I lived in Gang Mills, N.Y. (near Corning, N.Y.) from 1977-1980. I was between 2 and 5 years old during this time. We lived out in the country at the end of Rafferty Road.
We had a black labrador retriever called Lightning. We called him Lightning because he was so fast. I remember when Lightning ran way. My brother, Peter, and I were down by the railroad tracks that ran in front of our house. I remember Lighning running down the railroad tracks. We called him but he wouldn't come back. We never saw him again.
Shortly after Lightning ran way, our dad bought another black lab from our babysitter's neighbor. They had named him Jake. Jake was a fun dog to play with. We taught him how to jump through a hoola hoop. He would also jump through the lower part of our screen door when the screen was removed. Jake would often go play in the woods behind our house. Sometimes he would catch a rabbit and bring it to us as a gift.
When I was 5 years old we were coming home and we saw Jake limping on the side of the road. His leg had got caught in a sickle mower. His foot was dangling from his leg. We took him to the vet and they operated on his foot. They replaced some of the parts in his foot with artificial parts. While Jake's leg was still in a cast, our dad told us that we were going to be moving to North Carolina. He told us that we were going to have to give Jake away. I hugged my dad and started crying. I really like dogs, but we never had any more dogs after Jake.