Over the years, many dog lovers have taken comfort in the Rainbow Bridge. It is a place where our beloved fur friends go upon their passing. Although there are several versions of The Rainbow Bridge poem and the author of the poem is not exactly known all versions have helped ease the pain of those who have lost a pet.
Pupdate: After years of sleuthing, Paul Koudounaris found the original author of the beloved Rainbow Bridge Poem. He published an article on February 9, 2023 and identified the author as Edna Clyne-Rekhy.
Edna’s original The Rainbow Bridge poem was written in 1960 after her dog, Major, died. She had not been accredited all these years because of the many versions that have circulated and the strange journey the poem has taken into the consciousness of dog lovers around the globe.
Below is Edna’s original version. Edna would like to support Alzheimer’s research after the loss of her husband to the disease. If you feel inclined please make a donation to an Alzheimer’s support or research group in your community. Or, visit the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.
The Rainbow Bridge By Edna Clyne-Rekhy
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, your 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 friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who have been ill and old are restored to health and strength, those who were hurt are made better and strong again, like we remember them before they go to heaven.
They 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 shining, his body shakes.
Suddenly he begins to run from the herd, rushing over the grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cuddle in a happy hug never to be apart again.
You and your pet are in tears. Your hands again cuddle his head and you look again into his trusting eyes, so long gone from life, but never absent from your heart, and then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together.
Below is one of the many alternate versions that DogHeirs re-printed in 2019, prior to the knowledge of the poem’s original wording and author.
There is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth. It is called Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors.
Just this side of Rainbow Bridge there is a land of meadows, hills and valleys and lush green grass. When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place. There is always food, water and warm spring weather.
The old and frail animals are young again. Those who had been hurt or maimed are made whole again. They play all day with each other.
There is only one thing missing. They are not with their special person who loved them on Earth.
So, each day they run and play until the day comes when one suddenly stops playing and looks up. The nose twitches. The ears are up. The eyes are staring. And this one runs from the group. You have been seen!
And when you and your special friend meet you take him or her in your arms and embrace. Your face is kissed again and again and again. You look once more into the eyes of your trusting pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together, never again to be separated.
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