One of the ballerinas in this year’s Birmingham Ballet rendition of a Christmastime classic can’t turn her head, manages her pirouettes despite a fused spine, and finds her inspiration in bacon flavored treats.
Her name is Pig, and she is one of the dogs featured in “The Mutt-cracker Suite,” which the Alabama ballet company has been putting on for five years to raise money for the Birmingham Humane Society.
Pig, who wears a pink tutu throughout the performance, was born with a rare affliction known as short spine syndrome.
Despite that, “She’s a petite, dainty package of joy,” said Cindy Free, director of the Birmingham Ballet.
“We love having her in the show. She was perfect for the [role],” Free told Inside Edition.
A portion of every ticket for “Mutt-Cracker” goes to the Greater Birmingham Humane Society.
Pig plays the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy’s on-stage companion, and she’s one of 29 dogs in this year’s production.
The three-year-old border collie mix also appeared in last year’s “Mutt-Cracker” production.
“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.”
You can learn about Pig at the Pig the Unusual Dog Facebook page.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 16th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: alabama, animals, ballet, benefit, birmingham ballet, birmingham humane society, dogs, fund raiser, fused, mutt-cracker, muttcracker, nutcracker, nutcracker suite, pets, pig, pig the unusual dog, production, short spine syndrome, spine
A family in northern Maine says it is “overwhelmed” by the generosity they saw from friends and strangers who donated enough money for them to get a service dog for their 5-year-old daughter, Faith.
Faith has spina bifida and experiences seizures. The new dog — a black Lab named Dandy — has been trained to detect when they might be coming.
Bruce and Beverly McNally, of Island Falls, took Faith in as a foster child, then as their adopted daughter. They quickly realized they needed help monitoring her for the seizures, which could be deadly if not addressed.
“The family became very worried, which is why they wanted to get the dog,” Michele King, Faith’s aunt, told the Bangor Daily News.
King is also the chief administrative officer for Brave Hearts, a nonprofit Christian home for young men in Island Falls, and that organization sponsored a fundraiser last month to try and raise the $2,500 that was needed.
King said that donations came from the more than 100 people who attended a benefit supper, and from people as far away as North Carolina.
“We just couldn’t believe it,” Beverly McNally said. “We eventually had enough money and we had to gently turn people away. We had to tell them that we had enough for the dog, but that we wanted them to donate the money to a charity of their own choosing.”
Dandy came from CARES — Canine Assistance Rehabilitation Education and Services — a nonprofit organization in Concordia, Kansas, that trains and matches assistance dogs with owners.
“Dandy has just been wonderful for Faith,” McNally said on Friday. “She picks up on a chemical change in the body when a seizure occurs. One day when we got back, Faith was very lethargic. She was in the chair with me and needed to be snuggled a lot more. And the dog got up in the chair and started whining. And I didn’t realize what was going on. And 45 minutes later, Faith had a seizure. Then I realized what the dog was trying to tell me.”
(Photo: Michele King)
Posted by John Woestendiek April 23rd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: assistance, benefit, black, brave hearts, canine, cares, dandy, detecting, dog, dogs, donations, education, faith, fundraiser, fundraising, island falls, lab, labrador retriever, maine, rehabilitation, seizures, service, services, spina bifida
Baltimore residents Leon Fleisher and Katherine Jacobson Fleisher will perform together Friday night at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in a benefit concert for The Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS).
The internationally-renowned pianists will be performing spring favorites by Chopin, Debussy, Ravel, and Schumann.
Tickets are available at $35, $50, $75 and $125 at BaltimoreAnimalShelter.org. The $125 tickets include premium seating and a reception with the artists.
The concert takes place at 8 p.m. and will be preceded by a silent auction at 6:30 p.m. The silent auction features 50 items including a piano lesson taught by Leon Fleisher, a week at a country house in France, a Pandora bracelet from Smyth Jewelry, original artwork and gift baskets from Baltimore area retailers.
BARCS is a non-profit organization created in 2005 to manage the Baltimore City animal shelter. BARCS provides shelter, food, and medical attention to over 400 animals daily.
Leon Fleisher was the recipient of a Kennedy Center Honors award presented in 2007 by President George W. Bush. His wife, Katherine Jacobson Fleisher, is a soloist, duo-pianist and chamber musician who has received international critical acclaim for her talents.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 2nd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, baltimore animal rescue & care shelter, barcs, benefit, cats, concert, dogs, fundraiser, katherine jacobson flesiher, leon fleisher, ohmidog!, peabody, pets, pianists, piano, silent auction
“Hey That’s MY Dog!” a photo exhibit featuring more than 150 South Baltimore dogs — on display until May 10 — got off to an amazing start last night at Captain Larry’s.
Dog lovers packed the joint. Close to 50 of them took home photos of their dogs. And I only ripped off one customer.
Before we get to that, allow me to point out that proceeds from the exhibit go to Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS), and to issue special thanks to two Philadelphia friends — Margaret Grace, who helped me put the exhibit up, and Don Groff, who took the accompanying photographs
Thanks as well to Adam and his singing dog Sierra. While there were too many distractions for Sierra to focus on her singing, she howled a bit, and her presence, and Adam’s sidewalk saxophone playing, were appreciated.
The idea behind the exhibit — the culmination of about two year’s worth of my dog photo-taking — was that dog people would pay big money for photos of their own dogs. (The prints, all hanging from clotheslines, are selling for $25).
Sadly, I informed her that the photo was not Buster, but another Boston terrier friend, the irrepressible Darcy.
Not long after she left, Darcy’s owners showed up and forked over the money for the photograph. Then they took a seat and looked at it a little more closely. The dog in the photo looked older than their’s, and the markings were slightly different.
Turns out it wasn’t Darcy (top); it was Buster (bottom).
Most graciously, they did not demand their money back. And, since I have dozens of Darcy photos from the times I’ve babysat her, I’ll be getting a new print to them — their own dog this time.
We’ll be back tonight at Captain Larry’s, 601 E. Fort Ave., in hopes of selling more photos, and none of them, we hope, under false pretenses. The exhibit will be up through next Monday.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 4th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: baltimore animal rescue & care shelter, barcs, benefit, buster, captain larry's, darcy, dog, dogs, exhibit, fundraiser, hey that's my dog, john woestendiek, ohmidog!, photographs, photography, photos
If you’ve strolled by the Captain’s, you might have seen my sign out front, a piece of which is shown here.
The exhibit is a benefit for Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter, once the home of my dog, Ace, and a passing through point for another 11,000 or so dogs a year.
All profits, once the costs of the exhibit are recouped — and I sure hope they are recouped — will go to BARCS, a non-profit agency formed in 2005 in an effort to upgrade the former city animal shelter and reduce the rate of euthanizations.
All photos are for sale and can be taken home with you. The grand opening party starts today at 6 p.m., with Captain Larry’s offering some “Hey That’s MY Appetizer” and “Hey That’s MY Drink” specials. The evening may also feature some musical entertainment, depending on the weather, and whether Sierra the singing dog shows up. (City laws don’t allow dogs inside dining establishments, but Sierra plans a sidewalk performance.)
There’s no charge for admission. Donations to BARCS are welcome. The event’s Facebook page can be found here.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 3rd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: arts, baltimore animal rescue & care shelter, barcs, benefit, entertainment, event, exhibit, facebook, fundraiser, hey that's my dog, john woestendiek, ohmidog!, photographer, photographs, photography, photos
In the year and a half I’ve been writing, taking photos and assembling ohmidog!, I’ve amassed quite a few dog photos. And, thanks to my trademark photographic technique — take 100 pictures and one or two might accidentally be good — some of them are even exhibit-worthy.
So an exhibit it is: “Hey, That’s MY Dog!”
Starting with opening night festivities on May 3, and through May 10, my photos of more than 150 south Baltimore dogs — possibly even your’s — will be on display at Captain Larry’s, 601 E. Fort Avenue, with profits from the exhibit going to Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS).
Above is a preview of the exhibit, set to music by David Israel and performed earlier this month at the South Baltimore Hootenanny, a semi-regular gathering of semi-regular musicians who congregate at Captain Larry’s.
Thanks to Captain Larry’s for providing the venue, and to sponsors K-9 Kraving and Lucky Lucy’s Canine Cafe.
All of the dogs in the exhibit are, or at least once were, from south Baltimore. Most of the photos were taken at Riverside, Federal Hill and Latrobe parks. A handful of dogs now residing, and available for adoption, at BARCS are also included. (BARCS is where I adopted my dog Ace, almost five years ago.)
Those familiar with Captain Larry’s might wonder how one might exhibit photos there — given that nearly every available inch of wall-space already has something hanging. You’ll have to show up to see my solution.
There will be free doggie treats Monday night (while supplies last) and all the unframed prints will be available for purchase. (Dogs will have to view the exhibit from outside.) There is no cover charge, but you are welcome — even if you don’t buy a photo — to make a donation to BARCS.
Hope to see you there.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 19th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, art, baltimore animals rescue and care shelter, barcs, benefit, captain larry's, dog, dogs, event, exhibit, federal hill, fundraiser, k-9 kraving, locust point, lucky lucy's, ohmidog!, opening, pets, photo, photography, riverside, south Balitmore
Art for the Animals, an exhibit benefiting Recycled Love has its official opening Saturday (Feb. 20) at Gallery @ 32nd & Chestnut in Hampden.
The opening, postponed earlier due to the snow, will run from 6 to 11 p.m., and includes a silent auction, food, beverages and live music.
Presented by Diversiform, the exhibit features works by artists Matt Bovie, KT Howard, Sandra Jones, Landis Expandis, Carly McKague, Nick Schauman and Kelly Walker.
More information is available at the event’s Facebook page
Posted by John Woestendiek February 19th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, art, art for the animals, baltimore, benefit, diversiform, dogs, event, exhibit, fundraiser, gallery @ 32nd & Chestnut, hampden, organization, pets, recycled love, rescue, shelter