Short-Spined Dog Does a Perfect Pirouette in ‘Mutt-Cracker’ Performance


This short-spined border collie mix may be classified as a disabled dog, but no other pup can pirouette quite like she can.

Meet Pig, the short-spined ballerina with a feature role as the Sugar Plum Fairy’s on-stage companion during the Birmingham Ballet’s “Mutt-Cracker”.

“We love having her in the show. She was perfect for the [role],” said Cindy Free, director of the Birmingham Ballet. “She’s a petite, dainty package of joy.”

Pig, the 3-year-old border collie, can be seen in footage by APTN sporting a pink tutu as she dances on stage next to the Sugar Plum Fairy, working her hunched back — a result of her short-spine syndrome — to her advantage.

She is one of only seven dogs with short spine syndrome.

Free told InsideEdition.com it is now Pig’s second year doing the “Mutt-Cracker.”

“She has been working on her pirouettes since last year, and she’s gotten them pretty well,” Free said, “especially if you offer her bacon-chicken strips.”

She said the Birmingham Ballet decided to start their annual Nutcracker run with a “Mutt-Cracker” opener five years ago, after she was inspired by a ballerina dancing with her dog.

“I said, ‘That looks fun,’ because I do love dogs,” Free said. “People were putting dogs in the opening scene like they’re taking them for a walk, [so] we auditioned dogs.”

Their first production of “Mutt-Cracker” featured 17 dogs with unique talents, including jumping through hoops, or dancing on hind legs.

The Birmingham Ballet’s opening night has since grown to include 29 dogs. A portion of every ticket for “Mutt-Cracker” goes to the Greater Birmingham Humane Society.

 

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