A Dog's Purposeby 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, A Dog's Purpose 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/i>… See more details below
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, A Dog's Purpose 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 wonderswill he ever find his purpose?
Heartwarming, insightful, and often laugh-out-loud funny, A Dog's Purpose 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 moving and beautifully crafted 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.
“I loved the book and I could not put it down. It really made me think about the purpose of life. At the end, I cried.” Temple Grandin, New York Times bestselling author of Animals in Translation
“Marley and Me combined with Tuesdays with Morrie.” Kirkus Reviews
“A Dog's Purpose is the most accurate window into a dog's mind I have ever encountered. I couldn't put it down, and once I finished it, I actually felt is if my dog, who had recently passed away, was speaking to me through this book. A triumph, impeccably detailed with intelligence and heart.” Dina Zaphiris, Host, "Petfinder" Animal Planet
“A Dog's Purpose takes the reader on a special journey, exploring the mysterious and marvelous bond between people and animals. Bruce Cameron spins a tale of tails that wag, lessons that are learned, and special relationships that shine with courage and devotion. A good book to read with your best friend at your side.” Tony La Russa, manager of the St. Louis Cardinals and co founder of the Animal Rescue Foundation
“Finally, a fictional dog who is a real dog! Anyone who has ever loved a dog needs to read this wise, touching, often hilarious book. Bailey, the narrator, tells the absolute dog truth about how intuitive your dog is, how profoundly your dog loves you (and how very much they love to roll in road kill, and how puzzled they are that you don't love it, too). Most importantly, this book allows the reader to intimately experience a genuine dog's eye view of the bond between dogs and humans, and how nothing, not even death, can ever end that bond.” Dr. Marty Becker, Resident Veterinarian on Good Morning America and the Dr. Oz Show
“This book is a classic. A beautiful, uplifting, tenderly told, frequently funny, and exquisitely moving story…I am awash in the tears of recognition every dog lover will shed when they read this remarkable book.” Iris Dart, New York Times bestselling author of Beaches
“This is an exquisite, magical, fantastic book. I devoured it in a, "I-resent-anything-that-prevents-me-from-getting-back-to-the-book-why-do-I-have-to-work-my-kid-is-almost-six-can't-he-drive-himself-to-school?" way. I adored Bailey, the dog narrator, and though I got teary, I absolutely loved this book. You should quickly fetch "A Dog's Purpose," an exemplar of the literary canine canon.” Duncan Strauss, Host,"Talking Animals" NPR
“This wonderfully imagined, inspirational tale is told by a spiritual guide dog who teaches us that our life's purpose is best accomplished when the word "love" is a verb. Bailey the dog knows the profound truths: there is no death, and fear is our greatest enemy. If you are a human, you need to read this treasure of a book.” Dannion Brinkley, New York Times Best Selling Author, "Saved By the Light"
“I finished this book and wanted to read it all over again. A funny, enchanting, and utterly believable story of the multiple lives of a most articulate canine, A Dog's Purpose convinced me that there must be reincarnation and that author W. Bruce Cameron was once a dog. How else could he so poignantly detail life, love, and loyalty from the four-pawed point of view?” Victoria Moran, author of Living a Charmed Life
“Usually when I read a book this brilliantly written, I wish I had written it, but in this case I'm just grateful it was written at all. For years I grieved and agonized over the choices I made in caring for my dog at the end of her life, but after hearing from Bailey how deeply our dogs feel what we humans go through, I know my dog loved me till the end, and loves me still, as I love her. This book healed me.” Cathryn Michon, author of The Grrl Genius Guide to Life
- Tom Doherty Associates
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- First Edition
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- 8.26(w) x 5.58(h) x 0.88(d)
Read an Excerpt
A Dog's Purpose
By W. Bruce Cameron
Tom Doherty AssociatesCopyright © 2010 W. Bruce Cameron
All rights reserved.
One day it occurred to me that the warm, squeaky, smelly things squirming around next to me were my brothers and sister. I was very disappointed.
Though my vision had resolved itself only to the point where I could distinguish fuzzy forms in the light, I knew that the large and beautiful shape with the long wonderful tongue was my mother. I had figured out that when the chill air struck my skin it meant she had gone somewhere, but when the warmth returned it would be time to feed. Often finding a place to suckle meant pushing aside what I now knew was the snout of a sibling seeking to crowd me out of my share, which was really irritating. I couldn't see that my brothers and sister had any purpose whatsoever. When my mother licked my stomach to stimulate the flow of fluids from under my tail, I blinked up at her, silently beseeching her to please get rid of the other puppies for me. I wanted her all to myself.
Gradually, the other dogs came into focus, and I grudgingly accepted their presence in the nest. My nose soon told me I had one sister and two brothers. Sister was only slightly less interested in wresting with me than my brothers, one of whom I thought of as Fast, because he somehow always moved more quickly than I could. The other one I mentally called Hungry, because he whimpered whenever Mother was gone and would suckle her with an odd desperation, as if it were never enough. Hungry slept more than my siblings and I did, so we often jumped on him and chewed on his face.
Our den was scooped out underneath the black roots of a tree, and was cool and dark during the heat of the day. The first time I tottered out into the sunlight, Sister and Fast accompanied me, and naturally Fast shoved his way to the front.
Of the four of us, only Fast had a splash of white on his face, and as he trotted jauntily forward this patch of fur flashed in the daylight. I'm special, Fast's dazzling, star-shaped spot seemed to be declaring to the world. The rest of him was as mottled and unremarkably brown and black as I was. Hungry was several shades lighter and Sister shared Mother's stubby nose and flattened forehead, but we all looked more or less the same, despite Fast's prancing.
Our tree was perched on a creek bank, and I was delighted when Fast tumbled head over heels down the bank, though Sister and I plummeted with no more grace when we tried to make the same descent. Slippery rocks and a tiny trickle of water offered wonderful odors, and we followed the wet trail of the creek into a moist, cool cave — a culvert with metal sides. I knew instinctively that this was a good place to hide from danger, but Mother was unimpressed with our find and hauled us unceremoniously back to the Den when it turned out our legs weren't powerful enough to enable us to scale back up the bank.
We had learned the lesson that we couldn't return to the nest on our own when we went down the bank, so as soon as Mother left the nest we did it again. This time Hungry joined us, though once he was in the culvert he sprawled in the cool mud and fell asleep.
Exploring seemed like the right thing to do — we needed to find other things to eat. Mother, getting impatient with us, was standing up when we weren't even finished feeding, which I could only blame on the other dogs. If Hungry weren't so relentless, if Fast weren't so bossy, if Sister didn't wiggle so much, I knew Mother would hold still and allow us to fill our bellies. Couldn't I always coax her to lie down, usually with a sigh, when I reached up for her while she stood above us?
Often Mother would spend extra time licking Hungry while I seethed at the injustice.
By this time, Fast and Sister had both grown larger than I — my body was the same size, but my legs were shorter and stubbier. Hungry was the runt of the litter, of course, and it bothered me that Fast and Sister always abandoned me to play with each other, as if Hungry and I belonged together out of some sort of natural order in the pack.
Since Fast and Sister were more interested in each other than the rest of the family, I punished them by depriving them of my company, going off by myself deep into the culvert. I was sniffing at something deliciously dead and rotten one day when right in front of me a tiny animal exploded into the air — a frog!
Delighted, I leaped forward, attempting to pounce on it with my paws, but the frog jumped again. It was afraid, although all I wanted to do was play and probably wouldn't eat it.
Fast and Sister sensed my excitement and came stampeding into the culvert, knocking me over as they skidded to a stop in the slimy water. The frog hopped and Fast lunged at it, using my head as a springboard. I snarled at him, but he ignored me.
Sister and Fast fell all over themselves to get at the frog, who managed to land in a pool of water and kick away in silent, rapid strokes. Sister put her muzzle in the pond and snorted, sneezing water over Fast and me. Fast climbed on her back, the frog — my frog! — forgotten.
Sadly, I turned away. It looked as though I lived in a family of dimwits.
I was to think of that frog often in the days that followed, usually just as I drifted off to sleep. I found myself wondering how it would have tasted.
More and more frequently, Mother would growl softly when we approached, and the day she clicked her teeth together in warning when we came at her in a greedy tumble I despaired that my siblings had ruined everything. Then Fast crawled to her, his belly low, and she lowered her snout to him. He licked her mouth and she rewarded him by bringing up food, and we rushed forward to share. Fast pushed us away, but we knew the trick, now, and when I sniffed and licked my mother's jaws she gave me a meal.
At this point we had all become thoroughly familiar with the creek bed, and had tracked up and down it until the whole area was redolent with our odors. Fast and I spent most of our time dedicated to the serious business of play, and I was beginning to understand how important it was to him for the game to wind up with me on my back, his mouth chewing my face and throat. Sister never challenged him, but I still wasn't sure I liked what everyone seemed to assume was the natural order of our pack. Hungry, of course, didn't care about his status, so when I was frustrated I bit his ears.
One afternoon I was drowsily watching Sister and Fast yank on a scrap of cloth they'd found when my ears perked up — an animal of some kind was coming, something large and loud. I scrambled to my feet, but before I could race down the creek bed to investigate the noise Mother was there, her body rigid with warning. I saw with surprise that she had Hungry in her teeth, carrying him in a fashion that we'd left behind weeks ago. She led us into the dark culvert and crouched down, her ears flat against her head. The message was clear, and we heeded it, shrinking back from the tunnel opening in silence.
When the thing came into view, striding along the creek bed, I felt Mother's fear ripple across her back. It was big, it stood on two legs, and an acrid smoke wafted from its mouth as it shambled toward us.
I stared intently, absolutely fascinated. For reasons I couldn't fathom I was drawn to this creature, compelled, and I even tensed, preparing to bound out to greet it. One look from my mother, though, and I decided against it. This was something to be feared, to be avoided at all costs.
It was, of course, a man. The first one I'd ever seen.
The man never glanced in our direction. He scaled the bank and disappeared from view, and after a few moments Mother slid out into the sunlight and raised her head to see if the danger had passed. She relaxed, then, and came back inside, giving each of us a reassuring kiss.
I ran out to see for myself, and found myself disheartened when all that remained of the man's presence was a lingering scent of smoke in the air.
Over and over again the next few weeks, Mother reinforced the message we'd learned in that culvert: Avoid men at all costs. Fear them.
The next time Mother went to hunt, we were allowed to go with her. Once we were away from the security of the Den, her behavior became timid and skittish, and we all emulated her actions. We steered clear of open spaces, slinking along next to bushes. If we saw a person, Mother would freeze, her shoulders tense, ready to run. At these times Fast's patch of white fur seemed as obtrusive as a bark, but no one ever noticed us.
Mother showed us how to tear into the filmy bags behind houses, quickly scattering inedible papers and revealing chunks of meat, crusts of bread, and bits of cheese, which we chewed to the best of our ability. The tastes were exotic and the smells were wonderful, but Mother's anxiety affected all of us, and we ate quickly, savoring nothing. Almost immediately Hungry brought up his meal, which I thought was pretty funny until I, too, felt my insides gripped in a powerful spasm.
It seemed to go down easier the second time.
I'd always been aware of other dogs, though I'd never personally met any except those in my own family. Sometimes when we were out hunting they barked at us from behind fences, most likely jealous that we were trotting around free while they were imprisoned. Mother, of course, never let us approach any of the strangers, while Fast usually bristled a little, somehow insulted that anybody would dare call out to us while he lifted his leg on their trees.
Occasionally I even saw a dog in a car! The first time this happened I stared in wonderment at his head hanging out the window, tongue lolling out. He barked joyously when he spotted me, but I was too astounded to do anything but lift my nose and sniff in disbelief.
Cars and trucks were something else Mother evaded, though I didn't see how they could be dangerous if there were sometimes dogs inside them. A large, loud truck came around frequently and took away all the bags of food people left out for us, and then meals would be scarce for a day or two. I didn't like that truck, nor the greedy men who hopped off it to scoop up all the food for themselves, despite the fact that they and their truck smelled glorious.
There was less time for play, now that we were hunting. Mother snarled when Hungry tried to lick her lips, hoping for a meal, and we all got the message. We went out often, hiding from sight, desperately searching for food. I felt tired and weak, now, and didn't even try to challenge Fast when he stood with his head over my back, thrusting his chest at me. Fine, let him be the boss. As far as I was concerned, my short legs were better suited for the low, slinking run our mother had taught us anyway. If Fast felt he was making some sort of point by using his height to knock me over, he was fooling himself. Mother was the dog in charge.
There was barely room for all of us underneath the tree now, and Mother was gone for longer and longer periods of time. Something told me that one of these days she wouldn't come back. We would have to fend for ourselves, Fast always pushing me out of the way, trying to take my share. Mother wouldn't be there to look after me.
I began to think of what it would be like to leave the Den.
The day everything changed began with Hungry stumbling into the culvert to lie down instead of going on the hunt, his breathing labored, his tongue sticking out of his mouth. Mother nuzzled Hungry before she left, and when I sniffed at him his eyes remained shut.
Over the culvert was a road, and along the road we'd once found a large dead bird, which we'd all torn into until Fast picked it up and ran off with it. Despite the danger of being seen, we tended to range up and down this road, looking for more birds, which was what we were doing when Mother suddenly raised her head in alarm. We all heard it the same instant: a truck approaching.
But not just any truck — this same vehicle, making the same sounds, had been back and forth along our road several times the past few days, moving slowly, even menacingly, as if hunting specifically for us.
We followed Mother as she darted back to the culvert, but for reasons I'll never fully understand, I stopped and looked back at the monstrous machine, taking an extra few seconds before I followed Mother into the safety of the tunnel.
Those few seconds proved to make all the difference — they had spotted me. With a low, rumbling vibration, the truck came to a stop directly overhead. The engine clanked and went quiet, and then we heard the sounds of boots on gravel.
Mother gave a soft whimper.
When the human faces appeared at either end of the culvert, Mother went low, tensing her body. They showed their teeth at us, but it didn't seem to be a hostile gesture. Their faces were brown, marked with black hair, black brows, and dark eyes.
"Here, boy," one of them whispered. I didn't know what it meant, but the call seemed as natural as the sound of the wind, as if I had been listening to men speak my whole life.
Both men had poles, I now saw, poles with ropes looped on the end. They appeared threatening, and I felt Mother's panic boil over. Her claws scrabbling, she bolted, her head down, aiming for the space between the legs of one of the men. The pole came down, there was a quick snap, and then my mother was twisting and jerking as the man hauled her out into the sunlight.
Sister and I backed up, cowering, while Fast growled, his fur bristling on the back of his neck. Then it occurred to all three of us that while the way behind us was still blocked, the tunnel mouth in front of us was now clear. We darted forward.
"Here they come!" the man behind us yelled.
Once out in the creek bed, we realized we didn't really know what to do next. Sister and I stood behind Fast — he wanted to be the boss, so okay, let him deal with this.
There was no sign of Mother. The two men were on opposite banks, though, each wielding his pole. Fast dodged one but then was snagged by the other. Sister took advantage of the melee to escape, her feet splashing in the water as she scampered away, but I stood rooted, staring up at the road.
A woman with long white hair stood there above us, her face wrinkled in kindness. "Here, puppy, it's okay. You'll be all right. Here, puppy," she said.
I didn't run; I didn't move. I allowed the loop of rope to slip over my face and tighten on my neck. The pole guided me up the bank, where the man seized me by the scruff of the neck.
"He's okay; he's okay," the woman crooned. "Let him go."
"He'll run off," the man warned.
"Let him go."
I followed this bit of dialogue without comprehension, only understanding that somehow the woman was in charge, though she was older and smaller than either of the two men. With a reluctant grunt, the man lifted the rope off my neck. The woman offered her hands to me: rough, leathery palms coated with a flowery smell. I sniffed them, then lowered my head. A clear sense of caring and concern radiated off of her.
When she ran her fingers along my fur I felt a shiver pass through me. My tail whipped the air of its own accord, and when she astonished me by lifting me into the air I scrambled to kiss her face, delighting in her laughter.
The mood turned somber when one of the men approached, holding Hungry's limp body. The man showed it to the woman, who clucked mournfully. Then he took it to the truck, where Mother and Fast were in a metal cage, and held it up to their noses. The scent of death, recognizable to me as any memory, wafted off of Hungry in the dry, dusty air.
We all carefully smelled my dead brother, and I understood the men wanted us to know what had happened to Hungry.
Sadness came from all of them as they stood there silently in the road, but they didn't know how sick Hungry had been, sick from birth and not long for the world.
I was put in the cage, and Mother sniffed disapprovingly at the woman's smell, which had been pressed into my fur. With a lurch, the truck started up again, and I was quickly distracted by the wonderful odors flowing through the cage as we moved down the road. I was riding in a truck! I barked in delight, Fast and Mother jerking their heads in surprise at my outburst. I couldn't help myself; it was the most exciting thing that had ever happened in my whole life, including almost catching the frog.
Excerpted from A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron. Copyright © 2010 W. Bruce Cameron. Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
W. BRUCE CAMERON is the New York Times bestselling author of A Dog’s Purpose, A Dog’s Journey and The Dogs of Christmas. He lives in California.
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I have a friend who works in a book store who has never once offered me an "advance reader copy" of a book, but that changed with A Dog's Purpose. "You have to read this NOW" she told me. So I was lucky enough to read this amazing novel before its release, and I couldn't agree more. You should RUN to get this book, it is simply one of the most amazing novels of all time. I've never read a book in my life where I am so immediately sure that 100 years from now people will still be talking about this book, it is the "To Kill a Mockingbird" of our time, the novel that will define what literature could be and was during the first years of this century. The plot sounds simple: a wonderful dog has successive lives, reborn again and again, certain that the reason it keeps having new lives is because it has some purpose to fulfill. I say "it" because the dog is both a female and male during its lives, but by the end you will become so attached to the character of this canine, so fascinated and enthralled and in love with him/her, you will wish this book didn't have to end. But it isn't simple, anymore than life is simple: this is a rich, deep, complex story, a story that will stay with you long after you have turned the last page. Disclosure: I loved "Marley & Me" and I love "The Art of Racing in the Rain," so obviously I like dog books. But this is no ordinary dog book. It completely redefines "dog book" and goes where neither of those two books ever went--into the soul of the dog, into the heart of the dog. I'm worried I'm not doing this book justice. But I'm not THAT worried, because the great novels of history always prevail and this is one of those. Other dog books eventually fade away, but A Dog's Purpose is forever. I probably will read this book at least once a year for the rest of my life.
I admit it, I bought this book because of the cute cover and because I was desperate for something new to read. The blurbs on the back all sounded good, but those always sound good, don't they? I really had no idea what I was in for. This is a book like no book I have ever read. Honestly, I was hooked from the first sentence, which delighted me and made me laugh out loud. Of course it's a cliche to say something is a page turner, but I'm telling you, a lost almost an entire night's sleep because I couldn't put it down. I'm a reader, I love books, but I can't remember the last time that happened to me. Oh wait, I can. The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo. That was the last time I was bleary-eyed from staying up until past three in the morning reading, and then having to roll into my work day looking like crap. I was so entranced with the book that at past three in the morning I had to check out it's website and joined up on it's Facebook fanpage. This book is everything those glowing blurbs on the back cover and on it's website promised. I agree with Iris Dart, author of Beaches, who said "This book is a classic." I agree with Temple Grandin, whom I adore (and whose new book Animals Make Us Human is great too, BTW) who said, "I loved this book and could not put it down." I hear ya, Temple. I've had way too much coffee today because I loved this book and could not put it down. I guess it hasn't been out that long, I hadn't heard anything about it, just bought it like a goofball because of the slightly graying wise sweet black lab on the cover. OK now I'll admit this too, my first dog was a black lab, named Boo Boo. (After Boo Radley, in To Kill A Mockingbird). And here's where I'll really go over the top on this book. I also agree with the other reviewer here who compared it to that classic, brilliant book. How do I know? Because, as tired as I am, I want to go home and reread my favorite parts. Maybe just read the whole thing again. In short (and I haven't been short at all) I simply cannot recommend this book enough. I'll be giving it as a gift this Christmas to everyone I know who loves dogs. Which is everyone I know!
Come to think of it, though, considering the time and effort we humans spend trying to figure out "who we are" and "the meaning of life," and given our delight in anthropomorphising animals (especially those we love), I suppose sooner or later someone would come up with the idea of a dog searching for his meaning in life. Mr. Cameron has the imagination and the talent to pull such a story off with style and panache. The dog's story, divided into a series of separate lives, comes together at the end with inevitable and still surprising results. I don't know when I've enjoyed a book so much. I found it nearly impossible to put down.
AN ABSOLUTE TREASURE! Not being able to do this book justice, may I just say, a dog lover or not, 8 years old to 108, buy this book! You will not regret it! What a story! What we would imagine the thought processes of our dogs, the author portrays beautifully and makes the reader think about the role we play in our pets' lives, good and bad. There are many uplifting moments, as well as tearful ones that are from a dog's perspective that will totally humanize the main character. Not a boring cookie cutter formula read; totally unique, and others I recommend are BEAUTIFUL LIES, EXPLOSION IN PARIS and CUTTING FOR STONE.
This book is amazing! Once I started, I had to finish and didn't put the book down till I did. Through his canine narrators, Cameron tells one of the greatest love stories I have ever read. If you love dogs, please read this book.
This review is from: A Dog's Purpose (Hardcover) 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.
For a few years now, I've always kept as my number 1 favorite book of all time, "The Art of Racing in the Rain" and I read a lot of books....all different genres, but that book was still my number 1. Well, after reading "A Dog's Purpose", I now have TWO number 1 books of all time! This book was so good. I laughed, I cried (a few times) and it was just the greatest book! Do yourself a favor and read this one. In fact, I might just read it again - it was that good - and I never re-read books. It makes you so much want to be a part of this dog's life. Incredible. If 5 stars is the highest rating - then this book should have 10!
Truly a wonderful book. It will make you laugh and cry and realize why you love your dog. One of the most entertaining books I have read in a long time
This was such a heart-warming novel. I couldn't put it down and breezed through it in a day! There were times when I would laugh out loud, and times when I would cry thinking of my furry friends that I have loved and had to say goodbye to. This book will make you look at your four-legged friends in a different light and thank them for being there for you everyday, whether to lift your spirits or just keep you company. If you view them as just pets, you will realize that they love you unconditionally and just want to be part of the family. Don't hesitate to pick this book up. Wonderful, wonderful read!!!!!
Once you begin reading this book,you will not put it down! Cameron gets you into the mind, heart, and sould of man's best friend! This is now one of my all time favorite books!
Seriously - anyone who has a dog, wants a dog, had a dog recently pass on, or merely likes to be taken on a wonderful journey needs to own this book. I read "A Dog's Purpose" before I knew anything about it beyond the title and author. I had to stop reading when I was halfway through and realized that I had not moved from my bench for several hours - and this is NOT my reading style. I had become completely lost in the wonderful world of a dog's mind. The next day, I set everything else aside to read and again did not move until I had finished the book. It is at once touching, laugh-out-loud funny, heartfelt, and a fascinating depiction of how a dog's mind actually works (his limited understanding of words, his response to human emotions and scents being his primary sensory input). Every issue related to the care, custody, health and well-being of dogs is presented here as well - from hoarders, rescues, trainers, uneducated abusers, neutering, and the wonderful gift of love that every dog offers. I will always have a copy on hand as a gift for friends when they are faced with the loss of their own beloved canines as I am certain that they will find both comfort and joy in its pages.
I do not like dog books. I am an easy crier and the last thing I need is a book with a dog, because you know the dog is going to have to die at some point. I have spent my adult life avoiding them like the plague. And then an insistent friend of mine gave me A Dog's Purpose and told me I'd love it. Because of her impeccable taste I sat down to read it, begrudgingly, and noticed something weird within the first few pages. I was laughing. I was laughing, because Toby/Bailey/Ellie/Buddy talks EXACTLY like I imagine my dog talks. The author nailed all the details of the dog's voice, like having food described in terms of whether it is shared by the humans with the dog, or making the siren lure of car rides nearly impossible for the dog to resist. Meanwhile all those funny, sweet details were wrapped up in a story of a dog and his people that felt genuine and real. If you've ever had a dog, pet a dog, or seen a dog, you'll find yourself pondering this book for weeks to come, and hoping that it's as on-target with its message as it was with the dog's voice. And yes, I cried, three or four times. And then started rereading.
I am an avid reader, and this is the first time I have ever been compelled to write a review. This book is marvelous! I read excerpts alound to my husband (a staunch non-fiction only reader) and we laughed out loud. While at times disturbing, "A Dog's Purpose" is consistenly heartwarming, funny, poignant, insightful, and oh-so-accurate. The dog's "voice" will ring true to anyone who's ever loved a dog. I didn't want the book to end, and when it did, I was torn between immediately re-reading it, and sharing it with my daughter-in-law. Altruism won out. Since then, I have been recommending it to everyone. You'll love it!
I just love A Dog's Purpose. The story was wonderful, the characters were real, and the message was powerful. I recommend to anyone who loves dogs, humans and/or a good story!
First and foremost a warning: this book has some great plot twists but the Kirkus review gives them away. If you think you might read this book, you're better off reading an unfavorable review than Kirkus. Though Kirkus loves the book, calling it "Marley & Me meets Tuesdays with Morrie" they also say the "dog understands human language as soon as he hears it." Arggh! The whole POINT of the book is that the dog doesn't understand more than 100 words or so. What I would say about this book: it's a moving story about an animal's search for purpose, a dog's search for the meaning of life. The dog lives more than one life, being re-born over and over again, and is convinced this is because he has not yet fulfilled his purpose. It teaches what you've always suspected: that true love never dies and that our furry friends never forget us.
A lovingly written book in the voice of a dog. I don't know how he did it, but if you have ever owned a dog you will know that this author is more dog than human. We all have a purpose in life, the job is trying to find out what it is, and that is the question the dog in this book asks..."What is my purpose?" I could not put it down and sobbed in some spots yelling to myself..."it's just a book, idiot". It is a book about love, loss, loyalty, homelessness, human spirit (and sometime lack thereof). But most important it is a book about friendship and belonging. Pleas e read it and love it. Don't forget the tissues.
I read this as a paper copy as a small child. I reccomend it to anyone at all, even if you dont like dogs. This book will grab your heart and will never let go
What if animals were able to reincarnate? W. Bruce Cameron explores this question in A Dog's Purpose, a novel about one canine soul embarking on a journey to last more than one lifetime. The novel presents many different situations, but the universal thread weaving them together is the circle of life and the interconnectedness of humanity and species. For me, it was an emotional journey, with laughter and tears. And it made me remember to stop and appreciate my dog all the more. I never want to take a second spent with her for granted. This book is a love letter to the four-legged variety that populate our planet and I recommend it to those that have ever been touched by a dog's purpose.
Flat out....one of the best books I have ever read. Such a novel idea and a teriffic ending. A must read for every dog owner.....
WHOEVER GAVE THIS BOOK A BAD REVIEW IS OUT OF THEIR MIND. My mom gave me this book for christmas one year to read becuase I recently lost my best friend who yes, was a dog. He was very young and it is one of the worst experiences I have ever had in my life. This book helped me so much through the struggles I was going through. It made me laugh out loud, cry, and have hope. If you have a dog....you need to read this book. It is one of my favorite books of all time. There is nothing better then this book.
this book was in my magazine the at my book fair so i got it and this book was glued to my hand it was shocking haert braking and haert warming i did cry so if u lost a dog reacently dont read but other than that 999,999 out of 10 stars
To start off, I won't say that A Dog's Purpose is one of the best books I've read in a while. That wouldn't be close to expressing what a wonderful book I think this is. To be more accurate, I'd say that A Dog's Purpose is one of the top 3 or 4 books I've ever read in my over fifty years of being an avid reader -- and possibly my all-time favorite! Summarizing the plot even a little bit won't be fair for the potential reader because you'll want to experience every aspect of this terrific book without any advance information of what you will experience as you read it. I think the following information from the jacket cover pertaining to the essence of A Dog's Purpose should suffice. This is a remarkable story of one endearing dog's search for his purpose over the course of several lives. More than just another charming dog story, A Dog's Purpose touches on the universal quest for an answer to life's most basic question: Why are we here? A Dog's Purpose is a heartwarming, insightful and funny story of a dog's many lives -- but is also a book that you'll need to have a box of tissues close by as you read it, as your reading will make you come face-to-face with all of the emotions associated with life (and death). Further, the book is a dog's-eye documentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man's best friend; and, at its highest level, attempts to teach that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us, and that every creature on Earth is born with a purpose. Well, that's all I'm going to say about this very, very memorable book, which hopefully will be enough to motivate you to read it. I know you'll be very happy you did. Now, I have to go hug my dog, Luigi, tell him what a good boy he is and give him all the love he deserves.
Makes me sad, happy and mad.
I smiled and cried at all the right places and then some. I have responsibly raised poodles for 54 years; bred, obedience-trained and showed in the ring. Dogs have always been a big part of my life--raising 5 children along with them. I now have my last standard poodle, because he is 12 and I am 82. I loved all the reincarnations of Bailey-- feeling all the feelings he felt. I am tearful as I write this to thank you for a Dog's Purpose. I have just finished my first novel---it is about a person I loved as much as Bailey loved his master.
This may be a work of fiction, but there isn't anything more real than the love between a dog and their human(s). This book is heartwarming, well-written, and will awaken something deep in your soul. Buy this book now, and then pass it on to a friend. We can all benefit from the love of a dog.