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Thanksgiving Treats

Birmingham Ballet [Facebook]

Not all Thanksgiving treats are on the dinner table.   One special treat can be found at the Alabama Theatre the day after Thanksgiving, as the Birmingham Ballet presents the "Mutt-cracker" with live dogs performing alongside the dancers.  They call it a new twist on a "classic tail"!

Thanksgiving is a time when many of us like to get together with family and friends – and we like to include our four-footed family members in the celebration. The problem is that much of our holiday fare is not the best thing to share with our pets. In fact, some of it can make our animals sick, or worse.

On the list of no-no’s for pets is turkey bones – any poultry bones, really – because they tend to splinter easily and can cause major internal injuries for your furry friend. Yummy casseroles that contain things like onions or garlic can harm your dog, and the chocolatein those desserts can cause digestive problems for animals. Some desserts may contain the artificial sweetener, Xylitol, which can poison your pet – it is often found in baked goods and pies.

So what can you share with your pet? Try sweet potatoes – baked ones, with no salt or toppings – maybe a few bites of cooked turkey meat, some green beans, carrots, and pumpkin – all with no spices or sauces or sugar. Show your appreciation for your furry companion by keeping it safe on this day of thankfulness.

After Thanksgiving, you might enjoy a twist on a holiday classic, as the Birmingham Ballet presents “The Mutt-cracker”, a very special performance of the Nutcracker Ballet, with the addition of about 30 dogs to the cast, in costume, on stage with the dancers. The animals had to audition, and they have worked with a Canine Choreographer to learn to sit, turn and even twirl on cue as part of this unique performance. The Mutt-Cracker will be presented Friday night, November 29th, at the Alabama Theatre.

You can see the classic version of The Nutcracker, without dogs, on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Get the “scoop” on both The Mutt-Cracker and The Nutcracker on their website –

And if you want to create your own magic story, visit a shelter near you and make a homeless animal’s dream come true by adopting a new best friend to make your holiday – and your life - brighter, when you’re speaking of pets.


Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.
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