that’s gonna be a hard pass


Our dog Hutch was a graduate of the Freedom Tails program at Stafford Creek Correctional Center. The program matched rescue dogs with offenders at the prison. Each pair would work together in training before the dog was released for adoption.

Hutch’s was delivered to us with a little English composition book detailing his time with his handler. One memorable entry concerned giving the dog – who is about 73 pounds – a bath:

“Hutch is a gentle soul and would never harm or bite a human. However in giving him a bath he uses all his strength and agility, which is considerable, to avoid the tub.”


Nels and I experienced this today. I couldn’t stand the though of running the hose from the utility sink out to the garage and giving him his bath there – it was cold and a torrential rain was hammering down. Surely, I thought, he’s over his fear of the tub by now. Also, I can just pick him up. I mean he’s big but I am strong. After thoroughly brushing the dog, I sent Nels to grab the soap and a few washrags, and confidently set out to find Hutch and lead him into the bathroom.

But remember:


Ten minutes later, our outdoor setup ready, we lead Hutch outside. He is now literally like one of those medieval painting of a saint with a golden halo and shit. Calm and sedate, as if he’s never thrown a four-alarm panic scramble in his life. He patiently and even sweetly sat through many warm water suds, rinses, and scrubs. Like a gentleman. Like a goddamned Prince of the Realm.

So glad to not be in the bathroom tub!

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