Rainbow Bridge

Amantra Rooney

Yesterday was not a particularly good day.  Rooney, our beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has passed over to Rainbow Bridge. We have lived with his illness for over 6 years and knew that one day we would have to make a very difficult decision. That day was yesterday.

The Rainbow Bridge is the theme of a work of poetic prose written by William N. Britton.  Rainbow Bridge is a mythological place to which a pet goes upon its death, eventually to be reunited with its owner. It has gained wide popularity amongst animal lovers who have lost a pet.


The Legend of Rainbow Bridge

From the book, “The Legend of Rainbow Bridge” by William N. Britton

Reprinted with Permission


Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When a pet dies who has been especially close to a person here on earth,

that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.

There are beautiful meadows and grassy hills there

for all our special friends so they can run and play together.

There is always plenty of their favorite food to eat,

plenty of fresh spring water for them to drink,

and every day is filled with sunshine so our little friends are warm and comfortable.

All the pets that had been ill or old are now restored to health and youth.

Those that had been hurt or maimed are now whole and strong again,

just as we remember them in our dreams of days gone by.

The pets we loved are happy and content except for one small thing.

Each one misses someone very special who was left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes

when one of them suddenly stops and looks off into the distant hills.

It is as if they heard a whistle or were given a signal of some kind.

Their eyes are bright and intent. Their body begins to quiver.

All at once they break away from the group, flying like a deer over the grass,

their little legs carrying them faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet,

you hug and cling to them in joyous reunion, never to be parted again.

Happy kisses rain upon your face.

Your hands once again caress the beloved head.

You look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet so long gone from your life,

but never gone from your heart.

Then with your beloved pet by your side, you will cross the Rainbow Bridge together.

Your Sacred Circle is now complete again.

(Reprinted with permission of the author. Published 1994. Copyright © William N. Britton. http://www.legendofrainbowbridge.com)

41 thoughts on “Rainbow Bridge

    1. It was a hard decision to make, but in the end, it was for the best. It’s strange because we still look for him and the house is quiet. He’s not been well for months now and I think we were putting off the decision more for our sakes than his.


      1. It is the little things about them not being there that hit the hardest 😦
        I too have been guilty of hanging on that little bit longer than perhaps I should have, but as you say, it is such a difficult decision.


  1. That’s a hard day Mike -sorry to hear you’ve just had to make this decision. As a vet I was often part of this decision making and know that it’s no easy thing – although when you know a pet was really struggling it can be good to be able to deliver a quiet and calm farewell.


      1. It is human nature to have those doubts, besides it is still very early days, but believe me, in time when the pain has eased, you’ll look back and realise it WAS the right thing to do.


  2. i’m so sorry to hear that mike.. rooney is now free from all his pain and illness, he’s playing and running in the rainbow bridge.. he will be missed for sure.. hugs


  3. Hi Mike…..So so sorry to hear this mate. I know just how you must be feeling. Don’t go knocking yourself either. You did what is right and I’m sure that every day he was with you both, he loved it, even if not feeling at this best towards the end. RIP Rooney. Bless you Mike.


  4. I feel for you. I’ve had to make that decision a few times in my life and its never an easy one. I prepare myself for the eventuality of having to let our old dog go soon. I try not to go there too often. … Enjoy the sweet memories of your Rooney and know, at least, that he no longer suffers. … He sure is a cutie. … Be well … Dorothy


  5. Mike, I am so sorry about the demise of that beautiful and sweet little dog. The KC spaniel is an excellent pet and they are smart too. I think that you did well to keep him going for 6 years, That is a long time to have kept one alive that long that has an illness or disease that requires extra care.

    My vet put down an elderly cat yesterday. A sweet little tortie that never wanted to tame down until her kidneys were playing out.I loved Mandy a great deal but she lost the glimmer in her eyes, had refused all food for 3 days and was skin and bones. Cats look dreadful after a disease sets in but as long as mine are not in pain and eating then I keep them with me.

    The loss of a pet is extremely difficult especially if the animals is the only per. They are a part of the family for sure.

    I like The Rainbow Bridge poem. It is one I had forgotten to post.

    Best regards


    1. Yvonne thank you for your words of sympathy. Just recently, after a fit Rooney would end up with a lung infection and we’d end up having to give him antibiotics. We knew we couldn’t keep up this continuous cycle and yesterday after he had another one we discussed with our vet possible outcomes.


      1. Thanks for writing about what was and had gone from not good to terribly bad. Look in my blog under pet loss/grief. There are several very nice poems there too. I just had not gotten around to including Rainbow Bridge.


        1. Rainbow bridge is funny. Wikipedia say the author is unknown but attributes it to one of three people. Several websites have published the poem saying the author is anonymous. Then I found the website saying that copyright had been established. To err on the right side I decided to follow the copyright notice and publish the poem in the format requested.


  6. How hard is that decision? We’ve been lucky in that two of our dogs died at home, one went to the vet, and we thought our current one was going to the bridge a couple of years ago when he had tick disease. We still have him.

    Do you hang on for as long as possible or make that decision and wonder if it was the right time or not? There is never an easy answer.

    What a beautiful photo. RIP for your sweet dog, and hope you start to heal with time. There’ll always be a gap though.


    1. It was hard but in the end I think we made the right decision. It just wasn’t fair to keep up the endless cycle of antibiotics and eventually there would come a time went they wouldn’t be effective.


  7. So sorry to hear this Mike. I had to make this decision with my much beloved kelpie Tia and I still ask myself if I did the right thing…it is such a tough decision to make.


  8. This is such a hard time, the thinking they’re just in the other room, and then remembering that they’re gone. Rainbow Bridge is a wonderful place to think about, and know that our pets are safe there.


  9. My sincere condolences for your loss. Losing such innocence and companionship, can be so very difficult! At least you have fond memories and got to share your lives together. That’s something amazing and incredibly significant. You did the right thing! X


  10. So sorry Mike. Been there, done that, know your pain. I’m sure Rooney gave you as much love as you gave him. Love the Rainbow Bridge concept.


    1. It’s something I read a long time ago Tina. Just seemed appropriate to use it now and blogging about Rooney with a photograph means that he will always be around long after I’m gone, even if its only a serious of 1’s an 0’s….that’s the computer geek in me.


  11. “Vier kleine Pfoten gingen still und leise auf eine nie mehr wiederkehrende Reise.
    Zwei treue Augen senken den Blick, mit ihnen entschwindet mein ganzes Glück.
    Ein kleines Herz darf nicht mehr pochen seit so vielen, traurigen Wochen.
    Kein Tag, an dem ich nicht an dich denke, wohin ich auch meine Schritte lenke,
    was ich auch tu, was ich auch mache, ob ich traurig bin oder lache,
    immer bin ich in Gedanken bei dir, und du im Herzen bei mir!
    Vier kleine Pfoten gingen leise und still, sie fragten nicht, ob ich das so will.
    Zwei treue Augen, sie sehen mich an, auch wenn ich sie nicht mehr ansehen kann.
    Ein kleines Herz bleibt mir immer ganz nah, verschwunden und doch für ewig da”

    I’m sure Google Translate is not doing this justice, but here goes

    “Four little paws went quietly to a never-recurring travel.
    Two faithful eyes look down, my happiness with them vanishes.
    A small heart may no longer insist for so many, sad weeks.
    Not a day that I do not think of you, wherever I direct my steps and,
    whatever I do what I do, if I’m sad or laugh
    I’m always in my thoughts with you, and you in the heart with me!
    Four little paws went silent and still, they did not ask if I wanted it that way.
    Two faithful eyes, they look at me, even if I no longer think they can.
    A little heart I will always be very close, but since disappeared forever “


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