Coonhound Heaven

Written by Unknown

A man and his dog were walking along a serene road, enjoying the scenic beauty, when it suddenly occurred to the man that he was not alive. Suddenly, he remembered dying, and that his dog had been dead for several years. He wondered where he was and where the road was leading them.

After a while, the two of them, 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, the wall was broken by a tall arch that shimmered in the sunlight. When he was standing before it, the man saw a magnificent gate in the arch that glistened like mother of pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and his dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk behind the gate. When he was close enough, he called out, "Excuse me, can you tell me where we are?"

"This is heaven," the man answered.

"Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" the man asked.

"Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have a pitcher of water brought right up." He then gestured, and the gate began to open. He approached the man at the desk and asked, "Can my friend there come in, too?"

"I'm sorry, sir, but animals are not allowed here."

The man hesitated for only a moment and then turned and walked back through the gate and continued down the road. After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road which led through a weathered farm gate that was standing open. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.

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

"Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there." The man pointed to a well shaded by a large tree. "Come on in."

"How about my friend here?" the traveler gestured to his dog.

"Sure, There should be a bowl by the pump."

The man and his dog went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled the bowl and even before he quenched his own thirst, he set the bowl down for his dog. He then took a long drink himself. They then 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," was the answer.

"Well, that's confusing," the traveler said. "The man down the road said that place was heaven, too."

"Oh, you mean the place with the gold streets and pearly gates? Nope. That's hell."

The man responded, "Well, doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?"

"No. I can see how you might think so, but we're just happy that they screen out the folks who'd leave their best friends behind."

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