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Old 14-09-13, 05:11   #1
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Default All Dogs Go To Heaven





All Dogs Go To Heaven
Inspired by a story by: Earl Hamner Jr.

An old man and his dog were walking down a dirt road with fences on either side.
The country they were traveling through was strange to them and a little unsettling.

On both the left and right the man saw a magnificent panorama of fields,
streams, hills and valleys - just the sort of country a man and his dog
can only dream of - but all long the fences on either side large "NO
TRESPASSING - KEEP OUT" signs were posted every few feet, so they walked
on.

Soon the two companions came to a magnificent gate chased with gold and
encrusted with precious stones. An imposing figure in a flowing robe of
the purest white stood there beside it.


"Welcome to Heaven" the man in the robe said.


The old man was stunned beyond words. He hadn't even realized that he
was dead! At least, he thought, his hound, the closest friend he had in all
the world, had made the trip with him. With a sigh and a smile, the old
man started through the gate with his dog at his side, but the gatekeeper
stopped him.


"Dogs aren't allowed." he said. "I'm sorry but he can't come in here
with you. He'll have to stay out on the road."


"What kind of Heaven won't allow dogs?" asked the old man. "If he can't
come in, then I won't either. I'll just stay out here with him. He's
been my friend all his life. I can't walk away from him now."


"Suit yourself," said the robed figure, "but I have to warn you, the
Devil's on this road and he'll try to sweet talk you into his place.
He'll promise you anything to get you inside, but the dog can't go there
either. If you won't leave the dog, you'll spend Eternity on this road.
There's no room in Heaven or in Hell for a man's dog."


So the old man and his dog went on their way.


In time, they came to a rundown fence with a gap in it - no gate, just a
hole where a few boards had fallen off or been removed. Another old man,
humble in appearance, was fishing in a pond just inside the fence.
The man and his dog stopped at the gap. "Excuse me, Sir", the old man
said. "My dog and I have been on this road for a long time now. We're
getting mighty tired. Mind if we come in and sit for a spell?"
"Of course!" said the man inside the fence. " Come right on through.


There's some cold water under that tree over there. He gestured toward a
huge old oak tree with majestically spreading branches. At it's roots a
bubbling spring rose, cool and refreshing. "Make yourselves comfortable.
You're welcome to stay as long as you please."


"You're sure my dog can come in, now?" the old man asked. "The man down
the road said dogs weren't allowed anywhere around here."


"Would you come in if you had to leave the dog?" asked the fisherman.


"No sir, I would not!" the old man replied. "That's why I didn't go to
Heaven back down the road. The man there said my dog couldn't come in
with me." He shrugged and continued. "We'll be spending Eternity on this
road, I suppose, just the two of us. A glass of cold water and some
shade would be mighty fine right about now, but I won't come in if it means my
friend here has to wait on the road."


The man behind the fence smiled a big smile and said, "Welcome to
Heaven, friend."


"Hold on, now! You mean THIS is Heaven?" asked the old man, quite
surprised. "Dogs ARE allowed? How come that fellow down the road told me
different?"


"That was the Devil back there." St. Peter replied, for indeed, the old,
ordinary seeming man behind the fence was none other. "He gets all the
people who are willing to give up a lifelong companion for a little
comfort. They soon find out their mistake, but by then it's too late."


"The dogs can still come in here," he continued, " but the selfish
people stay back there. God wouldn't allow dogs to be banned from Heaven. After
all, He created them to be man's companions in life, how could he
separate them in death?"


A smile that went from ear to ear broke out on the old man's face. He
reached down to his side, ruffled the fur on his dog's head and said,
"C'mon, boy!" And with that, the two of them passed through to the other
side of the fence.


The two of them walked up the gentle rise to where the shade of the oak
and the cool water from the spring awaited their coming.
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