I requested A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron from the library because I was unsure about the movie. It is obvious that the dog dies…. Repeatedly. So why would I want to watch a movie about a dog dying? A book at least I can put down if I need to. I could walk away from a movie but I am far less likely to do so.
It took so long to get the book I actually forgot that I requested it. The movie isn’t in theaters now so I will have to wait a couple of weeks to watch the movie and then I will compare the two.
I read this book in 3 days so I really liked it. While reading it I laughed and I got teary eyed but no crying! Most people treat their dogs like people these days and so it is interesting to read a book from the dog’s point of view. He doesn’t have a high opinion of other animals! He has a few names throughout the book and if you have seen the movie trailer it seems like it follows the book.
He starts out as a stray then is named Toby by a lady who is I guess an animal hoarder? Then in his next life, his name is Bailey and that is the majority of the story. Next, he is a she named Ellie and it was truly comical when he discovered this! Lastly, his name is Buddy and though this life starts out as depressing it becomes heartwarming.
In each life, he decides that he has a purpose and once he has achieved this he will not be reborn. In his fourth life, he is confused as t why he is still there but it all comes back to “his boy” Ethan when he was called Bailey. Ethan was his person and the one he loved the most. They were the picture of what a boy and his dog should be.
There are several disturbing characters throughout the book that he senses are not like other people. It would be nice if we had these senses about each other as well. Mostly like all dogs he wanted to be loved and wanted to please his person, whoever it may be at the time and with each life he remembered the lessons of the last.
There are some sad moments but knowing he would be reborn kept me going. The most touching part came after the story was over in the “Afterword.” Here, the author tells the story of how this idea came to him. He says that unlike all of his other books this one came out verbally as he was trying to cheer up his then girlfriend who had recently lost her dog. It is hard to find the words if there are any that exist for that person that will comfort them after the loss of a pet. He said that she loved t so much that she told him to repeat the story and that time she recorded it.
Perhaps this story needed to be told and as a dog owner, I take comfort thinking that my dog has a purpose and I hope that I am one of the good owners. It doesn’t take that much effort to show your dog, cat, or other animal affection. I have grown up with animals and I know I haven’t always been the best owner but I hope I have gotten better at it.
I was happy to find that there is another book. The author calls it a continuation instead of a sequel. Splitting hairs if you ask me but maybe I will understand once I have read it. I do recommend this book even though it is not YA, fantasy, or romance. Renting the movie is on my list of to do as well reading the next book.
Have any of you seen the movie and if so are you going to read the book?