Dog Day at 'Roby Ridge'

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ROBY, Ill.: Not even the hounds of hell can drag Shirley Allen from her home. The 51-year-old Illinois woman described by police as "at the end of her rope" has been under siege for 35 days now — and after a debacle Sunday, she may well resist undergoing psychiatric examination for another 35.

It was a tactic entirely in keeping with the farcical, almost “Home Alone” quality of the standoff thus far. After using mirrors on long sticks to peer into Allen's home — and getting shot at for their pains — police sent in what they hoped would be the coup de grace: nine cans of pepper spray and a German Shepherd named J.D. But Allen, who has already stood up to tear gas and rubber bullets, was tougher than that: Unaffected by the pepper, she shot J.D. through the nose.

The news was bound to cheer the more than 200 militia members who have gathered at Roby to protest police tactics. It also sends the hapless sheriff's department back to the drawing board. What now? Well, perhaps they should waste no more time trying to coax Allen out by playing Barry Manilow records. Time to get tough: Send in the real thing.