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Paralysed dog steals the show during Pantomime season

Pumpkin using her wheelchair

One of the leading stars of a local panto is looking forward to well-earned rest, or should that be a long, extended walkies?

Pumpkin, a two-year-old Westie, has recently finished their run of four performances in a production of Aladdin, playing Sultana at the New Theatre Royal Lincoln which ran over the 3rd and 4th January.

But her journey to stardom was a difficult one which can be traced back to a harrowing upbringing.

She was found by a Lincolnshire family after being abandoned with a broken spine, paralysed from the waist down.

Pumpkin is unable to walk by herself, she has to use a customised wheelchair to move around due to the severity of being neglected as a puppy.

Fortunately, not only does she have a loving family, Puppy is fast becoming something of a local celebrity after appearing in a number of New Theatre Royal [NTR] shows, including her role as Toto in The Wizard of Oz, but also attracting famous fans such as Olympic medalist Louis Smith MBE and Strictly Come Dancing’s Ian White who played Sultan Cha-Cha-Cha in the Aladdin pantomime.

White told ITV News:  "She's an absolute dream to work with. As you can see, she's a natural in front of the camera.

"She's a natural on stage and I just adore dogs so for me it's my dream job to actually work with her on stage.

"I think people are surprised when they see her wheels because we don't start off in the wheels and they can appreciate what she has to do and how she gets around and she loves it."

Natalie Hayles-Cowley, NTR's artistic director, who also played Sirina of the Ring in Aladdin, said Pumpkin was "smashing it and she's upstaging everyone on stage for sure."

Away from the limelight Pumpkin is not only a therapy dog, she’s also an ambassador of the Pumpkin and Friends charity.

Her owner, Tammie Fox, calls Pumpkin her own little “superstar” and has plans to open a retreat for disabled animals.

[ In the original version of the story, Aladdin was a poor boy living on the streets in China. ]

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