The Rainbow Bridge


Most dog lovers know the story of the Rainbow Bridge.  Here is the story for those who may wonder why people sometimes refer to the Rainbow Bridge when a dog dies.
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 that had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt 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....
How beautiful is that!  The Rainbow Bridge, written some time between 1980 and 1992, is about a mythological place where a pet goes upon its death to wait to be reunited with its owner.  It has gained wide popularity among animal lovers who have lost a pet.
Having been circulated and attributed sufficiently around the world, the original authorship of the poem is now uncertain. The website suggests that there are three known contenders at present:
    * Paul C. Dahm, a grief counselor in Oregon, USA,  said to have written the poem in 1981 and published it in a 1998 book of the same name.
    * William N. Britton, author of Legend of Rainbow Bridge (1994)
    * Dr. Wallace Sife, head of the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement, whose poem All Pets Go to Heaven, The Loss of a Pet appears on the association's website as well as in his book
However, the concept of a paradise where pets wait for their human owners appeared much earlier, in the little-known sequel to "Beautiful Joe", the Margaret Marshall Saunders' book, "Beautiful Joe's Paradise." In this green land, the animals do not simply await their owners, but also help each other learn and grow and recover from mistreatment they may have endured in life. But the animals come to this land, and continue to true heaven, not by a bridge but by balloon.
Where ever it came from, I find it to be a wonderful, heartwarming idea.  Why not?  I believe in miracles.