The German shepherd puppy looked just right to the two Franciscan Monastery brothers who traveled to the D.C. dog pound last week in search of a combination watchdog and pet.

They filled out the necessary papers and then returned to the monastery, a 20-acre expanse in Northeast Washington that is the home of 40 Franciscan brothers.

They didn't get the dog, despite the documented reputation of the founder of their order -- St. Francis of Assisi -- as a lover and benefactor of animals and birds.

A dog pound employee held up their application, voicing concern that the animal might not be given enough love and attention at the monastery.

"We found it a bit amusing," Brother Brian Carroll said yesterday.

"Brother Carroll said he thinks the dog pound employee was confused when the brothers said it would live at Holy Name College, part of the monastery. "There was a misunderstanding. They didn't want the dog given to a large school to be used as a patrol dog."

Actually, the brothers simply wanted the new pet because the 14-year-old mongrel that now lives with them is getting on in years.

"It is not to be used primarily as a guard dog," Brother Carroll said. "It's more of a household dog."

The dog pound has strict rules for adoption of animals.

"We stand here every day and kill dogs by the score because people don't care," new pound director Jean Goldenberg said yesterday. "We think our policies are reasonable."

Goldenberg said the confusion occurred just as Brother Carroll had described it. Goldenberg, president of the D.C. Humane Society, just took over the pound yesterday under a new contract with the city to operate the often-neglected facility on New York Avenue NE.

Ingrid Newkirk, who went to the monastery yesterday to meet with the brothers, also dismissed the initial confusion.

"Why don't you write about our switch to vegetarian dog food -- so that no other animals have to die to feed the ones we have here?," Newkirk asked a reporter. "We're not saving dogs at the expense of cows and chickens."

After yesterday's visit, Newkirk said, not only would the Franciscans get the dog today, but she has a tentative agreement with them to participate in ceremonies marking International Animals Rights Day on Oct. 15.