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 stonewall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight broke it. 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 right up.” The man gestured, and the gate began to open.
“Can my friend come in, too, the traveler asked gesturing toward his dog.
“I'm sorry: 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 had no fence and looked as if it had never been closed. 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 again.
“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. That’s hell.”
“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.”