Tied up

IT'S a dog's life. But it was Randall Forselius's living. The Denver haberdasher used his three-year-old Airedale, Mustikka, to model ties in the window of his shop, Trifles. In November, Forselius was told that Mustikka's modeling career ran afoul of a federal animal-welfare statute requiring animals used to merchandise products to be licensed. Mustikka was not.

Forselius, who claims a ``low threshold for bureaucrats,'' protested that Mustikka was his pet, was well treated, and was used to model only ugly ties that weren't for sale.

A visit persuaded the authorities not to require a license for the dog, but the shop owner got the word too late. Thinking his choice was between licensing the dog and closing the shop, he opted for the latter and got a municipal license to hold a going-out-of-business sale. Trifles is to close at the end of the month.

Mustikka continues to model for the moment, but it looks like a case of hanging a bad repp on a pooch.

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