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Couple's pet becomes pin-up pup

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Shelly Birkelo
January 8, 2013

— Annie, a purebred bichon frise from Janesville, has become a pin-up puppy now that she's featured in Workman Publishing's "365 Days of Puppies a Year 2013 Calendar."

Annie's owner, Melvin Mislivecek, said he was surprised to learn Annie's photo was published when he received a letter and complimentary copy of the calendar this summer.

Melvin's wife, Judy Mislivecek, bought Annie, formally known as Princess Annie Mislivecek, as a gift for him on Father's Day 2011.

"We answered an ad in a Madison newspaper," she said.

The svelte 10-pound, 18-month-old dog is the featured pet for July 4 in the calendar.

In the picture, shot during the summer of 2011 by Judy's cousin Bonnie Clark of Janesville, Annie is wearing a red harness that is striking against her fluffy white fur.

The photogenic Annie didn't mind posing for the photo.

"She loves to be cuddled just like a baby, loves to play in the snow and chase the rabbits," Judy said.

The Mislivecek's daughter Jan Kerl, Janesville, submitted the photo in early 2012 after an acquaintance noticed the adorable photo of Annie, told her she had a dog calendar entry form and should submit the photo.

The woman also told Kerl she was confident Annie would win a spot in the calendar on Valentine's Day, the Fourth of July or Christmas, and she did.

The Misliveceks are proud Annie was selected.

"We get thousands of submissions for our cat and dog contest calendars each year," said Susan Bolotin, Workman's editor-in-chief, in an email.

When the photos arrived as prints, Workman's offices resembled Santa's workshop filled with bags of mail, she said.

Today, most pictures are submitted as digital images. Workman's photo editor hires extra help to open the mail and deal with the volume of pictures.

"As he sorts through them, he looks for beauty, wit, variety and artful composition as well as for pictures that simply have that 'aah' factor. He's also searching for cats and dogs, kittens and puppies who have unusual or surprising stories," Bolotin said.

Bolotin said setting the bar high makes for calendars that people love.

The Misliveceks agreed. The calendar hangs by Melvin's desk in the basement office of the couple's east side home.

"We don't want anybody to write on it," Judy said. "We're showing (it to) everybody."



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