Well, not going to lie – this book has taken a whole new meaning to me in the last few months, and I’m now considering re-reading A Dog’s Purpose.
Back when Mary and I first went to see Beauty and the Beast in the cinema, we returned to the flat to watch A Dog’s Purpose on the projector. We were aware of the controversy regarding the animal welfare during filming, and so neither of us felt entirely comfortable with paying to see it in the cinema. Thank goodness we didn’t! We paused the film multiple times to let me grab tissues and compose myself again, always picturing Baron each time the dog was talking about his owners. When we reached the end of the film and I realised it was based on a book? Well, I couldn’t get my hands on it quick enough.
Anyone unaware of the plot? As the title suggests, throughout the book and film, we are brought to think about a dog’s purpose. We love our furry friends and their unconditional love, but is that their purpose in life? That’s what our protagonist decides – it’s his duty to make sure his owners are as happy as possible throughout his life. He dedicates his time to pleasing them, loving them, and supporting them in the best way he can, truly being man’s best friend in all senses of the phrase. Each time dies, he reincarnates as a puppy again. There’s a new life to live, a new family or owner to love, and a new name each time.
If my synopsis isn’t enough to persuade you to read the book, here’s the information taken from Amazon!
The phenomenal New York Times Number One bestseller about the unbreakable bond between a dog and their human. Now a major film starring Dennis Quaid.
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 eight-year-old Ethan. During their countless adventures, Bailey joyously discovers how to be a good dog.
But this life as a 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, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose.
Now, anyone who knows me will back me up in this. I normally like to read the book then watch the film. When I do it the other way around, I tend to lose interest in the book, or don’t find it as enjoyable as the film. Not this time!
I sat on my sunbed in Turkey, laughing at the funny parts, jiggling my leg in trepidation when something ominous was coming, and yes I openly cried on the beach every time Bailey was dying. The language and power behind the words in this book had me thirsting for more. I couldn’t put the book down!
There was so much more depth to the story, as there always is in a book as opposed to a film. I was even more emotionally involved in Bailey’s journey from pup to dog every time. His internal narrative reminded me so much of what we would say Baron was thinking. In fact, there was so much of Baron reflected in this book. Maybe that’s why I loved it so much.
Mary and I both agreed, this tale of man’s best friend is the perfect story for children. A lot of parents buy a family pet so they can eventually teach their children about death in a calm and controlled way. They treat them as an opportunity to teach us that sometimes the people we love can’t be with us forever. As Bailey leaves one family to join the next, he never forgets his past lives. The time he spent with his previous owners stays with him throughout the novel, and is a lovely sentiment – your dog may no longer be with you but he does remember you, even while he’s with his new family.
That being said, I would probably put this in either the teen or young adult section of a bookshop. Not because it’s too complicated or anything, and trust me when I say that this is a book that people of all ages would enjoy, it’s purely because I believe that’s an age when you would start to appreciate it a little more.
A Dog’s Purpose gets a full 5 out of 5 from me, and I will strongly recommend it to anyone who asks me about it. Just please don’t ask me to actually talk about it. Not if you can’t deal with the tears this book now brings on.
Have you read A Dog’s Purpose? Or did you try it and find you didn’t like it?