The Rainbow Bridge

The Rainbow Bridge is where our pet cross when they have departed from us.

Their landing point is a vast open area, brimming with every favorite landscape with ample opportunities to play, swimming, chase, fetch and nap. Each of our dogs who has departed and all the dogs before them live in harmony in this space, perhaps forever, perhaps until they return to the land of the living as a new dog in a new land, new time and with new people to protect, love, inspire and teach. This of course is based on your mythology of what happens to the spirit & soul once we depart. 

There aren’t any indications of if humans can visit, though the hope would be that we would be heartily greeted by each of our past pets with ample slobbery kisses, purrs and tail splashes (I will be greeted by some bullhead catfish haha!). 

To quote Will Rogers: “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”

For us as people, the Rainbow Bridge means our pets are happy and healthy, in a better place as it is. For us though, the Rainbow Bridge signifies a massive loss. Our beloved dog no longer pats through the house, no longer gives us the eyes for a taste of what we’re eating, no longer is a source of companionship, giggles and snores. The house feels empty, and the moments of interrupted routine open up the waterways. (Ask me about how seeing grass this past spring opened the flood gates again.)

Our hearts hurt, our souls hurt, and we can’t hardly fathom how we can make it past the heartache. When we have the strength to stifle the tears, we remember their antics, their quirks and the fact that they are immortalized for our lifetime in images. We page through those images, remembering the younger dogs they were, the way they gained grey on a muzzle or freckles in their white colors. We remember the happy moments, the calm moments, the tough moments and the moments that they proved they were the bestest dog ever. 

(Ooof that was hard to write, I’m getting a little teary eyed which is not conducive to writing. Man I miss you Bender!)

It doesn’t matter if the images are from a cell phone, casual photography or from a professional pet photographer, their existence grants your dog immortality.

I’m so grateful that I have a knack for being trigger happy with my dogs. There is ample pictures from the early days of Mick, Icey, Axle and Bender with moments between as they aged, until they headed into their departure. Cueing up a single image of any of them brings up the memory tied to it, along with all the other memories that each dog left as a way to mend and make my heart stronger. 

And once our heart heals and grows greater and stronger, we look to add another pup or pet to enrich our lives again. Or we turn to the other dogs and promise to give them best lives ever until they too pass. 

(This is what happened with my quad pack. Mick departed, then Icey. Axle & Bender made two, until there was only one. And when Bender departed, the hurt in my heart was vast and the space in my house was empty. Losing each dog sucked, but it felt like Bender held the most pain as there were no other dogs to turn to for comfort. Cue the teary eyes again.)

If only we could request that our dogs remain by our side until we are well aged and they no more past the wiles of a puppy. Though, perhaps our dogs depart to teach us to handle loss, to learn how to love again, and give us to opportunity to grow as we add new personalities of dogs (or pets) into our household.

To all those who have crossed the Rainbow Bridge, we miss you vastly and we love you eternally. 

This is a sad topic. Be sure to hug your dog and whisper to the images around your house how much you miss the departed ones. 

Being a blog ring, head to the next blog and continue until you return to us. The next post is Jessica Wasik with Bark & Gold Photography, sharing five self-care tips for those caring for senior dogs.

5 thoughts on “The Rainbow Bridge”

  1. That was a handsome 4-pack for sure. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to go from a house filled with 4 large dogs to 1, and then none. The silence must have been so difficult to bear.

  2. Tears… I remember sooo many posts over the years with your beautiful Bender – I can tell you had that very special connection with him. What a stunning dog!!! And Axle… that face – LOVE!!! Cherish all of those amazing memories. Being “trigger happy” is definitely a good thing! They make our world – xo

  3. What a stunning collection of portraits and excellent reminders to love our furry friends a little extra every day.

  4. THIS! “perhaps our dogs depart to teach us to handle loss, to learn how to love again, and give us the opportunity to grow.” So very on point. I love all of your photos of your dogs, and I agree, every one always will bring back the memory tied to it.

Comments are closed.