A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the
scenery, when it suddenly occurred
to him that he was dead.
He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead
for years. He wondered where the
road was leading them.
After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of
the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was
broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight.
When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch
that looked like mother-of-pearl,
and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the
dog walked toward the gate, and as
he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.
When he was close enough, he called out, "Excuse me, where are we?"
"This is Heaven, sir," the man answered.
"Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" the man asked.
"Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought
The man gestured, and the gate began to open.
"Can my friend," gesturing toward his dog, "come in, too?" the traveler
"I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets."
The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and
continued the way he had been going
with his dog.
After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to
a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never
been closed. There was no fence.
As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree
and reading a book.
"Excuse me!" he called to the man. "Do you have any water?"
"Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in."
"How about my friend here?" the traveler gestured to the dog.
"There should be a bowl by the pump."
They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned
hand pump with a bowl beside it.
The traveler filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then
he gave some to the dog.
When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was
standing by the tree.
"What do you call this place?" the traveler asked.
"This is Heaven," he answered.
"Well, that's confusing," the traveler said. "The man down the road said
that was Heaven, too."
"Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope.
"Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?"
"No, we're just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave
their best friends behind."