A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

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, this 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 8 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, this book 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 bonds between man and man’s best friend. This 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.


Song For This Book: Who Let The Dogs Out by Baha Men
Why? What other song do you use for a book about dogs?


I heard of this book because of the movie that has come out recently, and as soon as I read the synopsis, I knew I needed to read this one. I love dogs, and a book written from a dog’s perspective felt like something from my childhood.

This book is so much fun. It’s a simple, easy to follow story, told from the dog’s perspective, as he tries to figure out what his purpose is and why he continues to be born again as a puppy. It takes you through his various reincarnations, from a stray to a well loved best friend, to a police dog. You get exactly what you expect with this book, but not in the disappointing way. Rather, in the way that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

The Good Points of A Dog’s Purpose:

The way that the dog in the story thinks and reacts seems so accurate to how I’ve seen dogs act in the real world. He doesn’t understand half of what people do, so he just reacts in those tilted head looks and thinks about food. It reminds me so much of how my dogs have reacted to things I’ve said or done.

The flow of this book is great. The writing is simple but good enough that you don’t really think about reading. It’s easy to fly though this book, because you’re so curious to see what is going to happen next to the dog.

It would have been so easy to fall into the trap of mourning the last pet as each of the dog’s lives come to an end, but Cameron does a great job of moving on quickly to the next story and keeping you hooked into it without feeling too sad.

The Downsides of A Dog’s Purpose:

While this book is fun, it does feel like one of those situations where the author could have done more. This book isn’t about some incredible dog who did something special, but rather an average dog with an average life. I liked it for what it was, but would be curious to see what more could have been done with it.

This book did feel a little childish. I picked it up out of the adult fiction section, but it felt more like something you’d find in middle grade. And while I understand that a book about a dog isn’t going to be super intellectual, I think something more could have been done with it, coming back to my previous point.

All in all, this is a fun, sweet book that will please any dog lover out there. It’s an easy read that would even be appropriate for younger children if they were interested. Definitely one that you should check out.

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