A woman and her dog were walking along a road. The woman was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to her that she was dead.
She remembered dying and that the dog walking beside her had been dead for years. She 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 she was standing before it, she 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. The woman and the dog walked towards the gate. As they got closer, she saw a man at a desk to one side.
When she was close enough, she called out,
“Excuse me, where are we?”
“This is Heaven, madam,” the man answered.
“Would you happen to have some water?” the woman asked.
“Of course, Madam. Come on in and I’ll have some ice water brought right up.”
The man gestured and the gate began to open.
Gesturing toward her dog, the woman asked, “Can my friend come in, too?”
“I’m sorry madam, but we don’t accept pets.”
The woman thought for a moment then turned back towards the road and continued the way she’d been going with her dog.
After another long walk and at the top of another long hill, she came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As they approached the gate, she saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.
“Excuse me!” she called out 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 woman 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 woman filled the water bowl and took a long drink herself, then gave some to the dog.
When they were full, she and the dog walked back towards the man standing by the tree.
“What do you call this place?” the woman asked.
“This is Heaven,” he answered.
“Well, that’s confusing, she replied, the man down the road said that was Heaven, too.”
“Oh, do you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That’s hell.”
“Doesn’t it make you mad that they copy your name like that?” the woman asked.
“No, we’re just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends
(Adapted from an Anonymous Author)
As this New Year begins, I remember my canine son, Lucky, who did life with me for 16 years and is now waiting for me in heaven. Despite the cheery festive season, there is always a sadness in my soul for a dog who was the centre of my own life and the life of my family. There was a time when living in a tent with Lucky in a park was a very real consideration as I’d never ever, ever give him up for a rental lease. No Pets allowed. No room in the inn. Fine, we’ll sleep in the park, I thought. Thankfully, there was a happy ending. Lucky is family and no dog left behind was the mantra.
Till we meet again my son. Happy New Year!