Someone referred to it as a “doggie baptism,” but the folks from St. Mary’s Catholic Church weren’t trying to save the souls of lost dogs.
They were hosing, scrubbing, dousing and conditioning canines to raise the final funds for a house-building mission trip to Mexico.
Anyone passing Evergreen Pet Shop on Saturday couldn’t help but see them. It’s not every day commuters nearing Sprague and Evergreen glimpse a group of dogs getting the salon treatment.
The pooches were of all types and sizes. German shepherds, huskies, bulldogs, beagles, terriers, cocker spaniels and a troop of golden retrievers all were presented for the Great Scrubbing.
The 20 or so volunteers got started at 10 a.m. They were immediately deluged with dogs.
“It’s been crazy,” said Annie Trunkle, St. Mary’s youth minister. There were about 50 four-footed customers in the first hour.
Obviously, the word had gotten out. Some of that blame has to go to Anna Henry - when she’s not shampooing Shar-Peis, she works as a marketing director.
She finagled spots on television and radio, and had her share of promotional ink, too.
“It must just be the novelty of it,” Henry said.
Pet owners didn’t have to pay a big chunk of change, just a donation. Folks gave anywhere from $2 to $20.
Sure, the event was billed as a dog wash. That didn’t stop those with soiled critters of other sorts, though.
“Uh-oh, this is turning into an all-animal wash,” Henry said as a black feline got the plastic-kiddie pool immersion treatment.
That didn’t go over well. “Ow, claws!” cried a girl as the cat went under.
“This is a dog wash! DOG WASH!” hollered 13-year-old Rory Evelynd, the youngest of the St. Mary’s missionary group. His bearded collie and Yorkshire terrier weren’t too happy about the kitty situation.
Neither was the cat. Eyes huge, it shivered and dug into its owner.
Just across the small, now-flooded patch of grass in the pet shop parking lot, the golden retriever clique was forming. There were about six of them. Two pups were snapping at one another, taking turns playing Take a Chunk Out of My Fur.
Just then, someone brought a large white dog, a breed called a Great Pyrawhatzit or something. Scratch that - this was a large, exterior-carpeted mobile home.
“Now we have Marmaduke,” Henry said. Actually, it turned out the beast’s name was Andy. It took six teenagers to keep the thing steady in the plastic pool. They managed to hold Andy long enough to wash him, but then came retribution.
“Ooooooh …” said the washers who were now the washed. With a quick shake, Andy managed to soak everyone in paw’s reach.
Andrew Hofmeister, a 16-year-old on the trip list, looked on. “This is a mighty fine canine scrubbin’,” he said.
Indeed it was, Trunkle said. Her group raised about $350 from the wash. Members will head off to Tijuana on July 25 to build two homes for the needy. The organization coordinating the trip, Amor, purchased building materials for them - some of which were salvaged from Hollywood film sets.
“Last time we had some from ‘Jurassic Park,”’ Trunkle said of the last St. Mary’s trip.
Maybe that’s where Andy came from, too.
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