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Fred Koschmann

Fred Koschmann

Filmmaker | Founder, Backyard Film Co. | Class of 2006

To future L.A. filmmaker Fred Koschmann, it seemed like a winning formula at the time: get a puppy, improve his chances of meeting co-eds.

The playful black lab he picked out sure looked the part but Ophelia wasn’t particularly obedient, especially when it came to using her puppy fangs.

“The idea that one could pick up girls on the Quad with a cute puppy proved to be a myth,” Koschmann says, “when the main reaction seemed to be, ‘Aw, she’s so cute. Ow! Ow! Ow!’”

Fast-forward a year. Koschmann (BA ’05, MA ’06), now in grad school, decides to bring Ophelia along when he and a few friends sneak on to the grounds of the Arboretum with bottles of wine and blankets. “We assumed this was against the rules but could honestly say we didn’t know what the rules were, so I let Ophelia run free.

“After awhile, we saw a flashlight coming toward us, which seemed to scare her Ophelia, who at this point had grown a little larger, though was no less energetic or more behaved. She ran barking toward the light until we heard a whimper and things got quiet. We ran after her and found a policeman shining his light on her. She was on her back, rubbing her eyes with her paws. 

“The policeman, it turned out, had maced her. He seemed flustered and full of remorse, saying things like, ‘Well, she provoked me!’ It was hard to see in that moment how this cute and pathetic dog, quietly writhing in pain, needed to be maced, and the girls in the group in particular expressed their dissatisfaction toward the young cop.”