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from The Capital Online, Maryland

    Amorous dog breaks into house
By ERIC COLLINS, Staff Writer

April 19, 2001

[Arnold, Maryland] --When Rhona Murtha awoke to hear the crash of broken glass at her Arnold home, she thought it was a burglar.

But when the 48-year-old woman cautiously went to investigate the noise about 1:15 a.m. Tuesday, she found that the intruder was actually Fred -- a neighbor's yellow Labrador retriever who had broken through her window for a late-night love rendezvous with her shepherd, Missy.


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"The (county police) officer said he'd never seen anything like it," Ms. Murtha said yesterday. "The dog didn't seem to be vicious or anything."

Ms. Murtha and her mother, Mary Braun, who live in the house in the 700 block of Harmony Avenue, were still cleaning up broken glass and overturned flower pots yesterday in the wake of 3-year-old Fred's crime of passion.

Ms. Murtha had mated 2-year-old Missy Sunday and had been chasing Fred away from her house all week, she said.

But Tuesday morning, Fred's lust apparently overcame him.

His owner, David Marklin, said Fred slipped out of his house in the 300 block of Alameda Parkway by breaking through a glass window -- the second time he's done that.

"Everybody was asleep," Mr. Marklin said. "When we caught on to it, we went looking for him, but we couldn't find him."

Ms. Murtha suspects Fred ran to her house several blocks away and reached her window after breaking into her back screened porch.

It appeared that Fred used a conveniently positioned chair to climb on top of a 19-inch TV sitting under the window. The dog chewed the window frame until the glass broke, and then he jumped inside the empty spare bedroom, knocking over the TV in the process.

Ms. Murtha screamed after finding him in her house, and Fred ran off without barking or biting, leaving a trail of blood behind.

"I never thought a dog could chew through a window frame," she said.

County Animal Control officers tracked the dog back to his home and seized Fred from Mr. Marklin, police said.

This was the fourth time officials have caught Fred running at large, and Mr. Marklin received a $100 citation for the offense, according to Tahira S. Thomas, Animal Control administrator.

Fred was impounded for five days but won't be deemed "potentially dangerous" or "dangerous" because his behavior was provoked by the female in heat, Ms. Thomas said.

Police said the broken TV was worth $300, but there was no damage estimate for the window and other property.

Mr. Marklin said Fred is costing him hundreds of dollars in fines.

"I don't know what I'm going to do with the dog," he said. "He's just young, and he's a Lab."

Copyright © 2001 The Capital

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