Anyway, back in 1965,
One day towards the end of Tom's freshman year there appeared in the school book store window among the items on display a little black rabbit. Where the rabbit came from Tom couldn't say, but it was being raffled off that day by the book store.
The raffle tickets were ten cents each and though Tom bought a dollar's worth, someone else won the rabbit.
But after a moment of excitement the winner was hit with a hard realization. "Holy smokes," he cried, "what am I gonna to do with this rabbit? I can't bring it home!"
Tom, on the other hand, felt quite sure that he could bring a rabbit home. He bought the rabbit from the boy on the spot for five dollars.
As Tom had suspected, the little black bunny was an immediate hit with his animal-loving family,
And so the whole family called the bunny Barney.
Tom's grandfather found a long piece of rope in the garage and made a leash for Barney which he tied to a tree in the back yard.
In the summer Barney lived under his tree in the backyard, while in the winter his leash was moved into the garage where he was a quick study on the use of a litter box.
Barney lived under his tree and in his garage for two years until one summer day when a troublesome German shepherd whose careless owners allowed it the run of the neighborhood came into Tom's yard and grabbed poor Barney who'd been sitting peacefully under his tree munching on the grass. With its powerful jaws the big dog yanked Barney from his leash and ran off with him . Tom's grandfather witnessed the attack but he couldn't save Barney.
Tom and his brother Andy confronted the shepherd's owner, who took the defensive over his dog. The man grudgingly gave the boys five dollars for their rabbit then sternly warned them not to come back bothering him anymore. It was just a rabbit.