Dog is party animal for 8-year old

Published 12:15 am Monday, March 8, 2010

NATCHEZ — For Kirsten Sanguinetti, 8, walking Gatsby through the park on a beautiful day is much better than being stuffed up in the bowling alley at a friend’s party.

When The Dart landed on Auburn Avenue, it found Theresa Mullins and Sanguinetti walking Gatsby, Mullins’ black and white cocker spaniel who got her name from the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic.

Sanguinetti said she skipped the bowling alley party because she would have more fun outside.

“Playing with Gatsby and Miss Theresa is more fun,” she said. “We are going to play on the swings and walk Gatsby.”

Mullins said she decided to take the duo walking through the park because of how beautiful the day was.

“We’ve had too few days like (Friday) recently,” Mullins said. “When it was reported that the weekend was going to be so beautiful I hesitated to get excited but now the sunshine has me excited to be outside.”

Mullins met Sanguinetti at Cathedral Elementary, where Mullins is a secretary and Sanguinetti is a student. Sanguinetti’s mom, Julie, is a volunteer at Cathedral and Mullins’ friend.

“Kirsten is kind of like my adopted granddaughter or daughter,” Mullins said. “My youngest daughter had thick black hair like Kirsten.”

Sanguinetti has been visiting Gatsby and Mullins a couple of times a week since January, often when Sanguinetti’s mom is going to be volunteering at the school late.

Typically, the pair will bake a cake or play with Gatsby in the backyard, but since the weekend was beautiful, they decided to walk to Duncan Park.

“We wanted to wear Gatsby out so she would sleep well,” Mullins said.

Sanguinetti said Gatsby is nice to her and funny.

“She drops the ball when we throw it to her,” Sanguinetti said. “She drops it so it will bounce and she goes after it again.”

“The tennis ball is Gatsby’s pastime,” Mullins said.

Gatsby will entertain herself for hours playing fetch with herself, Mullins said.

“She has a really good nose on her,” she said. “When it snowed, she found a ball and dug it up out of the four-inch snow.”