Along for the ride:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Welcome at Rainbow Bridge

The beautiful meadow by the Rainbow Bridge is the place we like to imagine, where all the pets we have loved, who have gone ahead, will be waiting for us when our time comes. We will reunite and will cross the Bridge together.
This adaptation of the legend was written by Alexander Theodor Bouvier, of whom I know nothing other than he was a Fourth Year Resident at that time and he cared enough to write this in the days following 9/11.

On the morning of September 11th, 2001, there was an unprecedented amount of activity at the Rainbow Bridge. Decisions had to be made. They had to be made quickly. and, they were.

An issue, not often addressed here, is the fact that many residents really have no loved one for whom to wait. Think of pups who lived and died in hideous puppy mills. No one on earth loved or protected them. What about the many who spent unhappy lives tied in back yards? And, the ones who were abused. Who are they to wait for?

We don't talk about that much up here. We share our loved ones as they arrive, happy to do so. But we all know there is nothing like having your very own person who thinks you are the most special pup in the Heavens.

Last Tuesday morning a request rang out for pups not waiting for specific persons to volunteer for special assignment...An eager, curious crowd surged excitedly forward. each pup wondering what the assignment would be.

They were told by a solemn voice that unexpectedly, all at once, thousands of loving people had left Earth long before they were ready.

All the pups, as pups all do, felt the humans' pain deep in their own hearts. Without hearing more, there was a clamoring among them- "May I have one to comfort?" "I'll take two, I have a big heart." "I have been saving kisses for ever."

One after another they came forward begging for assignment. One cozy-looking fluffy pup hesitantly asked, "Are there any children coming? I would be very comforting for a child 'cause I'm soft and squishy and I always wanted to be hugged." A group of Dalmatians came forward asking to meet the FireFighters and be their friends. The larger working breeds offered to greet the Police Officers and make them feel at home.

Little dogs volunteered to do what they do best, cuddle and kiss. Dogs who on Earth had never had a kind word or pat on the head, stepped forward and said, " I will love any human who needs love."

Then all the dogs, wherever on Earth they originally came from, rushed to the Rainbow Bridge and stood waiting, overflowing with love to share-each tail wagging an American Flag.
Of course we know that there were many flags to represent many Nations who were there that day. No offense was intended.


  1. OK, you've reduced me to tears again. The imagery in this story is just amazing. It's a wonderful mix of giving love to the dogs who never knew love on earth, and comfort to those who lost their lives on earth on that terrible day.

    One would have to be terribly hard of heart not to appreciate the beauty of this tale.

    Thanks for posting such a moving tribute to true love.

  2. Jean, the writer can't have been very old at the time and I don't know if he was a veterinary or medical intern. I wish I knew more about him. Bouvier is certainly a family name of import in American history. I wonder.....? And yes, it makes me cry too.

  3. oops, need to go find a tissue; very moving.

  4. Oh! You didn't write it?
    I'm passing it on!

  5. A balm and a salve for the heart.

  6. Oh, I see that I did not read the second paragraph... A common fault of mine, skipping over things...

  7. What a tender and endearing story. So much meaning behind the sweet tale (tail too).

  8. ER, 'Fourth Year Resident', without further qualification, struck me as slightly odd. More so when the Rainbow Bridge greeters were also referred to as residents. That gave this little story - to me - an even more wistful air. If only...

  9. Trudi, it gets to me every time I read this.

    June, Pay attention now! :)

    Steve, exactly put. It really is something bigger than just a story.

    TechnoBabe, I wish I knew this person.

    Deborah, I wondered if he was one of the thousands of medical personnel who stepped up that day and waited, and waited, and waited for treatable victims. The realization that there were so few survivors they could help must have been a very dark place. I like your idea too. (I also wondered if he was a member of the same Bouvier clan as Jackie K. She loved poetry and writing.)

  10. Tissues needed here too. What a lovely tale.

  11. Argent, I was unfamiliar with the Rainbow Bridge until I kept noticing references in things animal people said and wrote. "See you at The Bridge" meant nothing so I researched it and found a special place to put your sadness when you lose a companion animal. It doesn't have to be true, or believable, to be comforting.
    This adaptation takes it a step further, inclusive of humans and neglected animals. I filed a copy away shortly after 9/11, 2001 and thought to share it yesterday.

  12. I, too, was unfamiliar with the Rainbow Bridge, until we lost our dog, Dolly, in december. Our vet sent us a card afterwards, with a poem about it. I was deeply touched by the thought, and the image it conjures up is very comforting. I've wondered about where it came from, so am thrilled that you've taken the time (that I can't find!) to write about it here. Now my head is filled with even more nice thoughts, and I suspect that each year, as I think about 9/11, it will now be accompanied by a second thought of the arrivals at Rainbow Bridge!
    Thank you!

  13. This is the first time I have heard the expression 'Rainbow Bridge' and 'the legend behind it'.

    It is certainly a moving story.

  14. Joanna and Friko, there are definitely cultural/folklore differences between U.K & U.S. At least now I know it wasn't just me.
    I was recently with some horse people and made reference to "For want of a nail..." They had never heard that before and I had to recite the whole thing.

  15. Very moving. Thank you for sharing it.

  16. Hi there regular readers

    I’m really sorry to have to tell you that due to circumstances beyond my control Don’t Feed The Pixies has had to be deleted and will probably be gone by the time you read this.

    I had gone to pains to keep my name off the web and had changed the names and places of those involved where speaking about someone or something – but it seems that I have not been careful enough and so to protect myself from any future problems I have had to quit the site.

    Thank you for providing light in a tunnel of dullness. I came to the blog world in hope of finding others out there who I might have something in common with, or were just other lost souls looking for new ideas and new thoughts – I have enjoyed meeting you all.

    I am not sure whether this blog will continue in any other form. Thank you for visiting

  17. Pixie, Noooo! I hate that. I hope you will reincarnate. You can always send us a private email with your new moniker.
    I keep telling people (clients) "When I write the book, I'm naming names" They think I'm joking.

  18. LOVED this. I thought you wrote it as well.

  19. Ms. Hostage, I'd be proud to have created this. All I did was find it and save it to share.