The spot isn't restricted to dogs and cats; people also honor their hamsters, birds, rabbits or other pets on the bridge.
Losing a pet is one of the most devastating heartbreaks of all. Saying goodbye is never easy, but people now have a place tucked away in the mountains where they can honor their sweet furry companions after their demise. The one-of-a-kind Rainbow Bridge draws visitors from all across the country and helps them keep the memory of their beloved pet dogs alive. The spot isn't restricted to dogs and cats; there is also a hamster wheel, a bird perch, and a rabbit statue.
Teresa Dennis, who has visited the Rainbow Bridge many times, said the space helped her grieve the death of her dog Skittles. "The last time we were there I took a picture of the Rainbow Bridge, knowing that one day soon our sweet Skittles of 16 years would cross over," she said, per Town of Lake Lure. "That day came just recently."
There's a real life rainbow bridge in Lake Lure NC 😪 pic.twitter.com/5uNpi5YhpI— cannanan 💚 (@TuttleNanabelle) July 24, 2023
Situated below the Flowering Bridge in Lake Lure, it's also a place where people can "cry, and then they laugh, and then...giggle when they see the silly things that people have put there," the bridge's creator Amy Wald told WLOS. "We had a family that drove seven hours because there's no other rainbow bridges," Wald said. "We looked it up! There are no other rainbow bridges! So, people are driving to put their own collars up here."
Left Rooster's tag & spent some quiet time reflecting. So many collars, chew toys, tags & pictures, furry angels & humans missing them. Met some great people & talked with the artist behind this real-life Rainbow Bridge in Lake Lure, N.C. Can't wait to share it Sun. on @WLOS_13 pic.twitter.com/LFszbBKoHd— Meghan Danahey (@MeghanDanahey) August 16, 2023
Wald created the space after she had lost her own beloved dog. It is now a spot for families to leave behind a memento, a piece of their own pet's life and also reminisce the wonderful memories they shared in their short but meaningful lives. One can spot the bridge filled with collars, tags, chew toys, pictures and other tributes.
"When we lose our pets, we always think of them passing over the rainbow bridge and meeting the other pets that were part of our family, and our friends' pets that they played with," told a Lake Lure resident to the publication after paying a visit to the bridge recently. "So, I think the rainbow bridge is a very peaceful concept and it makes your heart comfortable."
The woodworking artist worked hard to create the space: she even painted it and hung the collars of her own pets on the railings there. Flowering Bridge volunteers also helped and soon animal lovers began flocking to the heartwarming space to grieve their own pets in the sweetest way. "It's a whole lot better to come visit this than to, you know, look at a little marker in the ground or something. This is happy! When you're there you may get sad about your own pet, but then you see what everybody else did for theirs, and you realize just how amazing people's relationships are with their animals!"
There are plans to add new planks that lead to the water's edge. The extension is important now that the space has many visitors. Wald added that "it will be a quiet space where families can also spread a pet's ashes." People can hang their late pet's collar and tag alongside all the others. Wald believes the gesture helps people grieve together and makes them believe that they are not the only ones to remember their pets. "How many tags other than your own dogs did you read? They're remembered by more than one person, they're remembered by everybody who visits the bridge!" she concluded.