Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

February 25, 2007


Does God allow dogs and cats to go heaven?


          Will there be dogs and cats in heaven? I don’t know. I do know lots of people hope so. Some folks even say if dogs don’t go to heaven, then they don’t want to go either.

          Many dog lovers are certain that dogs go to heaven when they die. Their logic is simple. People will be happy in heaven. So dogs have to be there for dog lovers to be happy. Without dogs some folks would be unhappy even in heaven.

          I would love to see my dog Bull again. He died in a farm accident when I was only 10. It would be fun to romp and play with Bull again.

          My son Steve would be thrilled to see his dog Rocky again. Steve has loved many dogs but Rocky was his favorite. Though Steve is now 42, he wept when Rocky was struck and killed by a car two years ago. Steve’s sons Jake and Josh shared their father’s grief.

          Those who hope dogs go to heaven will enjoy hearing a story shared with me recently by my friend in Oklahoma, Joe McClendon. The author of this story is unknown though Joe says he got it from his fellow engineer and friend Cliff Rogers.

          It seems a man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery when suddenly it dawned on him that he was dead. Then he remembered dying and that the dog beside him had been dead for years. The man felt happy but wondered where the road would lead them.

           Soon they came to a high, white stone wall on one side of the road. The wall seemed to be made of fine marble. At the top of a long hill he saw a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight. As he approached the arch he saw a magnificent gate that looked like it was made of mother-of-pearl. The street that led to the gate glistened like pure gold.

          Nearing the gate, the man saw a gate keeper sitting at a desk beside the gate. “Excuse me, sir,” he said as he and the dog walked up; “can you tell me where we are?”

          “This is heaven,” the man replied.

          “Wow! Would you happen to have some water?”

          “Sure,” the gate keeper said. “Come on in and I will have some ice water brought right up.” Then the beautiful gate swung open.

          Gesturing toward his dog, the traveler said, “I need some water for my dog too if you don’t mind.”

          Abruptly the gate keeper replied, “I am sorry sir, but we do not accept pets.”

            Stunned by the rejection of his beloved dog, the man turned back and sadly continued down the road beside the gate, the dog trotting beside him.
          Sometime later, at the top of another long hill, the man and his dog came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that was wide open. He could tell the gate had been left open for a long time, and there was no fence.
          Approaching the gate he spoke to a man nearby who was engrossed in a book he was reading. “Please excuse me sir, but do you have any water?” he asked.  

          “Yes, of course, there is a pump over here; come on in,” the man said kindly. “How about my dog? Can he have some water too?” the traveler asked.

          “There is a bowl there by the pump; help yourself.” he answered. The man took a drink himself and then filled a bowl for his dog. Then he asked the man reading the book, “What do you call this place?” “This is Heaven,” he replied.    
          “Now I am confused,” the traveler said. “The man back down the road told me that was Heaven too.”
  “Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and the pearly gates? No, that is hell.”

          “Well, doesn’t it make you angry for them to use your name like that?” the traveler asked. “No,” the man answered, “we are just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.”

          So, now we know the answer. Dogs not only go to heaven; they have their own water bowl too.

          I love good dog stories. If you know a good one, share it with me. I will tell you the same thing Cliff Rogers told his friend Joe, “You are welcome at my water bowl anytime.” + + + +