A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

Blog Post #1

This story is about a dog on a quest to find his purpose of existence. Through many lives he is reborn, seemingly because he has not yet fulfilled his purpose yet. Itis one of the most unique and emotionally-driven books I have read yet. This story is excellent so far, and brings forth several conflicting emotions, like sadness and comedy.

The perspective of the book is very uncommon, as it is from the perspective of a dog. This is interesting, because dogs view the world very differently compared to humans. Their views sometimes conflict, like the purpose of cats. As Bailey, the name of the dog in one of his life’s, writes, “Dogs have important jobs, like barking when the doorbell rings, but cats have no function in a house whatsoever” (142). It is very interesting, because in this book, dogs have several more senses than humans. Not only do they have extremely sensitive hearing, but they are able to sense emotions as well. When they sense a human feeling sad or worried, dogs try to comfort them. If they sense anger or hostility, they will try to retreat of get ready to attack. This explains several things i have been told in my life, for example, “Dogs can sense your fear”. Sadly, I have never had a dog for a pet, but in my experiences with dogs, it seems like they are able to sense excitement, as as well as uneasiness.

Another interesting observation I had about the perspective about the story is the undying loyalty that the dogs possess for their owners, and their love for people in general. When the narrator meets humans for the first time, he describes,”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, delighted in her laughter” (22). Although he has never met person before, the dog is extremely exhilarated just by the touch of a human, and takes immense pride in making her happy. It is almost as if it is in the dog’s genes that he’s meant to be with humans, to help them out and be their companion. They will do anything in order to keep their owner in good spirits, and keep them safe, as we can see when the dog from the narrator’s second life is ready to die. As the narrator states,  “My purpose, my whole life, had been to love him and be with him, to make him happy. I didn’t want to cause any unhappiness now—in that way, I decided it was probably better than he wasn’t here to see this, though I missed him so much at that moment the ache of it was as bad as the strange pains in my belly” (177). Even in his final moments, the dog thinks of his owner, the person whom he surrounded his whole existence around. He neglects to feel the pain that goes through him, only so that he can make his owner not feel sad for him. I found this really touching, as the dog is willing to sacrifice anything to fulfill his purpose of selflessness. It is this, and many other similar scenarios, that really bring my emotions forward.

So far, I would give this book a 10/10, and I look forward to reading the second half.



1 Comment

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One response to “A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

  1. alexsol1500

    Blog Post #2

    If I thought the first half was filled with raw emotions, the second half was even worse! The dog (spoiler!) goes though a couple more lives, one as a police dog, and eventually discovers his true purpose.
    In this last portion of the novel, the themes of this book is revealed. One of the main themes of this book is learning lessons. Throughout each of his lives, the dog learns new things that he is able to apply into the next life. For example, he is able to uses his swimming skills he learned from his second life and apply them to his role as a police dog. As he states in his final life, when reflecting back on everything he had gone through, “Lessons I had learned from being feral taught me how to escape and how to hide from people when it was necessary, scavenging for food from trash containers. Being with Ethan had taught me love…” (314). This isa very important concept that every human should know. It is not good to just throw away things that you learn in life, but you should instead retain everything, because it WILL be useful later on. By remembering everything his past lives had taught him, the dog was able to finally be reunited with “his boy,” whom he spent all of his lives thinking about.
    Another important theme, that is evident in the title, is finding one’s’ purpose. This can be a confusing matter, because a person does not just have one thing their life is meant for. Yet, in this book, the dog is able to perceive that in each of his lives, there was one main purpose that he accomplished in the end. For example, in his police dog life, the dog is able to conclude that his purpose was to find people and save them. It is the main thing in that life that he accomplished, so he concludes that the whole purpose of that life is only that one aspect. But, if you think about it, he had many other purposes in that one life, like making his owners pleased and inspiring others. A being should not be forced into thinking that they only have one purpose in life, but they should realise that every positive thing they do has a positive impact, and affects their “footprint” they leave in the world.
    As I have stated in my previous blog post, I have not yet been blessed with the opportunity to become a dog owner, but I did own a cat for the majority of my life. My parents found her in a trash can outside their house before I was born, and since then she was a loving part of our family. Sadly, during this past August, she passed away. This is very similar to what the pet owners in this book had to go though, so I was able to sympathize very well with them. This may have been where the root of my emotions grew from when I read this story.

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