A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron
A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron
A tail-wagging three hanky boo-hooer, this delightful fiction debut by newspaper columnist Cameron (8 Simple Rules for Marrying My Daughter) proposes that a dog's purpose might entail being reborn several times. Told in a touching, doggy first-person, this unabashedly sentimental tale introduces Toby, who's rescued by a woman without a license for her rescue operation, so, sadly, Toby ends up euthanized. He's reborn in a puppy mill and after almost dying while left in a hot car, he's saved again by a woman, and he becomes Bailey, a beloved golden retriever, who finds happiness and many adventures.
His next intense incarnation is as Ellie, a female German shepherd, a heroic search and rescue dog. But the true purpose of this dog's life doesn't become totally clear until his reincarnation as Buddy, a black Lab. A book for all age groups who admire canine courage, Cameron also successfully captures the essence of a dog's amazing capacity to love and protect. And happily, unlike Marley, this dog stays around for the long haul.
Like cats, dogs have multiple lives. At least, Bailey, the canine narrator of this first novel, has more than one. Bailey's first life is spent as a feral puppy who learns to trust humans after living with a loving but slightly dotty woman who owns too many dogs to suit the county. Bailey is removed by animal control, and his next life brings him to young Ethan, the human Bailey will love and search for through all his subsequent lives, first as part of K-9 Search and Rescue and then as a dumped and mistreated mutt.
Through all these lives, Bailey contemplates his purpose in a voice full of curiosity and humor. He ruminates on the usefulness of cats ("none") and the strange natures of humans ("Am I a good dog or a bad dog? They can't decide"). This quickly paced, touching novel will charm all animal fans, especially those who loved Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain (2009) and Vicki Myron's Dewey (2008), the best-selling saga of a library cat.
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Reviews aboutA Dog's Purpose
"I received a publisher's advance copy of W. Bruce Cameron's first novel, "A Dog's Purpose". In a word? Magnificent. OK, two words. Brilliant. Actually three. Soul.
Bruce Cameron has brought forth a magnificent, touching piece of a soul's journey through life in search of purpose and meaning. At times hilarious and yet other times heart breaking, Bruce brilliantly weaves a story of a dog and its quest that is told with such heart and humanity that anyone who has ever had a dog (or any pet , for that matter) feels that this truly is how they see us and the world in which they live.
The humor is real and effortless. You will find yourself laughing out loud. You will also cry. Real tears born out of your life's memories of pets past and the essential intertwining of souls that exists in no other relationship.
That bond (from the dog's perspective) is what brings the true love in this novel to life.
Though many dream of writing that one great novel, the difference here is that Bruce Cameron has done it right out of the gate and I have a feeling that there is plenty more where that came from. An essential, five star must read."
"Dog lovers will absolutely love this book. The author masterfully captures what many of us would imagine to be the thought processes of our dogs, and makes the reader think about the role we play in our pets' lives, for good and for bad. While the book has its uplifting moments, make sure to have some tissues nearby as there are many, many tearful moments in the story of this dog's numerous lives. Lest anyone think that this is yet another book in the growing dog channeling genre, rest assured that this book is much more than that. This is a book that will make you think not only about the purpose of a dog's life, but the purpose of life in general."