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Out and About WRAL.com

Out and About WRAL.com

— The “Rainbow Bridge” is a familiar poem given to many misty-eyed pet owners on the day they say goodbye to their beloved furry family member.

The poem promises grieving pet owners that their lost pet has gone to the Rainbow Bridge, where the pet will run and play across the meadows and grassy hills, restored to health and youth. It’s here at the Rainbow Bridge where beloved pets will wait for us until we find them.

“When you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyful reunion, never to part again. You look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

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Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.”

However, many people don’t realize that there is a real Rainbow Bridge here in North Carolina. Nestled in an enchanted mountain wonderland, full of grassy fields and rolling hills as the poem promises, the real Rainbow Bridge awaits.

Remember Forever: Collars for beloved pets hang from the rails of the bridge

A sign at the entrance to the bridge invites visitors to attach their pet’s collars or tags to the Rainbow Bridge rails.

“A place to honor and peacefully remember our four-legged family members,” the sign reads.

On the other side of the bridge, the poem Rainbow Bridge recalls the symbolism of the site.

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Countless pet owners across the state have left touching memories for their departed loved ones. Names adorn the bridge: Indee, Thunder, Patches, Sasha.

Some have engraved messages to their pets. Others left nameless necklaces – a silent reminder of long walks, adventures and a lifetime of memories.

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Across the Rainbow Bridge is a garden where families can bring their dogs to play. The River’s Edge Dog Garden features artwork meant for dogs to enjoy, such as a fire hydrant and a stone dog footprint path. There’s even a “dog stick library,” where dogs can borrow a stick to play with.

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Surrounded by an enchanted oasis hidden in a mountain valley

The Rainbow Bridge is part of a larger experience on the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge in the mountains of North Carolina. Pets are welcome as a family to explore a vast wonderland, with hidden paths, secret doors and picturesque landscapes.

The ‘Secret Garden’ is hidden atop a century-old bridge, which was left derelict after it was decommissioned in 2011. Volunteers worked together to preserve the beautiful historic three-arch bridge – and planted a dozen themed gardens across the entire 155 foot stretch. Today, this has grown into 30 gardens, each connected by shaded pathways, eclectic artwork and even wooden gates leading to mysterious staircases.

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Brimming with dozens of species of flowers and plants, the garden attracts butterflies and insects – and maybe even the occasional fairy.

Dogs are welcome on the flowered bridge of the Lure lake. Water bowls are placed throughout the deck, along with plenty of scenic spaces to explore and capture memories.

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With all the pet-friendly memories to be made on the Lure Lake Flower Bridge, it seems possible that some of the pet tags hanging on the Rainbow Bridge are bittersweet memory markers created in this very valley – a poignant reminder of those happier days. .and a nice place to wait until you meet again and cross the Rainbow Bridge together.

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Do you have a Rainbow Bridge memorial?

If you left a memorial on the Rainbow Bridge in North Carolina, we’d love to hear your pet’s story. Please email [email protected]

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