Arts & Entertainment

Review: “A Dog’s Purpose” by Bruce Cameron


By J. Roslyn

I haven’t seen the movie version of “A Dog’s Purpose,” but I am going to go out on a limb and insist that, if you love dogs, you read this book whether you go to see the film or not. It will answer every question you have ever had about a beloved dog. It will make you smile much more than it will make you weep, but be prepared for the tears.

The narrator is Bailey, a dog who is reincarnated as a dog many times over the 50-year time span covered by the book. He has different names in different lifetimes, and he comes back as different dog breeds (and genders), but in every lifetime he seeks to be a “good dog.”

One beloved human boy, Ethan, is very special to Bailey, and they take care of each other starting when Ethan is eight years old. When, as a very old dog, Bailey must move on, college age Ethan, holds him and weeps. Bailey never forgets his love for Ethan in lifetime after lifetime.

Bailey is not a human who woke up as a dog, he is a dog who always wakes up as a dog, and who always seeks a human to love. Bruce Cameron channels Bailey so brilliantly, it makes me wonder if perhaps he, like Dean Spanley, remembers his own prior life as a dog. I was deeply moved by this book. Please read it, your dog will thank you.

Print Length: 334 pages
Publisher: Forge Books; Reprint edition (June 29, 2010)
Publication Date: July 6, 2010
Sold by: Macmillan