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
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
"Excuse me, where are we?"
"This is Heaven, sir," the man answered.
"Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" the man
"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," gesturing toward his dog, "come
in, too?" the traveler asked.
"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
"There should be a bowl by the pump," said the
man. 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, and 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
"No, we're just happy that they screen out the folks who
would leave their best friends behind."