August 4, 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!)

Publisher’s Blurb:

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!

Final Thoughts:

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)


  1. I loved The Art of Racing in the Rain. I thought I had this book but it looks like I don't so it's going on my wish list.

    1. This was such a good book, Kathy. I was pleasantly surprised.

      BTW, Garth Stein has a new one coming out. I snagged the ARC this week!!!

  2. Les, I liked this one as well. There is another book, narrated by a dog, and not on your list which I LOVED. Now, of course, the name escapes me.

    1. If you think of the title of the other book, please let me know!

  3. Yes. When we rescued our Henry, he rescued us as well. And now he is near the end of his life,stumbling and falling, and it's so sad to think of life without him. We are blessed by their presence.

    1. How old is Henry? We're not sure of Annie's age, but she's somewhere between 10 and 12. She's still getting around quite well for an old gal, but I know her time with us is only a few more years. I'm so sorry Henry is struggling. We are indeed blessed by their companionship, aren't we?

  4. I didn't realize that Edgar Sawtelle was a dog story. I did read Racing in the Rain but as blogging friend James Chester noted a few weeks ago, dog stories generally don't end well. I'm not a dog lover (Lexi was a great dog but I tolerated her) and much prefer cats (I will call to cats outside), but I do believe that dogs are very special. I'm sure one day we'll get another dog for the girls.

    You've been quiet lately, huh? Just catching up since before my Toronto trip... ;)

    1. I think you might enjoy Edgar Sawtelle. It's a dog story, but it's also a coming-of-age tale. I listened to the audio and thought it was amazing.

      Yeah, not much time for blogging these days. Had some family visiting from Durham, NC last weekend and we're hosting a dinner party on Saturday, so I've been busy getting ready for that. I'm still hoping to catch up on my reviews, but we'll see. I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water (with regard to blogging... life is good).

      Loved your pics from Toronto! I'll be back to that post to comment later this weekend.


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