ANNAPOLIS -- The only permanent resident of the governor's mansion, Willie the first dog, is apparently as zealous as the governor about protecting the mansion's new fountain.
Twenty third-grade students on a Friday field trip were frightened away by the dog, which barked until they left, the children's teacher said.
"We never did get finished looking at the fountain," said Theresa Gregory-Pettaway, an Annapolis elementary school teacher. "The dog's barking was too loud and he was frightening the children so much I was afraid they would back into the street."
Gov. William Donald Schaefer, who prefers to spend most of his time in his West Baltimore row house rather than the mansion, recently had a surveillance camera concealed in a fake birdhouse installed next to the fountain.
A spokeswoman for Schaefer said it was the first complaint of its kind against the state's first dog.
"The governor is fond of children and he is also fond of dogs," said Schaefer spokeswoman Louise Hayman. "Willie is never left unattended when he is outdoors at the mansion. And there is no danger of him getting out of the fence."
Gregory-Pettaway said Willie was attended, but his companion did not call the dog back from the fence. She said he crossed his arms and laughed at the children's fright.