We owe our neighbors

Written by Adriana Arismendi

In February of 2008 we left our home in San Diego, California and made our way east to New Jersey. Although it was very sad having to leave our friends and the warm Southern California weather we lucked out ending up in the friendly neighborhood of Glen Afton, just outside of Trenton. As soon as we moved in we began to realize what kind of involved and caring community we had joined. We quickly met our new neighbors and settled in helped in large part by the regular community activities scheduled throughout the year.

The most memorable example of a neighborhood coming together to help someone in need occurred on a Saturday morning in the summer of 2009. I was sitting in my MBA Marketing class when I got a phone call from my husband. He had just received a call from our neighbor, Tony, who said that our dog, Maya, had somehow escaped from our yard and was roaming around the neighborhood. She, of course, was oblivious to the high speed traffic on Route 29.

Since my husband was at the Rutgers library doing research I had to excuse myself from class and race home to try and capture our “Houdini” puppy. On the drive home my husband was relaying updates he was getting from Tony about the Maya –sightings. I parked my car a block from my house and started running and calling Maya’s name. As I turned the corner onto my block I saw three of our neighbors outside searching for Maya. As I approached my driveway I was told that she had just been spotted heading toward the neighbor’s backyard. I ducked under the bushes and weaved through the trees into another neighbor’s yard and they provided another update.

By this point I was hot, sweaty and scared that Maya would not be found safely. I ran up the street and heard someone call out “She hasn’t come this way!” So I turned around and ran back up the street toward the other intersection. When I got to the corner I looked left toward where I had parked my car and what do I see, but our little dog with her front paws on my car door trying to figure out where I am. As I ran down the street it took Maya a few seconds to register that it was me before she came running toward me. When she jumped into my arms she was panting heavily, her little stub-tail was wagging wildly and she was filthy from head to paws. This is when it hit me that she must have dug her way under our fence trying to catch the elusive groundhog that taken up residence under our garage.

I picked her up, carried her home and made sure to get her secure in our yard before I headed back out to thank everyone for their help. When I made it back to class my classmates were so impressed when I told them how instrumental our neighbors had been in making sure Maya stayed safe. If it wasn’t for out caring neighbors being aware of Maya’s escape and being willing to try and lure her back to safety, Maya may not have made it home that day. We owe our thanks and appreciation to our wonderful neighbors of Glen Afton.

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