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
As those who regularly tune in for our “Woof in Advertising” features know, there’s no animal — with the possible exception of the scantily clad human female — that advertisers turn to more often to sell their products than the dog.
It’s because of the special connection we have with the species, because of the qualities they have come to represent (like loyalty and trustworthiness to name two), and because they are, generally speaking, the cutest things ever.
Sure, pigs are associated with fatness, laziness and sloth (not traits your average bank would want to equate itself with), but those are the big farm versions that often become ham, pork chops and bacon. Not to mention wallets.
The miniature pig, while maybe not a whole different animal, symbolizes, well, we’re not sure what, but in this ad it represents independence, maybe mixed with a little streak of rebelliousness.
In the ad, a confident looking retired couple (we can only assume they have a nice nest egg) are taking their unique pet “Percy James” for a walk in the park.
“You live life your way,” a narrator says. “We can help you retire your way, too. Financial guidance while you’re mastering life. Chase … so you can.”
The song? It’s “Boombastic,” by Shaggy.
(Click on this link for more Woof in Advertising posts.)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 13th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: advertising, animals, bank, chase, chase bank, commercials, couple, dog, dogs, investments, marketing, miniature pig, money, oink, oink in advertising, pets, pig, pigs, retired, savings, woof in advertising, woof!
Cesar Millan will not be charged with animal cruelty in connection with an episode of “Cesar 911” in which a dog he was training attacked a pot-bellied pig.
Los Angeles County animal control authorities said Monday that they’d completed a month-long investigation into the complaint and found no evidence of neglect or harmful intent, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“After a comprehensive investigation by our officers, we presented a very thorough and complete report to the District Attorney’s office and they were unable to find anything to charge Mr. Millan with,” said Aaron Reyes, deputy director for animal care and control. “It’s a fair decision.”
Reyes said investigators watched the full video “several times,” interviewed people involved in the episode and reviewed veterinary reports.
“You can tell that it was not intentional and [Millan’s] reactions were swift and effective,” Reyes said. “The injuries to the pig looked worse than they really were, and they got immediate veterinary care.”
In the episode, which aired Feb. 26, a French bulldog Millan was training bit a pot-bellied pig standing nearby.
Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney David Jacobs wrote in a case evaluation statement that “there is no evidence that the pig was used as bait, and all parties who witnessed the incident felt it was an accident. Although in the video the pig is seen bleeding, the dog’s act was merely a nip and did not tear or bite the skin off.”
The dog, named Simon, remains with his owner.
“The clip caused some concern for viewers who did not see or understand the full context of the encounter,” National Geographic Wild said in a statement. “The pig that was nipped by Simon was tended to immediately afterward, healed quickly and showed no lasting signs of distress.”
Millan said in a statment he was pleased with the investigation’s findings.
“My team and I are 100% dedicated to the proper care of all animals, including the farm pig in this case,” he said. “I am continuing my work rescuing and rehabilitating even the most difficult problem dogs, which has saved the lives of thousands of animals that otherwise would have been euthanized.”
(Photo: National Geographic Wild)
Posted by John Woestendiek April 13th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animals, attack, bite, bitten, cesar, cesar 911, cesar millan, charges, district attorney, dog trainer, dog training, dogs, french bulldog, investigation, national geographic wild, pets, pig, pot bellied pig, simon, television, training, tv
Cesar Millan is being investigated by the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control after a dog he was training attacked a pot-bellied pig during an episode of his TV show.
Investigators say they will determine whether a crime was committed after reviewing the video and interviewing those who took part in the Feb. 26 episode of National Geographic Wild’s “Cesar 911.”
Millan said no crime occurred.
“We know what we saw, and if you saw the entire video, then you know what we know,” said Aaron Reyes, deputy director for the animal control department, told the Los Angeles Times. “There’s no question that what happened, happened. A dog under Cesar Millan’s control escaped and attacked another live animal, in this case a pot-bellied pig.”
“The dog that was in question, that Cesar was attempting to train, broke away from him in the video, and immediately charged the pig. Now, what we’re hearing from the [complaining party] is that the biggest concern is someone had that pig, a male adult was holding one of those pigs, those rear legs, and holding the pig up, which made the pig squeal, which made the dog [go] into a frenzy. And it immediately charged at that pig. And the dog attacked,” Reyes added.
The complaint was filed by an animal rights activist who viewed the episode.
“I do have a large group of fans and a small group of people who don’t agree with me. They are taking this the wrong way and blowing it way out of proportion,” Millan said in an interview with the Associated Press.
Animal control officers and sheriff’s deputies visited Millan’s home Thursday night and spoke with his son, Reyes said. The son contacted Millan, who was out of state.
The incident took place at a 45-acre dog-training ranch in Santa Clarita, Reyes said.
In a statement, National Geographic Wild explained what happened in the episode:
“Millan was working with Simon, a French bulldog/terrier mix, who frequently attacked other animals, including his owner’s pet pot-bellied pigs. A short clip from the episode was shared online and showed Simon chasing a pig and nipping its ear, causing the ear to bleed. The clip caused some concern for viewers who did not see or understand the full context of the encounter. The pig that was nipped by Simon was tended to immediately afterward, healed quickly and showed no lasting signs of distress.”
The dog’s owner, identified only as Sandy, told 10News that Millan only helped her dog, Simon.
“Nothing but good came out of this episode,” she said.
“The deal that everyone’s making about animal cruelty and animal rights and everything is absurd,” she said. “It’s not what happened.”
Posted by John Woestendiek March 14th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal care and control, animal control, animals, attack, bite, cesar 911, cesar millan, dog, dog whisperer, dogs, french bulldog, los angeles, national geographic wild, pets, pig, pot bellied pig, television, training
A dog and a pig escaped from their Florida home through a hole in the fence and stayed by each other’s side until they were found a day later.
On Wednesday morning, the duo was found wandering down Merrily Circle in Seffner.
The person who found them led the dog to their yard, and the pig followed,
When animal control officers tried to put the dog in a truck, the pig began screeching, not wanting to be separated from his friend.
Pictures of the two were posted on the Facebook page of Lost and Found Pets of Hillsborough County, leading to some news coverage, leading to their owner reclaming them.
Willie Landry said he got a phone call from someone who had seen a TV report about the pair being found.
Petey (the pig) and K-2 (the dog) are long time best friends, he told Fox 13.
“They grew up together, they live together … They’re like my kids. They’re family.”
Petey the pig, Landry said, thinks he’s a dog and shares a playhouse with K-2 and another family dog.
“I’m just glad to have them back home,” he said.
(Photo: Lost and Found Pets Of Hillsborough County)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 25th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, dog, dog and pig, dogs, florida, found, k-2, k2, lost, petey, petey the pig, pets, pig, pig and dog, seffner
They say everything has a beginning, a middle and an end, but when it comes to an Alabama dog named Pig, she seems to have gotten short-changed on that middle part.
Between her sizable head and her rear end, there’s not much real estate, and as a result of her abbreviated torso, taking her out in public has always led to a lot of stares, and a lot of questions — chief among them, “What kind of dog is that?”
What accounts for Pig’s unusual appearance is called short spine syndrome, a birth defect that prevents the spine from fully forming and often makes everyday tasks — like running, jumping and eating — difficult.
Dogs with the disorder — though it can compress their organs and lead to health problems as they grow — generally can lead normal lives, and reach their full life expectancy.
They can also, as in Pig’s case, become international celebrities.
Pig developed a large following after appearing at this year’s Do Dah Day festival in Birmingham. She was featured in a story on AL.com, and her Facebook page, “Pig the Unusual Dog,” created in June, has more than 76,500 followers.
Now, following up on just what it is that makes Pig Pig, AL.com reports that her owner, Kim Dillenbeck of Helena, has received the results of a DNA test she had conducted on the dog to determine what breeds are in her.
A Wisdom Panel test says Pig is a Boxer, Chow Chow, American Staffordshire Terrier mix.
Dillenbeck who has heard guesses ranging from her dog being half rabbit to half not there, was surprised by the results.
“Everybody thought Akita,” Dillenbeck said. “I was was thinking something like a smaller dog, but I was wide open … Pig has all these interesting traits, and there are so many breeds out there.”
Other breeds showing up in the test results as possibilities include Portuguese Water Dog, Alaskan Klee Kai, Scottish deerhound, Lakeland terrier and Maltese.
Pig weighs in at just 16 pounds, much less than one of her siblings, who doesn’t have the disorder and weighs just under 40 pounds.
Dillenbeck’s experience with Pig led her to form the nonprofit Pig’s Foundation to help raise funds for people and organizations rescuing animals. Another mission of the foundation is to raise awareness that animals who look unusual can still have a happy life.
“Pig is her own breed,” Dillenbeck said. “To me, she is just one in a million. As much as I can see her potential in all these breeds, she is still just Pig.”
(Photos: Mark Almond / AL.com)
Posted by John Woestendiek October 31st, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alabama, american staffordshire terrier, animals, birmingham, birth defect, boxer, breed, breeds, chow chow, dna, dog, dogs, helena, pets, pig, short spine, short spine syndrome, shortened, spine, test, wisdom panel
For some reason, Pigalina was rejected by her mother, but she’s found a substitute in a member of another species — Levi, a four-year-old pit bull.
The piglet, three-weeks-old when this video was made, lives at PIGS Animal Sanctuary in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Levi, a rescued dog, was living there when she arrived — and obviously is used to being crawled upon by piglets.
The sanctuary, founded in 1992, specializes in the care of potbellied pigs and farm pigs, and it shelters other farm animals and pets as well. About 400 animals — pigs, dogs, cats, horses and goats among them — are living there.
You can learn more about out what’s going on at PIGS Animal Sanctuary by visiting its Facebook page.
Posted by John Woestendiek August 4th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal sanctuaries, animals, dog, dogs, haven, inter-species, interspecies, levi, pets, pig, pig and dog, pigalina, pigalina and levi, piglet and dog, piglet and pit bull, pigs, pigs animal sanctuary, pit bulls, pitbulls, potbellied pigs, relationships, rescue, rescued, sanctuary, shelter, sheperdstown, unlikely friends, video, west virginia