August 5, 2014
A Dog's Purpose
A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans by W. Bruce Cameron
2010 A Forge Book (Tom Doherty Associates, LLC)
Finished on 5/6/14
Rating: 4.5/5 (Terrific!)
All dogs go to heaven… unless they have unfinished business here on Earth.
This is the remarkable story of one endearing dog’s search for his purpose over the course of several lives. More than just another charming dog story, A Dog’s Purpose touches on the universal quest for an answer to life’s most basic question: Why are we here?
Surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden-haired puppy after a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey’s search for his new life’s meaning leads him into the loving arms of eight-year-old Ethan. During their countless adventures Bailey joyously discovers how to be a good dog.
But this life as a beloved family pet is not the end of Bailey’s journey. Reborn as a puppy yet again, Bailey wonders—will he ever find his purpose?
Heartwarming, insightful, and often laugh-out-loud funny, A Dog’s Purpose is not only the emotional and hilarious story of a dog’s many lives, but also a dog’s eye-commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bond between man and man’s best friend. This moving and beautifully crafted story teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose.
I’m not what you would call a dog-lover. Don’t get me wrong. I love my Annie-Dog. And I love my daughter’s dog, Scout, as well as my good friends’ dogs, Bandit, Sundance and Suki.
But unlike my husband, I don’t go out of my way to greet strange dogs while out on a walk, nor do I lie down on a kitchen floor to wrestle with someone else’s dog. It’s not that I dislike them; I just don’t feel that instant affection for dogs I don’t know. However, unlike my husband, I love a good dog story, even if the dog dies in the end or if the story has a canine narrator. I haven’t read too many books of this genre, but those I have read have been very, very good. So when a good friend (who loved The Art of Racing in the Rain as much as I did) told me about A Dog’s Purpose, I knew I was in for a treat. I went into the story almost completely ignorant of the premise, for which I am glad. The turn of events in Bailey’s life was completely unpredictable and surprising, yet without any cloying, saccharine sentimentality. Cameron has a great imagination and his mesmerizing novel (or dare I say tale), held my interest from start to finish. I read the book in a mere six days, which anymore is quite remarkable for me!
Fans of The Art of Racing in the Rain and The Story of Edgar Sawtelle will undoubtedly fall in love with Bailey, just as they did with Enzo and Almondine. W. Bruce Cameron has won my heart and his inspirational story has me looking at my sweet girl, Annie, with a new awareness. Do I believe in reincarnation? Maybe... What I do know is that when we rescued our sweet girl, she rescued us as well, and for that I am eternally grateful.
I borrowed A Dog’s Purpose from a friend, but it’s one to own and read at least one more time. And, yes—it will make you laugh and cry.
Other Dog Books I’ve Read/Reviewed:
The Art of Racing in the Rain (Garth Stein)
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (David Wroblewski)
Marley & Me (Jon Grogan)
One Good Dog (Susan Wilson)