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Diary: Sugar Pup Fairy

Pig in the Mutt-Cracker
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Even more festive cheer this week comes in the form of disabled dog Pig, who has been given a starring role in classic ballet The Nutcracker, or rather the Mutt-cracker, as the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Pig, who has a hunched back due to short spine syndrome, stole the limelight during an annual charity performance of the ballet, which featured no fewer than 29 prancing pooches.

The ballet took place, perhaps unsurprisingly, in the US – Alabama to be exact – with spaniels, pugs and even a Great Dane taking to the stage alongside their two-legged – and far less important – co-stars of the Birmingham Ballet.

Most of the performing pups were rescue dogs, with proceeds going to a local animal welfare charity.

As the star of the show, Pig strutted her stuff in a special, and really rather fetching, pink tutu.

The ballet’s director described her as a “petite, dainty package of joy”, but it’s not just about looks.

This prized pet can perform an array of unique tricks, including jumping through hoops, dancing on her hind legs and pirouettes, which she apparently practises regularly to ensure they’re up to scratch.

Allegedly, offering her bacon strips really helps the process, and having witnessed Pig’s magnificent moves, Tabard thinks they must have hit on something. No one tell the Royal Ballet.

Send stories to tabard@thestage.co.uk