Thanks, kaRN. It's nice to have an expert onboard!
There was an incident when I was young. I believe a neighborhood kid got bitten by a squirrel, and it was running around like a maniac. One of the neighborhood dads got a board and hit it, right there in front of all us kids, so he could take it to be checked for rabies.
I believe the child got shots, just in case. As a child, I didn't follow up, and don't know if the squirrel actually had rabies. You certainly couldn't tell from their behavior, as squirrels always act crazy (when they're not just standing there being cute)!
I have personal experience with rabies and if your story was back in the day, there's no way a child would have beens subjected to a whole series of shots unless the animal came back positive for rabies. (unlikely for a squirrel)
My cousin and I were exposed to rabies when we were 10. At that time the shots were horrendous, given in the abdomen every day for three weeks, they would make welts the size of a half-dollar, after the first week there was no spot left so the injections came on top of other areas already sore. For the first few days we were hospitalized but even thoguh we were too sore to move we weren't sick, so then we went to my cousin's house, his parents were physicians and could give the injections, found out later they had no qualms about slightly sedating us after week 2 just to lessen the misery, ours and theirs. ... we were 10, not allowed out of bed, there were hospital beds set up for us in the living room and event though it was summer we got to watch TV all day. And all kinds of junk food. (big deal back then) But I'll never forget the pain or the dread of Aunt barbara approaching us with the syringes, the huge syringes with huge needles.
It's known as "the summer of rabies."
Fast-forward about 30 years, my son and I get entangled up with some bats, he had some broken skin. I had a positive titre for rabies so nothing for me, he had three shots over two weeks I think. Tiny little shots in the arm. (And FYI, he has no desire at all to hear another re-telling of my "back in the day I had to walk three miles uphill for my rabies shot...." story)
So, IMO, exposure to rabies is not that big of a deal anymore.
Scary, yes. But pretty simple to take care of.