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“Tomorrow we start Old Yeller,” I say. “But I think we’ve had enough for today. Why don’t you all go out to the yard and get some fresh air.” They leave, and when I am alone, I blow my nose again, loudly and in private.

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This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 66: Sept/Oct 2011
Mary McCallum works in restorative justice (which focuses on the needs of victims, offenders and the involved community) after spending seven years behind the razor wire as a librarian and teacher for prison inmates. She is a commentator for Vermont Public Radio and lives with Pearl, a sato rescued from Puerto Rico.

Image by Jen Renninger

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