I now have an update on Gel’s homeopathic treatment. I mentioned earlier this month that Gel pulled up a bit lame on his right front leg. Without thinking I gave him a remedy (Rhus tox) based on the symptoms. It worked, but when I told her about it, my homeopath gave me hell for it. According to her, there are no acute illnesses, there are acute manifestations of chronic disease. It has all worked out well in the end though and it seems the remedy I gave him for the lameness may have been the indicated remedy all along.
I am so enjoying working with this homeopath. She is so thorough and astute. She told me today that “in looking at Rhus tox, she sees the erections, the hard working, bossiness and focused aspect (not at all like the spaciness of Phos [the remedy we gave originally]). Irritability can be an aspect of Rhus, especially when they are not feeling well physically. Gel’s resistance about driving the flock away fits with the Rhus tox personality, and it would not be unusual to see physical resistance as a result of the cognitive dissonance he is dealing with because of it. He wants to work for me, but it feels wrong to move the critters away from me when his instinct is telling him to gather them to me. “
Now, you may be thinking to yourself, it is not unusual for a Border Collie to not want to drive the stock away from me because they are natural gatherers, and that is true, but for Gel to be so resistant to it means that he is suck in “cognitive dissonance” (this is a perfect term for it). The beauty of homeopathy is that it allows the individual to become “unstuck” and move forward towards the goal of complete balance.
I have noticed that since giving the remedy, Gel has become much more relaxed about driving. Rhus is, in general, a short acting remedy and I can already see its effects starting to fade so we may need to give it again. Waiting on direction from my homeopath on that.
Regarding Gel’s lameness in the front end: Gel has a powerful front end which makes it odd that he was lame in the front, but his back end seems a bit weak so may be he’s over compensating with the front. He is OFA Good, but x-rays and vet readings do not mean a whole lot to me. When working sheep, he sometimes has a hitch in the back end. It’s almost as if he’s so focused on what’s going on in the front (the stock) that he forgets he has a rear end and it has to hitch to catch up. It could also be because when he has his head low, it pulls the rear end off the ground. In addition, I’ve been told that some of the dogs from his particular lineage have that funny hitch in the back end. I am quite certain there is nothing structurally wrong with Gel, he wouldn’t be able to jump like he does if there was. It will be interesting to see if, after homeopathic treatment, the hitch doesn’t go away.