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The Best $2.19 I Ever Spent

by Lyle Zerla
        When I was in junior high in the late 50's, I used to run rabbit dogs for Tom Moore, an engineer on the Nickel Plate Railroad. Because he worked 16 hours a day, five days a week, he didn't have the time to run his hounds as he wanted. His kennel consisted of FC Tom's Jackie, FC Naughton's Red, Tom's Tom, and several excellent females such as Tom's Ginger and Tom's Nellie. The females were the daughters of FC Tom's Jackie.

      My buddies, Chunkie, who was in high school and had a driver's license, and Zeke, a fellow junior high student, also helped run the dogs. Among the three of us, those dogs got all the running they wanted.

      Our reward was that we had a whole kennel of dogs at our disposal during rabbit season. If Tom told us that he wanted the dogs in a field trial, the dogs were ready.

      Chunkie took Tom's Ginger to his house to keep so that he could prepare her for the upcoming field trial season. While Chunkie was keeping Ginger, she came in heat. He, for some reason we could not figure out, decided to breed Ginger.

      Chunkie's father was a friend of Joe Rogalski who owned FC Rogal's Andamo. (Joe died several years later while running Andamo in a trial at the Steubenville Beagle Club.) Chunkie bred Ginger to Andamo. She whelped six, tri-colored puppies.

      Tom and Joe worked together on the railroad and didn't see eye-to-eye on most things, especially beagles.

      When Tom found out that Chunkie had bred Ginger, he was furious. When he found out he had bred her to FC Rogal's Andamo, he was irate. He refused to let the dogs be registered.

      When Joe Rogalski found out that Ginger belonged to Tom, he wouldn't sign the papers either.

      Chunkie now had six puppies that he couldn't register. He decided to keep a male pup and offered me second choice in exchange for a 50 lb. bag of dog food.

      At the local Co-op store, I found a 50 lb. bag of Rich Blend dog food for $2.19. I traded the dog food for a tri-colored female.

      I named the puppy Snavely after a character in the Pogo comics, a little worm that thought it was a snake.

      Snave was whelped on September 26, 1960. I brought her home in early November. Every evening I would take her to the football field where, just before dark, there were always six to ten rabbits. I would carry Snave so that she could get a good look at the rabbits as they ran away. Snavely would jump out of my arms and get some pretty good sight chases. She opened on a rabbit before Christmas and on December 26, I shot the first rabbit in front of her.

      Snavely lived for 16 years, providing me with many hours of enjoyment. She was responsible for starting a life-long affair with Beagles and rabbit hunting.

      Yes, sir! That was the best $2.19 I ever spent.

Should you have a concern regarding the health of your Beagle(s), you should contact your veterinarian. All information on this site is presented solely for educational and informational purposes and should not, at any time, be considered a substitute for seeking or receiving veterinary care for your Beagle(s).