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A Dog’s Purpose is narrated by a Good Dog who is trying to figure out the meaning of his multiple reincarnations. It’s heartfelt and sweet, and will make you laugh and maybe cry, especially if you’re a dog lover.
I read A Dog’s Purpose as part of the 2022 Thoughtful Reading Challenge. July’s challenge was to read a book that has a dog as the main character since July is in the middle of the “dog days of summer.”
The book begins with “Toby’s” first moment of awareness – he’s struggling with his puppy siblings to get in the best position to nurse from his mother, a feral dog who lives in the wild. This scene is repeated three more times, although Toby comes back as different breeds, genders, and in different situations.
Each time he is reincarnated, he remembers the previous lives and the lessons he learned in them. In each life he wonders what his purpose is (this is a philosophical dog), and his understanding of that purpose grows over time. But by the fourth life, he’s frustrated and a little bitter because he feels like he’s fulfilled his purpose and there’s nothing left to do.
The author pulled off the canine narration brilliantly. Throughout the book, the dog expresses amusing disdain for cats, horses, ducks, squirrels, and other dogs, while also conveying complete adoration for many of the humans in his life, especially “the boy.”
The author also, through the dog, good-naturedly pokes fun at dog behaviors such as marking everything, trying to get in the middle of everything, and being humiliated by the cone of shame. And when the dog is the ring bearer at two weddings, he thinks the attendees’ reaction to the bride and groom is all about him, saying, “everyone laughed and applauded at me.”
Do you have to be a dog lover to enjoy A Dog’s Purpose? Definitely not. I’ve only ever had cats and I loved the book. It’s cute and funny, and a special tribute to the nobility and quirkiness of man’s best friend. I think anyone with a heart would like A Dog’s Purpose.
Warning: Dogs and people die in this book, earning it two tears on the Cryometer.
How about you? Did you read a doggy book this month? Tell us all about it.
** Reminder – August’s challenge is to let a friend choose what book you read. Hmm