Rainbow Bridge Residents

Our Rainbow Bridge Residents are those who have passed on, joining many others at the Rainbow Bridge. While they are physically absent at the sanctuary, their spirit remains with us as we carry them in our hearts. Each Rainbow Bridge Resident remains eligible for sponsorship. Their sponsorship donation goes toward the ongoing care of our current residents.

The term "Rainbow Bridge" likely originated in the 1980s and 1990s in works of poetry which sought to comfort pet owners impacted by the loss of their pet. According to these poems, when the pet perishes, they find themselves in a lush, green field with sunshine and a rainbow overhead. The pet is restored to perfect health and there is unlimited access to food and water. He or she can romp and play with the energy and joy that they had in their youth. At the base of the rainbow, the pets wait until their human companion also perishes. They are then reunited in the field and, together, they ascend the Rainbow Bridge into Heaven.

We believe that all of our residents who have passed experience this rejuvenation and wholeness, and that they each await their special person(s) with whom they will cross the Rainbow Bridge.


Evolution of the Rainbow Bridge Poetry

Paul C. Dahm, a grief counselor, is credited with the first Rainbow Bridge poem pertaining to animals. His original work is written as:

"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 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 the Rainbow Bridge together..."

Steve and Diane Bodofsky developed Dahm's original work into a rhyming poem that is well-known today.

"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."


None of our chickens have crossed the rainbow bridge.

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