A Dog’s Purpose Book Review *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.
A Dog’s Purpose is a feel good book that will make you shed a tear or two, seen through the eyes of Bailey and his owner, Ethan. Bailey is reincarnated three times for reasons that may confuse readers because all we’re told is that Bailey must fulfill his purpose regarding Ethan. The best part of the book is when Bailey is first born and with Ethan, the boy he adores with all his heart. The second time he’s reborn is also heartfelt because he saves lives. The third time is more on the edge of your seat type action because you don’t know how it will end for Bailey, but everything comes full circle, although the ending is a bit underwhelming.
W. Bruce Cameron is a great storyteller who allows the reader into the mind of Bailey, born in the woods with his sister and brothers. Once Bailey and his mother and siblings are found by humans, and placed into kennels and such, that is when the story moves along. Bailey enters the life of Ethan, an 8 year old boy whose mother gives him the puppy because she found the pup locked in a hot car. She rescued the pup, who they name Bailey, and he soon becomes a part of the family. As Ethan house trains Bailey, you’ll laugh because Bailey doesn’t understand why he must not eat shoes, garbage and learns to use a doggy door in the garage to take care of his business. His time with Ethan as his owner grows up into adulthood, around college age is the longest of the book and the most poignant. When it’s Bailey’s time to go, you may end up in tears.
Bailey is reincarnated and becomes a police dog who is trained to sniff out criminals and lost people. He becomes a super dog here through some interesting scenarios, finding love with another, and again becomes part of a family. Just like with Ethan, Bailey time finally comes to move on, and is reborn again, but it’s not as comforting as the other times. But he ends up finding Ethan again, not a grown man, who has so many regrets But Bailey, now named Buddy is there to help Ethan find peace, and a love with someone he left go as a teenager who will help him find his purpose in life again, just like Bailey has.
I adored Bailey and his unselfish need to help people, which makes sense because animals, especially dogs are so innocent and pure, who just want protection, love and comfort, much like their human counterparts. When Bailey and Ethan connect again, it’s like coming home for Bailey. Their each other’s soul mates in a way. The HEA for Bailey and Ethan is emotional and may make you shed a tear, but leaves the door open for Bailey to find a bigger purpose. The question is, what is his final purpose, and will he continued to be reincarnated just to help those human’s who invite him into their lives?
Bailey is a doggy guardian angel who we all wish we could have in our lives. A Dog’s Purpose is a book you want to hug, that may make you want to rush out and find your own Bailey to play “flip” with (in order to understand, what “flip” is, you must read the book!). (Forge Books)
Final Grade: B+