When I started getting really sick my people heard a lot about this whole “Rainbow Bridge” thing. To be honest, they didn’t care much for the concept. Then, they helped me get there. And I must say, this place rocks.
So what is the Rainbow Bridge? In short, it is a poem about doggy heaven.
Commercially, it is the title of many books about pet loss. In spiritual terms, it is a metaphorical place known by people whose beloved pets have died.
In reality, it is a blessing of hope for those who love their dogs enough to help them pass on when their time comes …
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.
– Author Unknown
So, this clarifies something we hear a lot in the Tripawd discussion forums. When dogs pass on, they do not “cross” the bridge. When people lay their dogs to rest, they are helping them go “to” the bridge – where they will meet them once again someday. Glad we could straighten that out.
And for the record, the original author of The Rainbow Bridge is unknown. While it is said to have been penned by Oregon grief counselor Paul Dahm in 1981, the poem has been circulated and attributed so widely that no one knows for sure. We don’t care. Ever since my people received a copy along with my remains from the wonderful pet cemetery folks, they think it’s pretty cool and wanted to share it with everyone here.