Dog Placebo in India

There was this tour group of mostly Americans touring India in the early 60’s. And most of them were middle aged people, some retirees. And they um, they were going to see what the real rural villages were like. And when they got to one of the rural villages in Northwest india the people there were expecting the tour bus, and they put out food for the people on the bus. The people didn’t want to offend the villagers, but at the same time the figured the food was sitting out in hundred degree heat with no refridgeration. And so they watched a little boy sneak some of the food and give it to his dog, and the dog eagerly ate the whole thing, whatever the boy had in his hand. So the people surmised that if the dog ate the food, it should be alright. And so everyone chowed down, ate the food and enjoyed it. And about an hour and a half later, while they were sitting underneath in the shade of a tree digesting their meal and feeling good about life, the little boy came back into the village, crying that his dog had just died. The people looked at eachother, and all of a sudden they started feeling queasy, and a lot of them were saying “I told you so”. And then one of the people started throwing up. And soon several people were throwing up. And before too long, almost every member of the tour group was clutching their bellies with either vomiting or diarrhea or both. The tour bus operator actually got on the bus and drove the buss to the next village so he could notify the police who in turn notified the army. And within about another tow hours, the people were now deathly ill, all were sick, and the army came with medics and helicopters to the village, and started IVs and put some of the people on stretchers. And one of the doctors that was investigating was filling out a sheet about what happened- taking samples and everything. And the investigating officer asked where the dog was to the little boy. And the boy said the dog was about a mile down the road in a ditch. And the investigating officer asked him how it got in the ditch. And he said “That’s where the dog crawled to after he got hit by the car.”


This shows how powerful the mind is. Your mind can make a heaven or a hell out of circumstances. Nothing to do with facts. Or, it doesn’t necessarily. I first heard it in the early 60’s.


I think this is a combination of anxiety about India as more people started travelling there in the 60’s, and the counterculture belief that arose with the drug use and attitude of the 60’s that the mind can do anything. It reminds me a lot of the ‘Mexican Rat’ story in certain aspects.