“MuttCracker” Princess Pig Pirouettes On Stage For Charity

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
The holiday season brings various productions of the famous ballet, “The Nutcracker.” But one version in Alabama is doing things a bit differently to raise money for the Greater Birmingham Humane Society, featuring an unusual dog in the lead role!

Visions of sugar plums dance through children’s heads at this time of year, and no holiday season is complete without the famous Nutcracker ballet. But the Birmingham Ballet in Birmingham, Alabama, put a special spin on its version, “The MuttCracker,” which features a Sugar Plum Fairy companion unlike any other.

The Birmingham Ballet’s star Sugar Plum Fairy companion is a border collie named Pig. Pig is no ordinary dog in a tutu, though! She is one of seven dogs in the world to have what is known as ‘short-spine syndrome,’ and her head is fused at her shoulders, so she doesn’t have a neck. The condition also means she has a cool hop in her dog-step–with hunched shoulders and a lower-to-the-ground gait.

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That doesn’t stop her from showcasing her smooth moves on the ballet stage. Enticed by treats from fellow human Sugar Plum Fairy Katherine Free, Pig delicately prances on stage and pirouettes with the best of them! Her ballerina tutu is adorable, and her commitment to her craft helped sell out the performance for two straight years. Pig has held the role for two years, and she had to audition with several other dogs to win the coveted lead.

The first production of the Muttcracker was five years ago, and included 17 dogs doing various tricks and twirls. The increasing popularity of the show has meant 29 dogs performed this year, all of whom wow the crowds with their adorable talents and twirls. A portion of every ticket sale went to the Greater Birmingham Humane Society, because Pig knows the importance of giving back to the companion animal community!

Related: Dogs Trust Wants You To Give Socks, Not Dogs This Holiday Season

The three-year-old ballerina has her own Facebook page, Pig The Unusual Dog, where you can find more about her and her everyday life when she’s not on the stage! Now that this year’s show has gone on, she’s gearing up for next year’s auditions, and we’d imagine with visions of chicken and bacon treats dancing in her head!

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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