A man found himself walking along a deserted road. He had no idea where he was, how he’d gotten there, or how long he’d been walking.
Suddenly he realized he wasn’t alone. His dog was walking beside him.
This confused the man even further, as his dog had been dead for years.
Nonetheless, the dog remained in step with him, following him down the road.
Eventually man and dog approached a white pearly gate.
The man suddenly realized where he was. “This is Heaven,” he said aloud.
“Indeed,” said a voice. A young man stood beside the gate. “Would you like to enter?”
“Certainly,” the man said, stepping forward.
“Wait,” the gatekeeper said. “Animals do not belong here. Your dog may not go with you.”
The man stopped and looked at his dog, sitting obediently beside him. Then he looked at the gate, standing tall and welcoming.
“I’m sorry,” the man finally said, taking a step back. “My dog has been loyal to me for years. And I will not enter a place where my dog is not welcome, even if it is Heaven.”
With that, he turned around and walked away, his dog once again following him.
It wasn’t long before the man and his dog reached the other end of the road, and there stood a beat-up white pickett fence and a run-down barn, but beyond it lay the greenest field the man had ever seen.
“Would the two of you like to enter?” a voice asked. A young man dressed in overalls was standing next to the gate.
“You will allow my dog to come with me?” the man asked, surprised.
“Absolutely,” the young man said. “Animals of all kinds are welcome here.”
“They wouldn’t allow my dog into the other place I encountered,” the man said.
“No, they wouldn’t,” the young man in overalls agreed. “Animals only belong in Heaven.”
“This is Heaven?” the man asked. “I thought the other place was Heaven. That’s what I was told.”
“No sir. That was Hell,” said the young man. “And the reason they didn’t let your dog in is because animals are the most innocent creatures God has ever created. They are creatures of habit, of instinct. And once they fulfill their purpose in life, they journey here, to these green fields, to be eternally cared for, and many get reunited with the humans they loved in life.”
“Just out of curiosity,” the man asked. “Doesn’t it bother you that the other place called itself Heaven?”
“No sir,” the young man answered. “In fact, we’re glad they do that, because it helps sort out those who would leave their best friend behind.”
The man smiled as he petted his dog. “I’m glad they do that too,” he said, and he and his dog entered the field and enjoyed the luxuries of Heaven together.