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Real life Sandy' goes from rags to riches in MLT's Annie' production

By Staff
REAL LOVE Sandy, the lead dog in the Meridian Little Theatre's upcoming production of Annie, gets a hug from co-stars Lauren Rogers, left, and Sarah Margaret Huff. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Aug. 24, 2001
The freckle-faced 10-year-old cast earlier this month to play "Annie" created a real life rags to riches story when she rescued the dog that will share the spotlight as her loving companion, "Sandy."
The little girl, Lauren Rogers, and her family rescued a yellow mutt from garbage Dumpsters near their home, a dog that will play the role of Annie's dog, "Sandy," in the upcoming Meridian Little Theatre production of the long-running Broadway play.
Lauren's mother, Cindy Rogers, first noticed the yellow female Labrador mix on a trip to trash bins near their Clarkdale home.
When the children called "here Sandy," the yellow dog came towards them, wagging her tail, Rogers said.
It didn't take much to convince Meridian Little Theatre director Jimmy Pigford the dog was perfect for the role.
Sandy took to the stage quickly, easily taking to the children. "She plays the part of a stray perfectly," Cindy Rogers said.
Pigford, who double-cast the play, said Sandy will co-star with Ken Patterson (Oliver Warbucks), Heida Swanson (Miss Hannigan), Twyla Hurst (Grace) and the two Annies, Lauren and Sarah Margaret Huff.
In the meantime, Sandy will make her home with the Rogers family, living in the garage, said Cindy Rogers, "like she has lived there forever."
The play is scheduled to open the Meridian Little Theatre's 69th season on Oct. 11.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for the Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3236, or e-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.