{Review} A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

A DOg's Purpose by W. Bruce CameronBefore reviewing W.Bruce Cameron’s A Dog’s Purpose A Novel for Humans, I went to my trusty Thesaurus in search of replacement words for sentimental:  

Dewy-eyed, corny, gushing, idealistic, inane, insipid, maudlin, moonstruck and mushy. 

Okay, I’m all of those and then some when it comes to my love of dogs, especially my own little basset hound, Nico.

I picked up Cameron’s book one afternoon, curled into my most comfortable reading position on the couch, snuggled my dog at my side and began reading. I finished hours later at 12:30 AM with tears flowing down my face, gulping back sobs and my own dog looking at me with grave concern in his brown eyes.


It’s unfair to anyone considering reading this review to think my reaction to the book as anything close to objective.

It’s a  human quest this dog goes on for why he’s here, his purpose and how to fulfill the answers to his search. The cynic would say it’s anthropomorphism at its most inane, gushing, maudlin. The list goes on but a lover of dogs gets it.

Beginning his first incarnation as a stray mutt and ending with his fifth incarnation therefore consummating his purpose, Bailey, the intrepid and loyal pooch, hitches us to a whirlwind of lives lived and lives lost.

Ethan, Bailey’s dearly loved boy, holds a never-to-die place in his doggy heart. Life after life, it’s Ethan that beckons him on. Told from the dog’s viewpoint, the simple becomes sweet. It’s not syrupy. It’s honeyed, never sticky. Bailey’s best times with Ethan are simple and companionable.

The next morning we slept in and then had a fabulous breakfast.  I ate toast crust and licked scrambled eggs and finished his milk for him.  What a great day!

If you love dogs, their hearts and souls, you’ll find yourself tumbling about in a range of emotions, sometimes laughing and often crying when reading this book. 

I am not saying A Dog’s Purpose will become a new classic, that teachers will foist it upon their students or any other such nonsense. It’s easy, light reading. Book snobs will hate it. Its draw is to the best part of our nature, with an inclination toward romanticism.

It’s a book for dog lovers. And, my dog loved it too! 


The hours I spent reading it were also spent petting him while he looked up at me occasionally as if to say,

Are you all right? I care about you.


A Dog’s Purpose is highly recommended for those who don’t mind admitting that they’re sentimental about dogs, willingly hold up their heads shake their fists shout,

Yes, I love dogs and I’m proud of it.


Verdict: Highly Recommended

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