Wednesday, November 7, 2012

lost pets


Lost pets[1]


[1] And other misplaced/found objects


The thing that I really like about Berlin is that people here still have enough faith in humanity to put up lost pet signs.

Almost everyone in Australia, where I grew up, had given up on that idea by the end of the 90’s and now if you see a lost pet sign at home you know it’s just a parent wanting to give their young child peace of mind and something to do and that the parents know almost definitely that nothing will come of it.

Here, however, in small country town Berlin, I get the impression, after seeing so many lost pet signs, that they aren’t intended just as a token but more as a promise.
There’s something about lost pet signs that evokes some sort of displaced sadness in me every time I see one. It’s sad that the pet is lost but that isn’t why these signs are so sad.

There’s something tragic about just how capable we are of falling in love with animals and there’s something sad about the naivety of the whole idea of a lost pet sign: that whatever hopeful person put up the lost pet sign still had enough faith in other people’s good intentions and/or willingness to go out of their way for a stranger.

They make me sad because I’m fairly sure that 90% of these people are never going see their pet again. It’s probably already dead. The person whose car hit it probably just left it there.  In this modern day and age when you lose things you don’t get them back and when you find things you keep them for your self or you leave them behind. Things that belong to strangers and strangers’ problems are not your responsibility. These signs are a counterargument to this contemporary thesis. That is what makes them beautiful, and that is what makes them sad that the hope that they represent is more often not completely unrealistic in terms of the society we actually live in.

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