal exam of the spine. Still, a diagnosis of spondylosis is made together with old age hip disease. She has been stiff in her back for a long time now.
A quick repertorisation based on the symptoms of the expectoration: expectoration swallow what is coughed up and expectoration stringy, puts Causticum on forefront. LM3 two doses and the cough disappears for a short while but comes back and Millie continues to be very slow.
Two months later a proper consultation is organised to find an appropriate remedy for Millie and her cough. The hip and spine problem could also do with some improvement.
‘She became more confident after she was spayed. Her ears also improved. She had some infection before she was spayed.’ (There is still a mild chronic irritation in the ear canals.)
‘She has done a lot of exercise; she used to come out riding with us in the dog trap of the carriage.’ (One of the typical uses for the Dalmatian is horse cart follower: for defending, keeping vermin away and company for horse and driver. Dalmatians will often automatically fall in behind a moving horse cart. The owner makes much effort during the consultation to explain all this to me.)
‘She is fine on her own. She has always been a very active dog; she always rushed around, shot off and came back to us. She would run and run. She would play only if there were other dogs around. She was always protective of other dogs that stayed with us; she protected them against other dogs, as if they were pups.
She is territorial. The fields and woods around us are all her territory. She prefers male dogs but they have to keep their distance until she knows them better. She prefers to meet other dogs out of her territory.
When children look into her eyes she warns them off, I have to be careful.
We have been aware of the problems with her hips and spine in the last year; she finds it difficult to go uphill: going uphill is what makes her worse.
The cough of two months ago had been going on for a while. She was off her food, was breathing deeply, and looked particularly miserable. She coughed when she moved around, even when moving around in bed. She was fine out on a walk. She coughed when she moved gently.
Food has always been important, she would steal, but we watched out, she always stayed a thin dog; she could get fat easily. Food is less important now but still when she hears ‘Big Ben’ at 6pm she is there asking for her meal, even in the car she will ask for food at 6pm although she knows she cannot get it then.
She used to be a killer (squirrels etc, all animals in the garden are fair game) and she would bury her prey: she always took a long time to decide where to bury her prey. When on a walk she finds a dead body she wants to bury it, under some leaves or to make it look tidy. She has always been a late riser (10 am): she would get up and go back to bed.
She was never a fuss pot: she would do what she was told. If she goes up to people and we tell her to go to her bed she will go.
She likes the comfort of the warmth and soft beds: she doesn’t even lie on the grass, she would rather go inside on her bed than lie in the sun (which she likes). The thicker the mattress the happier she is. It is not a retreat, it is the comfort. (gen sensation of hard bed) She does not like the rain and cold.
She aged more quickly than our other dog.
When we are out with the carriage she just follows it and stands there.
She is happy in the car and sleeps. If she has an accident in the house she is embarrassed.’
I tried to repertorise but did not come up with anything that appeared to fit the case.
One of the rubrics I used was Mind, responsibility, taking responsibility too serious.
This dog is always running around and hunting (part normal for the breed), doesn’t play unless initiated by another dog which is never when they (she is) are in their garden. At other times, when away with the owner she just stands by the carriage and does nothing else. She also makes quite an effort at covering dead bodies (prey and other). Because there are no other signs indicating she may be meticulous maybe this last observation, like the others, is a sign that she takes the purpose of her breed rather seriously: keeping the area clean of pests.
Even her cough gets better from energetic exercise: the work she has to do?
Does this dog take its responsibility very seriously, maybe too seriously? She protects other dogs that have come to visit, protects the fields and the woods around the garden.
Further, although she appears to have a strong character, she listens very well to her owners. There is also no talk about the owner with regards to the relationship she has with the family…she may be labelled as a boring dog? She even asks for food in the car at 6pm knowing no food will come.
I read the remedies in the rubric and think to myself I need to find a remedy that has a very simple way of doing things: this dog does what a Dalmatian is supposed to do: kill vermin, guard, follow the carriage, protect. There is really not much else she puts her energy into.
The remedies in the rubric are:
adam. ara-maca. ars. aster. aur. aur-ar. bamb-a. calc. calc-i. calc-sil. carc. cocc. cupr. cycl. ign. kali-c. lac-e. lavand-a. Lil-t. lyc. mag-m. nat-ar. nat-m. Nat-s. ol-eur. puls. stront-c.
I suppose carc, lac-e, ignatia could have been candidates but bambusa appears to really have what Millie shows us. A colleague, Luc Van Damme once said about this remedy: the patients are like the bamboo shoot: before it starts growing the shoot already has the circumference the final bamboo stalk will have: the bamboo stalk has no choice: he is predestined to grow to a certain width only. It can grow in height but its dimension is predestined.
Millie receives bamboo LM6 for a week (that is the dilution I have) and improves well in a few days time: the cough goes and she also becomes lively again.
Two months later the cough reappears. The owner said that the treatment had been miraculous. She had been playing like never before.
Now she is back in bed, she improves with the LM6 but needs a 12C three days later to finish the job.
She is fine for 6 months when the cough comes back and responds again to the 12 C dose. Two months later she receives a 30C dose because she becomes stiff again. Then I lose contact and find out she had been put to sleep at the age of fourteen and a half. When I meet the owner she told me Millie had had a good life and there was no reason to give her more treatment; she had become stiff again, things had come to an end in her mind.
Maybe that was very much a bambusa argument of the owner . . . .