nutcracker feat
Source: Dogster
Beary, a Rottweiler, is thrilled to star as Fritz.
Source: Dogster
Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier Kayley is looking forward to reprising her role as a ballroom dancer.
Source: Dogster
Liberty, a Bernese Mountain Dog, has enjoyed solos as an Arabian Coffee Dancer.
Source: Dogster
Lizzie, a Blue Merle Sheltie, has played the Candy Cane dancer. She also danced the classic “Pas de Deux” as the Sugarplum Fairy’s Sister.
Source: Dogster
Baily made his stage debut in The Nutcracker production. He plays two roles: a mouse and a ballroom dancer. A seven year-old Shelty, Baily has been a therapy dog for more than six years.
Source: Dogster
Sophia, a Black Lab, is also featured in two roles: a Snowflake and a dew drop in the "Waltz of the Flowers" sequence.
The battle begins.
The Mouse King and his men take on The Nutcracker.
Soldiers in tutus engage in serious standoff.
Two dancer dogs take to the stage to dance it out.
A waltz.
Two courtiers dance as others look on.
A festive pug strikes a memorable pose.
Three dogs fashioned in red costume perform a traditional dance.
And of course, eager fans greet the stars after the show.
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Miracles Do Happen: An All-Dog Production Of The Nutcracker Exists

Since 2003, I have operated under the strongly held, fiercely defended belief that the greatest thing to happen to Christmas is the film Love Actually. Mostly because of moments like this.

And men like this.


To be clear, there is only one man like Colin Firth. His name is Colin Firth.

Well, today my world was shattered, but in the best way possible. Because, ladies, gentlemen and dogs of the world, I learned that there is something even more amazing than Love Actually. An all-dog production of The Nutcracker called Canine Nutcracker.


I didn’t know the world needed this until this very moment.

If you’re not drooling already, here’s the trailer:


Not only does this exist, but it’s in its eighth season! (So, like, what have I been doing with my life these past seven years? Other than obsessively rewatching Love Actually.) The production, run by the Pawsitive Therapy Troupe from Downers Grove, Illinois, stars more than 30 certified therapy dogs (and their handlers/understudies), and the funds are directed to the troupe’s continuing efforts to visit health care facilities and schools.


A troupe member hard at work.

A troupe member hard at work.

The non-profit’s founder, Becky Jankowski, devised the idea for Canine Nutcracker in 1999. Inspired by the rise of dog freestyle dancing and the impact that the troupe’s therapy dogs were already enjoying in more traditional settings, the first Canine Nutcracker took place at the Ronald McDonald Children’s Hospital at Loyola Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois. After a few years, the production’s doors opened to the public, and it’s been a smashing success ever since.

We were able to snag some headshots of this year’s cast, as well as some behind-the-scenes peeks at the pawduction. Take a look!

Featured image via Pawsitive Therapy
H/t via Dogster