Yes, I am allergic to animals. Yes, I am especially allergic to wool, whether still on the beast or presented as a brightly colored alpaca scarf. I did my best at the Pisac market to have Dave handle all the alpaca scarves and sweaters we purchased for our family but men really don’t have the flair for presentation, so ultimately I ended up handling just about everything we bought 50 times or more. That night we found ourselves sleeping in a room where the alpaca wear was double bagged and slipped into a wardrobe and still in the middle of the night, instead of hearing the constant sound of barking dogs, all that could be heard was a hacking Kae.
We left Pisac for Cusco the next morning packed in a minivan with our bag of alpaca wears sitting at our feet. After spending a night with my friend the allergy cough, I decided to double up on the allergy meds for the day. On our way out of the parking lot, our guide turns and says, “We pass an alpaca farm and wildlife rescue on our way, would you be interested in stopping there.” Without a moment’s hesitation I said “absolutely” and David just laughed knowing that I would have to touch, pet and talk to all the little alpaca even though it meant he would be spending the rest of the day with an over-the-top happy but still hacky, blotchy, sticky-eyed wife.
There are a lot of things that I just never envisioned doing in my life. For instance, I have never thought out what I would do if I found myself standing in Peru while a large pack of alpaca careen down a path in my direction with the clear intent of relieving me of my bundle of alfalfa. The thundering of multiple hooves should create some fight or flight instinct in a person. Buy alas, no. My basic instinct was to stand there and watch, laughing with glee as I was completely engulfed in fuzzy alpaca bodies.
David and I had a wonderful time feeding the alpaca. I made small talk with them while I was giving them their little treat of alfalfa making sure as they greedily gobbled it up, that I thought it was important that they chewed thoroughly so they would not choke because although I am the possessor of many super skills, the alpaca Heimlich is not one of them.
At various points during our visit, David would attempt to remind me that it might not be the best for me to be hugging and petting and putting my face directly in the faces of the wool-bearing creatures because I was going to suffer the rest of the day with their fibers all over my clothes and hands. Not to mention that alpaca have a tendency to spit great big green globs of regurgitated alfalfa if they feel threatened. But alas it was a moot point. There is not a bone in my Mrs. Doolittle body that could have resisted those fuzzy little faces.