I need to preface this post by saying that I am not a superstitious person, I do not believe in lucky charms, lucky numbers or star signs. I am a person who believes in chance, that we all have a chance to be lucky or unlucky at any given moment. I would like to believe that some architect is looking down on each of us, mapping out our lives, giving each of us meaning here on planet Earth, but I don’t. One thing is for certain, there are no certainties, chaos rules and we are just clinging on while we are here for the briefest of times.
In a small township in West Yorkshire, there is a park, in the park, there is a statue. The statue, cast of steel, is of a life-sized dog who watches over the memorial gardens in the park. It is said that whoever gives the dog a friendly pat will receive good luck, thus the dog has been named, Lucky Dog.
The popular UK illusionist Derren Brown made the Lucky Dog very popular by including it in one of his shows over a decade ago. The mysterious mind folder has a penchant for the weird and unexplained and although he always states that he is not a believer of magic, always finds a way to leave his audience questioning if magic is real.
By featuring the Lucky Dog in one of his programs, Brown has done nothing to dispel the myth, instead, it has legitimised the story and left people questioning if patting the statue will indeed bring you good luck.
My mother is a believer, after patting the dog she has won a small amount on the pools and the lottery. It brightens her mood when she pats the lucky dog, she has a positive outlook on the immediate future thinking that good fortune is around the corner.
My sister, on the other hand, is a non-believer. She constantly questions my mother’s belief in her life-sized good luck charm. She believes that no one had heard of the dog before Derren Brown had included it in one of his television programs, and if he wouldn’t have, the statue would be unknown. She is of the mindset, that if you are told something is lucky you will believe it to be lucky regardless of any evidence.
Me? My analytical mind and beliefs tell me that there is no such thing as luck. That some people are luckier than others but that a steel statue is no gatekeeper to luck or fortune. Then I look at my mother and others who I have seen stroke the dog and I think, why should I tell anybody that believing in a lucky charm is as pointless as a chocolate teapot? If someone wants to believe, if it is positive and not delusional, ie a person is not putting all their savings on black on a roulette wheel because they have patted a statue carved into an unconvincing shape of a dog, then who am I to judge. People are looking for comfort so that they can step into tomorrow unafraid. I will not take that away from anyone.
So when I visit the statue with my mother I too pat the dog, just in case. I mean, you never know, do you?
Till the next reboot…