Meet Houdini or as we know her Holly. She is my brother’s dog who visited us over Memorial Day Weekend. We were out and about when my sister-in-law received this photo via text message. That’s our gal, but that is not our yard or sidewalk. Holly had pulled a Houdini and escaped from our house. Her mode of escape was the cat door, which she must have crammed herself through to get free. So she smiled for the camera and our neighbor that found her roaming on her sidewalk took her back to our house and let her back inside. We were thankful for good neighbors, ID tags, and text messaging. Technology and good people saved the day!

We live in rural Georgia, and know our neighbors by name. We also know our mail delivery woman by name, our garbage man by name, and the guy who runs the feed store. In this area people care for each other, watch out for each other, support each other through good and bad times. When someone gets hurt, we bring food and pray. When someone accomplishes something, we cheer them on. When death comes too quickly or as a final friend, we mourn together and celebrate the life we all have cherished. We are not up in each other’s business, we simply serve as good neighbors. 

Tonight we were walking and the neighbor who found Holly was on her front porch. We stopped and talked about the story. She told us her side and we shared ours. We thanked her for being a good neighbor, and we laughed at Houdini Holly. We had fun trying to imagine how the dog got from our house to theirs, and her Dad began telling us stories of when he was growing up…about what it was like when he was eight years old and none of what is here now existed. We shared our upcoming adventures and they provided some good tips for making our activity go smoothly. It was good to see them both and share our worlds, if only for a moment. 

That’s what neighbors do, they share a common space called a community. We may be spread out, yet we pitch in when needed. We watch each other’s houses and occasionally take the escaped dog home to safety. We share joy as the kids grow up and we marvel at the way things used to be. Being a good neighbor is a responsiblity and a blessing. One day your pet my need asssistance and a good neighbor could save the day. Be the neighbor you want others to be to you, the payback is worth it.