What is Heaven? I ask.
I do not know, says the Owner, although it is generally held to be a Place to which those who have led a Good Life spend a Blissful Existence after they Die.
I do not see, I say, how Heaven could possibly be Blissful for Everyone.
Why is that? Asks the Owner.
Because the Moral Dog’s Idea of Heaven would obviously exclude the presence of Chihuahuas, I say, and I imagine this does not fit in with a Chihuahua’s idea of Heaven. Moreover I imagine that, when the Moral Dog and his Owner enter Heaven together they may have very different views regarding the Sheer Quantity of Cheese, I say.
I take it the Moral Dog’s Heaven is Pretty Cheesey, says the Owner.
Obviously, I say.
The Moral Dog has identified several of the Great Conundra regarding Concepts of Heaven, says the Owner. For example, says the Owner, the discrepancy regarding Cheese and Chihuahuas illustrates the fact that we all have different ideas of Heaven. If these are rigid then they will be Mutually Exclusive. And the Moral Dog’s comment about arriving with his Owner reminds me to mention that, failing some terrible Calamity on Earth it is unlikely that we will all Arrive there at the Same Time.
You mean the Moral Dog will have to go to Heaven without the Owner? I ask.
Possibly, says the Owner, it may be the Other Way Round. People arrive at Heaven when it is Time, says the Owner.
So we will Join Each Other Later, I say. Assuming we have both been Good, I say. If I die first, I say, you are not to be Bad, I say. In case I Wait in Vain, I say.
Indeed, says the Owner. The Moral Dog has identified a further Conundrum, which is that in order to be Truly Heaven for those who have been Good, Heaven may need also to make room for those who they love who have been Bad. And Everyone is Loved by Someone. And few people are Truly Good or Truly Bad.
That is True, I say. I have heard that even the Queen is occasionally rude about the Prime Minister, I say.
I do hope so, says the Owner.
I think it is Quite Reasonable that the Bad People should be Allowed in for the sake of the Good People, I say. After all, I say. It gives them a Chance to be Good, I say. And how could it be Heaven if it did not include at least a Fair Selection of those we Love, I say.
Indeed, says the Owner, it seems to me that Those we Love are the Main Requirement for Heaven.
And I suppose the Fact that we Arrive and Depart at Different times is Rather Similar to the way we Arrive and depart at different times in Life, I say.
I think it is, says the Owner. It is hard to wait for those we love but less hard if we know they will Arrive in the End.
And I suppose, I say, in order to Deserve a place in Heaven the Moral Dog might have to Compromise on the Chihuahuas and Go Easy on the Cheese, I say, in order to make a Heaven that we can all be Happy in Together, I say. Perhaps it would be Sufficient to keep a Good Supply of Cheese in the Fridge, I say, rather than having the Fridge actually made of Cheese, I say.
A Cheese Fridge would not be Practical, says the Owner. Even in Heaven one imagines there are Mice.
I suppose there must be Mice, I say. You are right, I say, A Cheese arrangement similar to that on Earth would be the Most Appropriate, I say.
Perhaps, says the Owner, we could order Cheese Online each week rather than Constructing our Whole House from Cheese and Slowly Eroding it to Nothing.
What a good idea, I say. The Cheese would be much Fresher, I say. What else would we do in Heaven? I ask.
I do not know, says the Owner. Some People think we would sit around playing the Harp, says the Owner.
You do that anyway, I say.
That is True, says the Owner.
Will you not get Bored Just Playing the Harp? I ask the Owner.
I might, says the Owner. The Moral Dog has identified another Conundrum regarding Heaven, which is the possibility that such Unchallenging and Immortal Contentment would ultimately lead to Tedium, Boredom, and a Sense of Pointless.
I suppose, I say, if the Prime Minister got in there you would get irritated Occasionally, I say,. That would help relieve the Tedium, I say.
One can take Relieving the Tedium too far, says the Owner.
Although, I say, we could write a Blog in which you are Rude About Him, I say, and Nobody would Know it was You, I say. That would help you feel better, I say. You could Surf on the Waves of Righteous Outrage All Day, I say.
Indeed I could, says the Owner, because he is Utterly Lacking in Leadership, Decency or even a Sense of Service, says the Owner. And if the Prime Minister were not there then whose Poster could we stick to the Fridge and Draw Glasses On?
Exactly, I say. And Perhaps, whilst in Heaven we could also spend time on Walks and having Entertaining Moments in the Coffee Shop, I say. With the Man, I say, and the Lady in the Pink Trousers, I say.
That sounds Perfect, says the Owner. The Moral Dog seems to have constructed a very clear idea of the kind of Heaven in which we could all live Happily, Even the Prime Minister, whilst Striving to make it a Better Place.
Excellent, I say. I am glad that is Sorted Out, I say. Although…, I say.
Yes? says the Owner.
It sounds Exactly like the Life we are Already Living, I say.
Doesn’t it? Says the Owner.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.