I was randomly reminded of my favourite cartoon as a child – All Dogs Go To Heaven by Don Bluth. I can hardly recall the story. All I can remember was the poster and how I enjoyed the story and touching ending. I was once told that dogs have no souls and therefore there is no way they can go to heaven! I sincerely hope that this is not the case. I feel dogs are the most wonderful companions anyone could have.
Then I was reminded of a beautiful short story about dogs and heaven that left a very deep impression on me. I decided to share it here today. I originally read this from Julie Bryant’s blog and could not think of a more perfect title to replace hers – Man’s Best Friend. You can read her original blog post here where she wrote about dealing with the loss of her beloved pets Molly and Shirka. Hope you like it too!
Man’s Best Friend
A man awoke to find himself dead one day.
He knew he was dead because his old dog was there to greet him and the dog had died many years ago.
And like the faithful companion he was, the dog had waited for the man to come.
The two headed down the trail together which was fair but after a few hours they were getting tired and thirsty.
And as their need for food and rest and shelter grew to the point where they could not go any further, a golden palace appeared on the horizon.
They made the effort to go the extra distance though it wore them to the depths of their soul. And when they reached the gates of the palace, there was a golden man in flowing white robes there to meet them.
“Where are we?” asked the man.
“Why, Heaven of course.” replied the robed figure. Come on in, we’ve been expecting you.
But as the man went to enter, the dog stepped back and whimpered for the man to stay. And the golden figure held out his hand and gently said, “I’m sorry. You can enter. But dogs are not allowed.”
Tired and dejected, the man turned to his dog, then to the golden, figure. “Sorry. But I can’t leave my companion. I’ll take my chances and see what we can find further along the trail.”
And as they headed off, they were barely over the next hill when an old farm came in sight. There was no gate and the farmer was covered in dirt from working the fields.
“Excuse me please”, said the man. “Would it be possible to get some water for my dog and myself?”
“Of course,” said the farmer “Help yourself at the pump over there. There should be a bowl for your friend.”
As the man and his dog quenched their thirst and rested, they asked the farmer what this place was.
“This is Heaven” replied the farmer matter-of-factly.
“But there’s a big mansion down the road that says it’s Heaven?” questioned the man.
“That place? That’s Hell.” answered the farmer.
“It didn’t seem like much of a Heaven when they wouldn’t let my dog in.” The man confirmed.
“Your dog wouldn’t go in even if invited”, corrected the farmer. “Dogs smell the sulphur and brimstone and won’t enter.”
“Don’t you mind them using your name?” questioned the man.
“No”, replied the farmer, “In fact, they help us weed out those who would leave their best friend behind.”
Extract from ‘Shadow’ – by Bob Johnson © 2007
You may also read the full story here: http://www.quidmont.com/images/Shadow.doc