The idea of the “rainbow bridge” helps many pet owners say goodbye to their dogs. After all, it is the hardest moment of a human-canine relationship when the beloved partner has to go forever.
But your dog doesn’t just leave you. He wanders over the rainbow bridge to a distant land. Eventually, you will meet your dog there again.
That’s why we wish our furry friends that they can get over the colorful bridge safely. But where does this myth actually come from? And what does it mean?
What Does the Rainbow Bridge Mean?
The legend of the rainbow bridge comes from Norse mythology. Bifröst or Asbru is the three-beam rainbow bridge. It connects the earthly world of Midgard and the world of the gods Asgard. It represents a direct connection between the two worlds.
However, the bridge is not a real structure. Rather, it is to be understood as divine power. Exactly this divine energy shines in the spectral colors. It shows up as a rainbow bridge.
Gods like Odin used this power of the bridge to reach any place on earth from the realm of the gods.
Rainbow Bridge Poem
This part of Norse mythology may have inspired an unknown artist to write a famous poem. Namely to that to which the legend of the rainbow bridge refers today.
This poem is about the death of a beloved animal. Over the bridge, it comes into a beautiful land. There is no suffering and no pain here.
All animals understand each other. The only thing they miss is their loved ones. But one day, the dog and the human are happily reunited. Then they cross the bridge together. And they stay together forever.
Why Do Dogs Go Over the Rainbow Bridge?
The Saga of the rainbow bridge tells a story about life after death. Thus, this Norse myth resembles the Christian religion, which speaks of the kingdom of heaven.
However, we mostly miss the mention here that Heaven is open to our pets as well. In the Bible, the prophet Isaiah describes in chapter 11, verses 6-8:
“Then the wolf and the lamb will live together in peace, and the leopard will sleep with the kid. Calves, oxen and young lions graze together, a little boy can look after them. Cow and bear share the same pasture, and their cubs lie together. The lion eats hay like an ox. An infant plays at the viper’s hole, a child reaches into the otter’s den.”
That sounds exactly like how we imagine life beyond the rainbow bridge. But it doesn’t matter whether the Rainbow Bridge is related to a specific religion or not.
Belief in this helps many pet owners get over the pain of loss. And that’s good. Everyone processes the death of their four-legged friend differently. Different rituals help everyone.
Process Grief and Loss
If you’ve lost your four-legged friend, don’t be ashamed to mourn your dog. Some people bury their animals in a designated cemetery. Others create a memorial place in the garden or have their pet cremated.
If you have the opportunity, think about what you want to do with your dog in the event of his death. You can then make arrangements and organize everything. This will help you in the difficult moment because you are already prepared. Then you don’t have to make spontaneous decisions.
Surprising Farewell to the Dog
Professional undertakers and your vet will be happy to help you make the right decision for you and your darling. However, it is often not possible to plan in advance. Especially when your dog suddenly has to leave you.
In these situations, your veterinarian or undertaker will be happy to help. Would you like to bury your dog on your own property? Check with your municipality to see if this is allowed.
For more information, see these articles:
- Short mourning sayings for dogs
- Urns for dogs and addresses of all animal crematoria
- Tombstones for dogs
Keep Memorabilia or Not?
Some dog owners absolutely do not want to keep memorabilia such as a collar or food bowl. Others are happy after the mourning phase that they still have a few things from their loved ones.
Alternatively, you can pack everything in a box and store it in the basement. Then you can later decide what to do with it.
Everyone has their own way of grieving. We wish you a lot of strength in this.
The Rainbow Bridge story may not help everyone cope with grief. Still, it’s a nice thought to imagine that your best friend in canine heaven is doing just fine. And that you will surely meet him again sometime.