The first appearance of the Rainbow Bridge in relation to animals is believed to come from a poem by Paul C. Dahm, a grief counselor in Oregon. He wrote the first Rainbow Bridge poem in prose style as seen below.
“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….”
Popular version of Rainbow Bridge attributed to Author Unknown
There is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth.
It is called the "Rainbow Bridge" because of its many colors.
Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge there is a land of meadows, hills and valleys with lush green grass.
When a beloved pet dies, it goes to this place.
There is always food and water and warm spring weather.
The old and frail animals are young again.
Those who are 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 starring. And this one suddenly 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 you look once more into the eyes of your trusting pet.
Then you both cross over the Rainbow Bridge together, never again to be separated.