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Best  Friend

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 he loved had been dead for years.

He wondered where the road was leading them.

After a while, the man and his dog 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 there was a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight. When he stood
before it he saw a magnificent gate that looked like mother of pearl. Beyond
the gate the street looked like it was paved in pure gold.

He and the dog walked toward the pearly gate. As he got closer he
saw a man sitting at a desk. When he was close enough he called out, "Excuse
me, what is this place?"

"This is Heaven, sir," the man answered.

"Wow! This is wonderful! By the way, 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," the man gestured toward his dog, "come in, too?"
the traveler asked.

"I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets."

The man thought a moment then turned his back on the man at the
desk. He continued to walk with his dog along the road as before. After
another long walk, at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road that
led through a farm gate that looked as if it was always open. There was
no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw an old man inside who was
leaning against a tree, reading a book.

"Excuse me!" he called to the reader, "Do you have any water?"

"Yep, come on in, there's a pump over there."

"How 'bout my friend here?" the traveler gestured toward his dog.

"There should be a bowl by the pump."

The man and his dog walked through the gate and, sure enough, there
was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled
the bowl and gave some to the dog. Then he took a long drink himself. When
they had their fill of fresh, cool water he and the dog walked back toward
the man who was standing by the tree waiting for them.

"What do you call this place?" the traveler asked.

"This is Heaven," the man replied.

"Well, I'm confused," the traveler said. "The man down the road said
that was Heaven, too."

"Oh, you mean the place with the gold streets and pearly gates," the
man at the old gate said. "That's Hell."

The man with the dog asked, "Doesn't it make you mad for them to use
your name like that?"

"No," the man with the book stated. "I can see how you might think
so, but we're happy the way they screen out the folks who'll leave their
best friends behind."

                                                                      (submitted by P. Mondok)