Book Review of “A Dog’s Purpose” by W. Bruce Cameron


I thoroughly enjoyed “A Dog’s Purpose” by W. Bruce Cameron. The entire story is told in the perspective of a dog. W. Bruce Cameron does a great job at telling the story through the dog’s limited view. And although the dog’s version of what happens if often mistaken, misunderstood, and even comical, we humans have no trouble understanding what is happening.

“A Dog’s Purpose” is a well-told story about a dog who is reincarnated several times. Each of it’s lives is different and each leads to his purpose in the next life.

In the dog’s first life, he is a stray dog who learns how to fend for himself without humans. But he is eventually caught and named Toby. As Toby, he learns how to love people, protect his family, and how to open a fence. He life ends after only a very short time when he is put to sleep because he is unadoptable.

When he is born again, he remembers how to open a fence and wanders away from a puppy mill and into a better life as Bailey. Bailey lives a long and happy life with his human boy, Ethan. In this life, Bailey learns how to tell good people from bad. He learns commands, tricks, and how to protect his family from the bad people. But mostly, he learns what a pleasure it is to live his life for his boy, Ethan.

When this long life is over, he is reborn as a female German Shepherd. She is purchased by a police officer named Jacob. Jacob names her and trains her to be a search and rescue dog. Ellie’s past life helped her to learn quickly and to become very good at her job serving humans. She saves many lives, including Jacob’s. Jacob is injured on the job so Ellie has to go on to be the dog of another police officer named Maya. Ellie inspires Maya to be a better police officer and together they save more lives. And when Ellie is forced to retire, she continues her life learning about bigger families and how to be a good dog with children. Once again, she lives a long and happy life.

When she is reborn, she is once again a male dog. She, who is now a he, is born through a breeder and purchased by someone who only somewhat cares for him. He continues to realize the complexity of people and learns that not all people are good at taking care of and loving their pets. He has a very sad and unfulfilled life until he finds himself abandoned. While using what he learned in his first life to survive on his own, he soon finds himself in the same area where he had once enjoyed a previous life. He now finds a new purpose and sets on a quest to rebuild that life.

I shed quite a few tears in this story. But I also smiled and laughed. This story has reminded me of how much my own dogs have fulfilled my life and brought me happiness. And it has reminded me about how important dogs our to our lives and how we humans should continue our quest to do away with puppy mills, stop animal abuse, support animal adoption, and teach people how to properly care for their pets.

I highly recommend this book to any animal lover. Ask for it at your local book story or check it out online at affiliate site titled Dog Lover’s Book Store.



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One Response to “Book Review of “A Dog’s Purpose” by W. Bruce Cameron”

  1. Top Posts Since American Dog Blog Began in September 2009 « American Dog Blog Says:

    […] out some great posts you might have missed. Here are the top viewed posts: #1 most viewed post – Book Review – “A Dog’s Purpose” in July 2010. #2 – Information About the Bernese Mountain Dog & the Greater Swiss Mountain […]

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