Local family's pet appears in dog calendar

A photo of Stephanie Akers' basset-lab mix named General appeared Jan. 6 on the Bad Dog calendar published by Workman Publishing. (Submitted photo)

Published: Friday, January 13, 2012 at 10:34 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 13, 2012 at 10:34 p.m.

General stood slightly less regal that hot, summer day in his pigtails, completing his ensemble with his pink purse.

Victoria Akers posed the 11-year-old basset-lab mix, and the photo — which would be judged among hundreds, if not thousands, of entries — was taken.

The photograph of the beloved family pet appeared Jan. 6 on the 365-page Bad Dog calendar published by Workman Publishing.

"I've purchased the calendars throughout the years, and we just thought, we'll just give it a shot," said General's owner, Stephanie Akers.

Stephanie Akers, 41, works with the University of Florida Foundation and has lived in Gainesville her entire life. Her daughter, 14-year-old Victoria, attends Westwood Middle School.

It was her first time submitting a photo to the nationwide contest, in which people mail in photos of their precocious pets that "showcase your ... bad behavior, bad habits, and all-around bad attitude," according to a press release by Workman Publishing.

Maggie Gleason, a publicity assistant with the publishing company, said "hundreds, maybe thousands" of photos were submitted and judged by the editorial staff. The winners were then notified in October the year before the calendar would be released.

"We try and have a lot of different kinds of breeds of dogs and get a good range of submissions from around the country," Gleason said.

Winners receive two free copies of the calendar for their trouble.

Akers said she rescued the short, black dog with a white chest from a pound when he was about 2 years old in 2003, just days before he was scheduled to be euthanized. He had been found wandering Waldo Road.

"He's one of the best dogs I've ever had," she said. "I was so thankful to get him."

Akers said General's unusually serious name came from his humorous attitude.

"I thought because he's got a silly look about him," she said, "I thought he should get something dignified and important like an army general."

Workman Publishing produces several pet-themed calendars each year, including 365 Dogs, 365 Cats, 365 Kittens-A-Year, 365 Puppies-A-Year, Bad Cat and Bad Dog. The calendars range in price from $12.99 to $13.99.

Photos for the Bad Dog contest must be submitted to Workman Publishing by Feb. 13 the year before the calendar will be released.

Mail your entry to: The Bad Dog Calendar Contest, Workman Publishing, Grand Central Station, P.O. Box 3927, New York, NY 10163.

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