That's how it went down at One-Eyed Mike's.

It seems someone called the Health Department and, according to city records, said "there was a dog inside ... amongst the customers."

Of course there was - had been for years.

Duke, who will be 4 on Aug. 1, has been a fixture at Mike's since he was 5 months old. One of the pub's two owners, Michael Maraziti, rescued him from a breeder who didn't want a mixed mutt among her purebreds.

"He really was an integral part when we started this place. People came in here specifically to bring him stuff and treats," Maraziti said. "I just can't believe this. He's the mopiest guy right now, because his whole world got turned upside down."

The health inspector, one of 14 "environmental sanitarians" charged with keeping the city's 5,000 food establishments up to code, had no choice but to give Mike's a violation: The dog greeted her at the door, after all. And the establishment had received a violation two years earlier from another sanitarian, according to city records.

Such violations rarely lead to penalties, though the department, which receives just a handful of animal complaints each year, could revoke a business' food license if it chose to.

So now, instead of hanging out at the bar, Duke hangs out at Maraziti's place, conveniently located in the house behind One-Eyed Mike's. He whimpers each morning when the bartenders come in for work, Maraziti said, and just isn't the same.

"The day I heard Duke got kicked out, I cried," said Amelia Ryerse, of the 98 Rock radio team Mickey & Amelia.

She and her partner held an on-air "Free Duke" session as soon as they heard the news in late January. Since then, the bar's neighbors, staff and patrons have offered to circulate petitions and dished out copious condolences over the banishment of Duke.

"Wal-Mart has its greeters, you go to a hotel and there's a concierge, and One-Eyed Mike's had Duke," Ryerse said, sitting at the bar the other day wearing a restaurant T-shirt and waxing nostalgic about happier times. "I'm moving to France."

While Parisians are known for taking their dogs everywhere - restaurants too - Baltimore is no Paris, and health professionals says there are some good reasons for prohibiting pets.

"There's always the issue of [fleas], feces, urine, shedding hair, that kind of thing and how would you control that," said Laura Hungerford, a professor of epidemiology and doctor of veterinary medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Prohibiting animals is done "not because pets carry disease, but just because it's gross."

Most animal prohibition laws were written years ago with rats and other disease carriers in mind, rather than family pets, which today are part of more than 60 percent of households.

Hungerford said the risk of getting sick from an animal is minimal, much smaller than catching something from another human, and that the main reason for banning dogs and the like has to do with behavioral issues and physical safety concerns.

"If you have a well-trained, well-behaved dog, you should be able to take [the dog] anywhere," said Severna Park resident Jim Beardmore. And he does, bringing his 105-pound golden retriever - Zeus Mustafa Swamp Thing - with him all over, including surfing in Mexico and skiing in Aspen.

But Beardmore's not sure about equal treatment for cats, or at least not the finicky ones.

"If it's a cool cat," he said, "I'm all in."

tricia.bishop@baltsun.com