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Neighborly Ways

Two nice things happened last week.

The first one involved a United Airlines flight bound from Washington to California.

About halfway there, the pilot learned that a passenger's dog had been mistakenly placed in the plane's unheated forward cargo hold where he was certain to freeze.

The pilot notified the passenger, Mike Bell, told him he couldn't be sure he could save the dog but would do his best, flipped on the intercom and told the passengers he was going to make an emergency stop in Denver "for the best interest of the dog."

Here's the remarkable part in this day of impatience and road rage: not one passenger complained about the delay and everyone cheered when the little dog was finally brought out of the cargo hold, wrapped in a blanket and placed in the seat next to his owner for the rest of the ride.

Which is how people used to act when we thought of each other as neighbors.

More remarkable is what happened in a courtroom in Washington's Virginia suburbs.

A deaf couple who had miscalculated their disability benefits were hauled into Judge Donald P. McDonough's court by a landlord who wanted them evicted because they had fallen 250 dollars behind in their rent.

When Judge McDonough realized there was no other way out, he whipped out 250 dollars in cash and said, "I'll pay it. Case Dismissed."

Another neighborly act to say the least.

Who knows, maybe it's the beginning of some kind of trend.