Rob wrote this 4 years ago. I'm glad to think of he and Mutley together now!
A man and his dog were walking along a footpath by a busy main road. The dog a small sprightly figure was white and patched with black and brown. It ran back and forth sniffing and wagging its tail straining at its leash yearning to be free. A red cravat was slung jauntily about its neck, and traffic occasionally passed them a little too close for comfort. To their left lay the green pastures and rising escarpments of the South Downs, beyond wooded foothills and clusters of farm buildings, beautiful in the bright summer sunshine. Overhead small white clouds floated in the deep blue sky. . As they were nearly reaching a stile which would take them off the busy route and onto the fields, a white lorry thundered around the corner its brakes screaming and wheels screeching, heading straight for them. The man shut his eyes, and the dog froze at his feet. A few moments later it suddenly occurred to him that he and his companion were dead.
He remembered dying, and that the dog walked beside him. He wondered what was supposed to happen now, but he climbed the stile and let the dog run free. It seemed as unharmed by its sudden passing as him, and they left the smoking ruin of the crash behind them.
After a while, they 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, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight.
When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.
When he was close enough, he called out, "Excuse me, where are we?"
"This is Heaven, sir," the man, who was wearing a Gucci suit, answered.
"Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" the man asked.
The dog growled a low threatening noise deep in its throat, its hackles were rising.
"Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up."
The man gestured, and the gate began to open.
"Can my friend," gesturing toward his dog, "come in, too?" the man asked, but the dog had dug in its feet an unnatural, screeching growl in its throat, its fur stood up like a porcupine.
"I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets."
The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog. The dog – being of superior intellect – wagged its tale furiously and licked the mans fingers. He was glad to have been of service one last time. He hadn’t liked the look of that place at all.
After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence.
As he approached the gate, he saw a scruffily dressed man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.
"Excuse me!" he called to the farmer. "Do you have any water?"
"Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in."
"How about my friend here?" the man gestured to the dog, whose whole body was wagging in delight.
"There should be a bowl by the pump."
They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.
The man filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog.
When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree.
"What do you call this place?" the man asked.
"This is Heaven, Valhalla, the Great Hereafter, Poon Valley.." he answered, rolling his eyes sardonically. “Call it what you like”.
"Well, that's confusing," the man said, looking typically bewildered. "The other guy down the road said that was Heaven, too." He pointed vaguely back down the track. The dog meanwhile was rolling ecstatically on its back, in a pool of rotting dung. The men watched the dog detachedly for a moment, sharing the moment.
"Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates?” said the farmer finally, “ Nope. That's hell." .
"Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?"
"No, we're just happy they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind."