The Gates of Heaven were guarded by St. Peter. Four canine friends approached and stood waiting for permission to enter. They were asked for an account of themselves.

The poodle was first and, leaping forward proudly, he said, ”I am the showman, winning many prizes for my beauty. See how fine I am? There was none better than I in my prime. I was my master’s pride and joy.” He demonstrated his fine show stance.

Next, the Labrador, black and glossy: “I am the Field Champion, keen for the gun, never missing a bird. I worked hard for my master.”

Then the German Shepherd, keen and alert “I guarded my masters, keeping them safe. No strange foot trod the paths without my permission. They feared not with me around.

“And you sir,” said St Peter, “come forward to me. What of you?” The dog replied, “I am a Beagle—maybe not so good, I confess. I pursued the cat, fell to temptation, and stole food. I forgot to return to my masters’ call, leaving them to worry, then showed my disapproval at being left alone by chewing their shoes. Oh, and there was also my bad habit of barking at the garbage collectors… ”

“But what did you give them?” asked St. Peter.

“What did I give them? I gave them light in their eyes and laughter in their voices.”

St. Peter opened the gates and waved the Beagle through.