Artist creates rainbow bridge in Carolinas where owners remember pets
LAKE LURE, N.C. (FOX Carolina) - A Lake Lure woman who wanted to find a way to memorialize her dogs created something that has turned into a magical spot for the community to honor their four-legged friends.
After Amy Wald lost two dogs during the COVID-19 pandemic, she asked Lake Lure officials if she could build a rainbow bridge. Multiple books and poems have been written about the rainbow bridge, a bridge connecting heaven and earth where owners will one day be reunited with their beloved pets.
The artist got approval to construct and paint the bridge in the Flowering Bridge community garden along Memorial Highway. It’s surrounded by plants, flowers and a river, with a view of Chimney Rock in the background. She put one of her dogs’ collars on the bridge railing and for a long time, it was the only one.
Then pictures of Wald’s rainbow bridge started being shared across social media and people from near and far started coming to add something from their pets. Wald said one family drove seven hours to visit the bridge.
“You are placing something and saying this is forever,” Wald said.
Now hundreds of collars, harnesses, tags and pictures cover both sides of it. Some of them are for military and service dogs.
“Once you put yours there, you can see how much love,” she said. “If you count the amount of love hours, in all of those pets, we have a million hours of love hours. I mean, we love our families, but your dog or your cat... When you’re sad, they’re there with you. When you’re happy, they’re there with you.”
She said grieving visitors leave the bridge crying, but many also leave smiling. A poem about the rainbow bridge is on a sign nearby: “No longer by my side, forever in my heart. We will meet at the rainbow bridge and we will never be apart.”
Although there are many “love lock” bridges around the world for people to leave reminders of their human loved ones, Wald said she’s been told there’s nowhere else like her real-life rainbow bridge.
“When we get pets, we pretty much know that we will outlive them,” Wald said. “It doesn’t make it any better, but we still say, ‘I would do it over and over and over again because I can’t live without a pet’.”
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