If you are a carring pet owner, you probably heard about Rainbow Bridge. What is it, what does it mean and where did it start?
The Rainbow Bridge is the theme of several works of poetry written in the 1980s and 1990s that speak of an other-worldly place where pets go upon death, eventually to be reunited with their owners. One is a prose poem whose original creator is uncertain. The other is a six-stanza poem of rhyming pentameter couplets, created by a couple to help ease the pain of friends who lost pets. Each has gained popularity around the world among animal lovers who have lost a pet. The belief has many antecedents, including similarities to the Bifröst bridge of Norse mythology.
Also, there is a natural monument in Utah called Rainbow bridge. It’s one of the world’s largest known natural bridges.
The first mention of the “Rainbow Bridge” story on the internet is a post on the newsgroup rec.pets.dogs, dated January 7, 1993, quoting the poem from a 1992.
The story tells of a lush green meadow located just “this side of Heaven” (i.e., before one enters into it). Rainbow Bridge is the name of both the meadow and the adjoining pan-prismatic conveyance connecting it to Heaven.
According to the story, when a pet dies, it goes to the meadow, restored to perfect health and free of any injuries. The pet runs and plays all day with the others, there is always fresh food and water, and the sun is always shining. However, it is said that while the pet is at peace and happy, they also miss their owner whom they left behind on Earth.
When their owner dies, they too arrive at the meadow, and that is when the pet stops playing, turns, sniffs at the air and looks into the distance where they see their beloved owner. Excited, they run as fast as they can until they are one jump away from their owner’s arms. The pet licks its owners in joy while the human looks into the soft eyes of their pet — who might have been absent on Earth, but never absent in their heart. Then side by side, they cross the Rainbow Bridge together into Heaven, never again to be separated.
The Rainbow Bridge Poem
By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
Where the friends of man and woman do run,
When their time on earth is over and done.
For here, between this world and the next,
Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
On this golden land, they wait and they play,
Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.
No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.
They romp through the grass, without even a care,
Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.
For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
Together again, both person and pet.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
The time of their parting is over at last.
The sadness they felt while they were apart,
Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,
And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.