Michelle’s Review: A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

dogspurposeA Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

Published: July 6th 2010 by Forge Book
Format/Source: Hardback from public library
Series: A Dog’s Purpose #1
Genre: Realistic fiction, humor
Pages: 319


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 wonders—will 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.




One of the beauties of being in a book club is reading books that you would probably never ever pick up. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy dogs, and sometimes books about dogs, but it’s not really a type of book that would normally grab me. It’s an experience to read something outside of your usual comfort zone and I was surprised by this particular book.

A Dog’s Purpose has the description of being a book for humans. I expect that I will have a greater understanding of the larger message for humans within this book after our club meeting. All I can figure out is what a dog’s purpose in life is, not an overall human purpose in life.

Be prepared to cry. Especially if you’ve ever owned a dog or a pet that you’ve loved, cared for, and had to say good bye to. It was an ugly cry book for me. The kind where I had to step away from it, go get more tissues and stare forlornly out the window while I gathered my emotions back into place.

What sets this book apart from other sentimental books I’ve read before is the voice. Told from the point of view of a dog, it is funny and cute. Cameron did a great job of getting into the mind of a dog. The voice had the correct balance of being self-centered, yet caring and full of empathy. Despite the dog’s sometimes lack of greater understanding of a situation, Cameron didn’t leave the reader in the dark as well.

It was adorable, and there was definitely a larger moral/lesson to the story. So don’t mind me while I wipe my tears away.


What do you think?

  • This book has been on my to-read list for quite some time. I may have to bump it up. I’m sort of in the mood for something with a lot of feeling.

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