Monday, May 23, 2005

A parable

This is a story I heard some time ago. Maybe it was at church, I don't know.

There once was a man who had a dog. He and his dog were good friends, companions who did everything together. In time the dog died, and years later the man died.

The man found himself in a beautiful place, walking along a path towards pearly gates. But some way before he reached the gates, he came across a rundown old shack with an overgrown yard. Out of the yard bounded his best friend, separated from him for so many years.

The man and his dog had a joyous reunion, and continued together along the path towards the pearly gates. At them they came to the admissions desk, where St. Peter stopped them. "I'm sorry, we don't allow dogs in here," he said, pointing to a sign that made the point quite emphatically.

The man stopped, taken aback. A paradise waited on the other side of the gates, but it was a paradise without dogs. He thought about it for a while, then he turned to his friend and said, "Come on, boy." The two of them turned around and walked along the path back to the shack.

He sat down on the porch with his dog by his side. For a moment he thought of an eternity spent outside the gates of Heaven, then he realized that the time would be spent with his best friend, so it would be all right.

Saint Peter came out of the shack carrying a tray of lemonade and brownies and a bowl of water and some dog treats. He sat beside the man and began to scratch the dog's ears.

The man looked at Saint Peter, puzzled. "What are you doing here?", he asked. "I thought you should be in Heaven."

Saint Peter continued to scratch the dog's ears. "This is Heaven," he said with a grin.

"But..." said the man. "The pearly gates...the paradise on the other side..."

"Oh," said Saint Peter. "That's Hell." He smiled at the man. "Do you think Heaven would take anybody who would leave their best friend behind?"


marc said...

This is also the plot to one of my favorite "Twilight Zone" episodes.

Betsy said...

harold, we did this Twilight Zone episode here and it was great.
You really should rent it..we will investigate you and I. :)

Betsy said...

P.S. Harold, when I informed Ricky last night at the dinner table that Haley had passed over he told me to tell you that he HEARD that in heaven dogs get bisquits for free and they don't need to take baths.
He insists this will make you feel better.
He also said to tell you he loves you and you can come play with Winchester anytime you want. :)
As usual, he is trying to solve the worlds problems.
Thats my boy.

Anonymous said...

Hey Howdy.
I really liked your line about "wanting no part of a heaven that won't take dogs." My buddy Coop once wrote in a long email the parable of the "Tuxedo cat" - a beaten up veteran of a Las Vegas alley, and Coop said..."maybe people think it's silly to pray for an animal..." and I wrote back, I pray for dogs every morning same time I pray for people. Of course they have souls! Is that even a question? I mean isn't the "spirit" OBVIOUS. And the pain we feel when we lose the furry four-footed family member - it's just the price we pay for enrinching our lives with their presence...and well worth it, sad though it is. Words don't heal this pain but I am sure glad to see the eloquent commenters who found such touching contributions. I hope you are finding solace in some of the words.
Consider yourself hugged.

Love, and we're here for you,
(Thanks for the call sign, Bill)

D.B. Echo said...

Amazing. I thought I had seen every Twilight Zone episode at least 5 times over, and just last week I came across one I had never seen before. Now another one! So now I know my priest is cribbing some of his sermons from old Twilight Zone scripts. (Or rather, the service he uses to write the sermons for him is doing it.)

I wonder if this was a completely original story written for the show, or if it was an old tale being told through the years that got made into an episode?

marc said...

(from The Twilight Zone Archives web site)
The Hunt - 1/26/62

A mountain-man and his dog die hunting, but at first he doesn't know they're dead. Almost tricked into going into Hell, his dog sets him straight by leading him to Heaven.

Arthur Hunnicutt
Jeanette Nolan
Titus Moede
Written by Earl Hamner Jr.

Betsy said...

Is this the Marc I know? It seemed so from the detailed description of the episode. :)

I also loved what Bill said, and heartily agree, any creature that can love you unconditionally has more soul than some humans I know...

Miss Haley is smiling down on us all. She will love the way her ashes are being strewn.

marc said...

Yes Betsy, it IS me.

Betsy said...

Well Marc, how do you be?

marc said...

Betsy, Ask Harold, I have been in contact with him most. He can fill you in on what's been going on. But, the short is, I am going great. Moved way down South to the land of Alligators, Hurricanes and a really BIG mouse!

Betsy said...

I am gad you're doing well Marc!