American Field


By Robert D. Thomas | May 07, 2018
Photos by: Rachael

Have you ever named your pet before you knew you could have it?  I did.  I named my puppy before I asked my dad if I could have him.

It happened last winter.  George, one of our dogs, was at a training kennel.  My dad and I went to see how he was dong.  We were also going to go with Mr. Freddy Rayl to another trainer's plantation and work George, Mr. Bobby Minge’s dog , and some of Mr. Freddy’s other dogs.

After a four and a half hour car ride, we got to Rayl’s Kennels, Mr. Freddy’s kennel.  I went immediately to see George.  Mr. Freddy and daddy were on their way to where George was when I started back towards the house.  “It hurts my feeling that you went to see the dog before you came to see me,” Mr. Freddy called out jokingly.  I walked up to them and turned to go with them.  George was glad to see us.  Mr. Freddy and daddy started talking, so I decided to see the other dogs.  As I left, I noticed that the wooden pole George was chained to looked like a beaver had been at it for a while, but I knew George had done it because his teeth were chipped and filed down.

As I walked down the outside of the kennels, I saw a room with two cages.  In one cage, there were seven liver and white colored puppies.  The other cage had four puppies, two of which were black and white colored and the other two were orange and white colored.  They were so cute!  “Awww,” I said to myself.

We stayed with Mr. Freddy that night.  The next day, after we had loaded three of Mr. Freddy’s horses he was taking into the trailer, we drove south for two hours.  When we got there, the adults ( Mr. Freddy, Mr. Phil Napier, Mr. Bobby Minge, Mr. Stan Padgett and my dad) talked and I read.  We set out and ran dogs for the rest of the day.

My dad and I stayed at a hotel and Mr. Freddy stayed with trainer.  We worked until mid-afternoon the next day.  Then we went back to Mr. Freddy’s house.

At Mr. Freddy’s kennel we put the animals up and I went to see the puppies.  I felt sorry for the runt in the litter of seven because his littermates pushed him out of the way when I put my fingers through the gate.  “Do you want to play with the puppies?” Mr. Freddy asked.  “Yes!” I replied enthusiastically.

Daddy and Mr. Freddy moved the puppies to a pen.  I played with them and gave them cute names, but I liked the runt the most.  I named him Charley after scrawny Charley from  the movie “Charley and the Chocolate Factory”.

My dad came and said, “It’s time to go.”  “Can I get a puppy?” I asked, holding up Charley.  “Not right now, I’d rather get a girl dog”, he said.

I put Charley down and got out of the pen.  He wandered away from the other puppies that were gathered around me as I left the pen.  “See Rachael, he doesn’t look right, he might have something wrong with him”, daddy said.

When we got home, my dad said, “Ask your mom if you can have him.”  It took a few months of debating, but we finally got Charley.  We picked him up during spring break when I was in fifth grade.


An essay by Rachael Thomas, Sixth Period, November 15, 2004



footnote:  The other dog's were 3x Ch Spy Hill Pride, Ch Bal's Dancer, Ch Quick Cash, and future Ch Pride's Alibi,

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