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Are Animals Allowed In Heaven?
Photo: Elaine & Noble - Photography © Donna Coss
A man was riding his horse down a road while his dog padded along side him. Suddenly the man remembered that he was dead, and that his horse and dog had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.
After a while, the travelers came to a high marble wall along one side of the road. At the top of a long hill, the wall was broken by an arch that glowed in the sunlight. When they reached the arch, the man saw a magnificent gate of mother of pearl. The path that led to the gate was pure gold. He nudged his horse toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk.
"Excuse me," he called out. "Can you tell me where we are?"
"This is heaven, sir." The man at the desk answered.
"Heaven...Would you happen to have some water, then?"
"Of course, sir. Come right in." The gate began to open.
"Can my friends come in, too?" the traveler asked, gesturing toward his horse and dog.
"I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept animals here."
The man thought for a moment, then turned his horse back toward the road and continued on his way. After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road that led through a farm gate that stood open. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.
"Excuse me!" he called. "Do you have any water?"
"Yeah, sure. There's a pump you can use. Come on in."
"How about my friends here?" the traveler asked.
"There should be a bowl and a bucket by the pump."
They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl and a bucket beside it. The traveler filled the bowl and took a long drink, then gave some water to the dog while he filled the bucket for his horse. When they had all satisfied their thirst, he led his horse back toward the man who was standing by the tree, with the dog following faithfully behind.
"What do you call this place?" the traveler asked.
"This is heaven," was the answer.
"Well, that's confusing," the traveler replied. "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 that they use your name like that?"
"No. I can see how you might think so, but we're just grateful that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind."
~ Author Unknown