My Hometown: Muttcrackers

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – As dancers hone their craft, if you look closely, you’ll see someone ever so politely and attentively watching. “All of the kids know him. The parents know him. The faculty knows him. He’s kind of like our mascot,” Rena Bernadini said.

His name is Twinkle. If he’s not admiring a rehearsal, he may be looking for a treat in the back office, or finding one in another. Last year, Twinkle had his time in the spotlight through a collaboration with Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control called Muttcracker.

“These are loveable animals. They’re great animals and this is a really fun way during the holiday season to let people know about them,” Holly Pasquinelli with Animal Care and Control said.

During Act 1 of the party scene in the Nutcracker, adoptable dogs are part of the act. During intermissions the canine stars can meet the audience and hopefully their future parents. It’s something the Fort Wayne ballet has done for seven years now, only with some impromptu moments,

“One year one of the little dogs decided to take a little break on stage and leave a little mark,” Joni Dick said. Joni walks the dogs during the performance

But there were no accidents last year. That’s when Rena Bernardini met Twinkle back stage and it was love at first sight. “I put my application in for Twinkle and couple days later here we are.”

It was Rena’s first year in Fort Wayne. A native of New York, she didn’t know a lot of people or the town. Twinkle soon became part of her home. “Last year I was living by myself and so I was super grateful to have a friend to come home and play with.”

Most of the time you can find Twinkle at the studio where he spends his days roaming as he pleases. And of course getting those treats.

It’s almost serendipity, in the way that Twinkle was meant to be a Muttcracker and how it landed him in his perfect forever home. “He is definitely that friendly face to see sometimes when it’s been a bad day or if you want to go outside and play you have an excuse to do that. He’s just become part of our Fort Wayne family.

You didn’t see this year’s Muttcrackers because they’re picked closer to show time. So, you’ll have to go to a show to see who made the cut, and if you’re interested in adoption, here’s your chance.

Opening night is Friday December 1st. Click here for more.