Dog Abby, advice from a Golden

Thoughts and Prayers – Dog Abby

Dog Abby,

I have been going through a very tough time, both financially and medically. As a non-believer, I am SO SICK of people offering “thoughts and prayers” for every situation. Whenever there is a tragedy, it seems that all these morons can say is, “Oh, my thoughts and prayers are with the victims.” Thoughts and prayers mean nothing and do nothing. How many people offered “thoughts and prayers” to those affected by the recent mass shootings or those who lost everything in the hurricanes, and how much do you think they actually helped those victims? I take offense at their lame attempt to jump on the attention bandwagon and offer nothing but meaningless platitudes. How do I get across that I don’t want anyone’s “thoughts and prayers” and get these religious losers off my back?

Mad as Hell in Helena

Dog Abby paw print


Dear Mad,

Being a dog, I do not harbor the social fears that humans have, so I will be blunt. I have four things to say.

First of all, just because you are an unkind person, does not mean that everyone must treat you the same way. I believe that you are not too terrible, because there are obviously people in your life who care about you.

Second, you get back what you put out into the world. If you do not want people to think or say kind things to and about you, then be prepared to be miserable, because that is what you are inviting in.

Third, your mind is so closed that you cannot even conceive of the possibilities of the changes that take place when people focus in prayer and thoughts. Even as a canine, I know better. We may not all be very smart, and we may not always understand people and their ways, but we are spiritual beings. We feel energy and emotion better than you do. You may miss it, but there is a change in the atmosphere when people send out good vibrations, even if they have no concept of any god. Those thoughts and prayers mean something, even if you can’t see it.

When my grandma was sick and on her way to the Rainbow Bridge, there was nothing I could offer her. I did not have medicine for her pain. I did not have answers for her fears. I did not even fully understand that her dying meant we would never do walkies together again. I knew she was sad, afraid, and in pain — but all I had were my thoughts and, in a doggie way, my prayers. When I lay my head in her lap and thought to her how much I cared, she felt it, even after she was deep asleep. Thoughts mean something. When mom held grandma’s hand until she stopped breathing, all she had were her thoughts and prayers. I would never take that away from her. Why would you?

When you are helpless, but you want to do something — anything — for someone you care about, it begins with thoughts, it moves with prayers, and it does not end there. Do you know who else spent a lot of time in thought and prayer? Mom gave me a list:

  • Mother Theresa
  • Ghandi
  • Martin Luther King
  • Bob Marley
  • Every US President ever elected
  • John Lennon
  • The Dalai Lama
  • Nelson Mandela

…mom says that the list goes on and on. As you can see, thoughts and prayers can start a lot of things — including movements that change the world.

Imagine what would never have happened if these people believed they were stupid for thinking and praying. Imagine how little we would care for each other if we stopped sending each other good thoughts.

When I heard the scary pops a few blocks from home at the Mandalay Bay, and mom stayed up all night with me watching the news. I did not understand it at the time, but we prayed together a lot. Mom wanted to go, but the policeman on the radio said to stay away. So, thinking and praying was all we could do. Since then, we have helped out in many other ways — but we had to think and pray first because that was the only thing we had to offer at the time. If we had done nothing, thought nothing, prayed nothing, and forgotten about it, we would have been entirely useless.

Thoughts are things. Why not invite in the good ones?

Fourth — and finally — when someone offers you their thoughts, or wishes you Merry Christmas, or blesses you when you sneeze, or says they are praying for you — you don’t have to be a believer in anything other than human kindness to accept the gift they are freely giving you. You do not even have to reciprocate to reap the rewards. Their caring for you does not HURT you in any way, so even if you cannot agree with it, just be nice. That is what they are doing. There is a lot of pain in the world, why make more by being mean?

Instead of getting angry, get thankful. You have people who care about you. They may not be capable of helping you in any other way, so they want you to know they care. Would you rather they not care at all?

With thoughts and prayers,


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