November 17, 2010

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A Dog's Purpose


A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron was recommended to us a long time ago but it took forever for me and the Ma'am to get it from the library since 8 people had it on hold before us.  So we were really looking forward to it--if that many people wanted to read it, it must be good, right?

Well, I liked it.  And the Boss Ma'am liked it.  But we don't think everyone would.  It's hard to tell you much about the book without a big spoiler.  So if you think you want to read the book and don't want us to ruin any surprises, just know this: if the story of the Rainbow Bridge is important to you, this is not the book for you.

Now for the **Spoiler Alert**--I won't spill it all, I promise. 

The book is told by a dog, actually a puppy, born on the streets and then rescued by a kindly, if maybe overwhelmed, group of people who keep him in a large open yard with lots of other dogs.  They're all pretty happy there until a new dog, a former fighting dog, is brought in.  The hierarchy of the pack is disrupted and eventually Toby, the puppy, suffers an injury.  Shortly thereafter, the rescue group is shut down, and all the dogs taken to shelters.  Toby is deemed "unadoptable" due to his injury.  He's taken to a chamber...a funny noise...he gets very sleepy...

But wait! We say.  It's only the first few pages!  Toby will escape.  Toby will find the perfect family.  What the hey?!?

Nope.  Toby is gassed.  Grab your first tissue.  While you're at it, grab the box.  You're going to need it.

See, Toby is then reincarnated as Bailey, a beloved family dog.  But guessed it.  Next he's a she--a police dog trained in search and rescue.  Ellie is confused about why she keeps coming back to new lives, but as a rescue dog, she is sure that she has found her purpose: helping people.  The lessons she learned as Toby and Bailey have brought her to this point.  So she is sure that this will be her final life.

She's wrong.  She returns once more as a puppy from a backyard breeder.  She's a He again, chained up in a backyard to a loving but neglectful family.  He escapes and finds himself in familiar territory--his old hometown as Bailey.  His Bailey years were his happiest--he had a boy he loved more than anything.

It's 44 years later and he smells some familiar scents around.  He learns what his purpose really is.

I'll leave it at that so you have something to look forward to!

Happy reading!