Over the Rainbow Bridge: Where did this phrase come from?

over the rainbow bridge (Photo by Andrew Chin/Getty Images)
over the rainbow bridge (Photo by Andrew Chin/Getty Images) /

Over the Rainbow Bridge – it’s a common phrase on Dog Twitter, but where did it come from?

Over the Rainbow Bridge, often abbreviated as OTRB, is an all-too-common phrase to find on Dog Twitter. But what does it mean and where did it come from?

There is a short prose poem called “The Rainbow Bridge” in Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul that is listed as “Author Unknown,” which talks about a rosy future where dogs and cats romp and play together, where maimed animals are made whole again, and there is always enough food and water for all.

There they wait until their special human comes along, and together they live happily ever after. This is part of the heavenly setup imagined in the picture book For Every Dog an Angel.

Since Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul was published in 1998, and had to have been well-known in pet circles by that time, it was probably written sometime in the 1980s.

A story in The Washington Post says at least three men  – Wallace Sife and Paul Dahm are two of them – claim to have written this prose poem, as they later all wrote books about the loss of pets.

“It seems really goofy, but when you are that upset, it’s a comforting thought,” Brooklyn photographer Winnie Au told the Post about her experience with the poem, which she learned about after the passing of her Corgi.

Another possible origin could lie with the husband and wife team of Steve and Diane Bodofsky, who operated Last Chance Ferret Rescue. They wrote a traditional rhymed poem, which could also have contributed to the popularity of the phrase.

Still another possible origin could come from Norse mythology and the Bifrost, a magical bridge that connected the Nine Realms. This was also adapted into the Marvel versions of Norse mythology, but for the traditional tales we recommend Neil Gaiman’s simply-titled Norse Mythology to learn the actual background.

Traditionally, Loki has a son named Fenris, who was a wolf. Not a werewolf, but like an actual huge colossal wolf. (Mythology can be weird sometimes.)

This was sort of included in the 2017 movie Thor: Ragnarok, where Fenris is the pet of Hela (Cate Blanchett), written as Loki and Thor’s sister (actually Thor’s aunt, Loki’s sister). who is defeated by the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) shortly before Asgard is destroyed.

Next. The British most popular dog breeds of 2019. dark

Whatever the origins of the phrase, and no matter how sentimental it may seem, “over the rainbow bridge” can be a comforting part of Doggo Lingo, and that’s probably the most important thing. Especially as it is Memorial Day, remembering those good dogs who went OTRB seems worthwhile to pause and reflect on.