Medicine Dog

Some years ago I went by car with a couple of friends from Prague to the Czech town of Ceska Lipa for a weekend. The car's owner brought along her dog Albert, apparently so named because he had "eyes like Albert Einstein". I had never seen such an odd looking dog, completely hairless, with huge eyes and ears, Albert looked like he came from another planet. I remembered I had read somewhere that E.T.'s eyes were modeled after Einstein's for Spielberg's famous film about alien contact. Hmmmm. "Albert is a healing dog, a Peruvian Hairless, he is very empathetic and has special powers", she said. Old Albert passed a lot of gas, that was all I knew for sure at the moment, as I was sitting downwind in the back seat while he stood wobbly, straddling the console in the front seat between the two girls. I cracked my window and hoped the journey would be a short one.

As weekends went in those days, too much alcohol was consumed and I woke up on my friends' couch with my head hammering and a queasy feeling in my stomach. Albert stood between me and the bathroom. "Oh, Albert...", I moaned. He trotted over and lay down next to me, his head nuzzling my stomach, which miraculously and almost instantly stopped churning. It was like I had downed an Alka-Seltzer. No longer feeling sick, I realized I was hungry and started to get up. Bad mistake, blinding headache now, room spinning. I lay back down. "Oh... mercy!". As if on cue, Albert moved to the edge of the couch and sat right next to my head. It was as if a hot compress had been applied, and a couple of Ibuprofen had been swallowed and taken effect. In an instant, headache gone! I enjoyed the rest of my day, pain free.

...a Czech-speaking American expat living in Prague since 1993.

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