In case anyone in the Rivertowns needs a reminder of why we choose to live here, the “case of the flying squirrel” and my daughter’s recent rescue by  the staff at Central Animal Hospital and Tom’s (aka Bob’s) Service Station serves as an example.

While working at home on Sept. 29, I fielded a number of calls describing an increasingly bizarre event unfolding in my daughter’s car. On the way to pick up medicine at the vet, she stopped off for a take-out drink. As she waited, with her window open, a squirrel jumped out of a garbage can into the car, ran across the dashboard, jumped over the passenger’s seat and landed on our unsuspecting dog (who has been trying to catch a squirrel for 13 years). A skirmish took place in the back seat, during which there were loud squirrel squeals. 

My daughter continued on to Central Animal Hospital where the dog was immediately checked out and given a rabies booster by Dr. Cohen. The staff inspected the car, but could not locate the squirrel. Despite the car doors being left open, it was unclear whether the squirrel had left the car (it had not!).

My daughter returned to Hastings, apprehensive of the squirrel’s whereabouts. Since Tom and Nancy and their team of mechanics have always been helpful with car problems, my daughter looked to them for assistance. Their response was immediate. My daughter and the dog were instructed to stand across the street. Armed with an air-blowing device, Giovanni and Vincent located the squirrel under the passenger seat. The squirrel was blown out of the car, landed in the street, and ran away down a side street, seemingly none the worse for wear. 

We are all still laughing about the event and trying not to think of other disastrous possibilities.

Down deep this scenario reminds us of the value of knowing our neighbors and being there for each other. Being able to turn to each other for assistance is beyond monetary value. The sense of community we have here is beyond words. I can’t imagine people coming to the rescue in larger, more impersonal communities.

Thank you to Dr. Cohen and her team at Central Animal Hospital and to Tom, Nancy, Giovanni, and Vincent at Bob’s Service Station. Thank you for being our neighbors.

Anne Mahaney


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