Part of what I have not been telling you is that over two weeks ago Markey our foster dog went to his new family. Two days later he ran away from the family.
We have been part of the search effort and the struggle within me (as I believe is in lots of “animal people”) is the objectivity of what hungry, scared, animals do and the bond I know I have with said animal. That bond can overcome a lot and we need to trust our gut on that sometimes.
Sometimes trusting our gut gets “animal people” killed. So it’s a fine line.
And in this case, objectivity of what a dog who originally came to us from a car accident after over a month on the loose and unsuccessful capture from his previous owners has won out so far. So gut, schmut.
I felt if I wrote about this until now I would be jinxing our possibility of finding him. But now he has been out for almost a week since we had 18 inches of snow pile up, and the last few days have had lows in the single digits. Unless he was somehow taken in by a stranger who did not feel the need to take him to a vet because of his dragging rear left leg, I believe Markey is likely dead.
This does not mean we will stop searching. And I am putting my fear in writing so that I can be jinxed and Markey will have somehow holed up warm and now gets hungry enough to enter the live-catch trap by his owner’s home. Except maybe I am jinxing myself that I wrote down my hope for my writing down the bad thing?
This has led me to think about how a lot of my superstitions revolved around negative consequences.
For example, I am a big sap for the holidays and helping people. So several years ago I decided I would never pass a Salvation Army bell ringer without putting a dollar (or my loose change) in their bucket.
Somehow this morphed into my mind that it is bad luck for me to pass a bell ringer and NOT put a dollar in.
I do not really fear this bad luck. I still feel happy and full of holiday joy when I deposit my dollar. But somehow instead of deciding that this MADE UP SUPERSTITION could be that I get GOOD luck for every dollar I give, instead I, pretty unconsciously, decided I must be PUNISHED for buckets I pass by.
Even when the outcome of a superstition is good, I base it on a the most negative quality about the situation. Today has been a slow day at the shop and we still have an hour to go but I have gone ahead and done Day Close.
I have not, as you might imagine, decided that if I do Day Close early that I am jinxing myself to have no more customers.
No, I believe doing Day Close early might encourage another customer or two BECAUSE IT MAKES MORE WORK FOR ME AND MIGHT CONFUSE ME AT REPORTING TIME.
I know I am not the only one who does this. I heard on NPR driving to work today that some cancer “survivors” do not like that label because it might jinx them to have a recurrence of cancer. But that, to me, seems like a legitimate Big, Real World concern. Whereas my superstitions just seem to lead me to think that I am 1) crazy two) so pessimistic if I think about it too long I won’t want to hang out with me.
I would like to be wrong about one of those suppositions. And it’s not number one. I would also like to find Markey.