A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

Spotlight review by: Lauren Williams 3rd period


319 pages

Toby, Bailey, Ellie or Buddy are all one dog with one purpose. He started out as a mutt named Toby living in the wild with his mom, two brothers and a sister. He got captured by humans and was brought to a yard where there were many other dogs. He loved the yard, but his mother didn’t. One day his mother opened the gate and escaped. He tried to catch up to her, but he couldn’t and she ran away. The pound came in and took all of the dogs away. When Toby arrived at the pound, they realized that he had a bad leg and they put him down.

Toby was reborn as a golden retriever puppy. He was very upset because he wasn’t allowed to go outside by his new owner. One day he escaped. He was found by a man and was put in the man’s car. The man left Toby in the car and Toby almost died from dehydration. A lady broke the car window and fed Toby some water. She brought Toby home. Her son Ethan and Toby became really good best friends. Ethan named the dog, Bailey and they did and went everywhere together. Every summer Bailey and the family would go to their grandparent’s farm. Bailey loved playing in the lake and barking at all of the farm animals. Bailey lived a long time with Ethan, but when Ethan was in college, Bailey grew so old that the family had to put Bailey down.

Bailey thought that he had fulfilled his purpose by making Ethan happy as he grew up into a young man. However, he was born as a puppy again. This time he was adopted and trained to be a police dog. They named him Ellie and so he realized that he was actually born as a she. She saved many people, including a boy at a preschool. As she grew older, his sense of smell decreased and she had to retire. After she retired, her owner got married and she lived with them for a long time. As she got older, she became so weak that her owners had to have her put to sleep.

Ellie thought she had fulfilled her purpose after being a police dog because of all of the people she had helped save. Once again, she woke up as a new puppy. She was adopted, but sadly abandoned. As she was roaming the streets, she recognized where she was and knew that she was near Ethan’s family farm. She found her way to the farm and saw Ethan as an old man. She stayed with him and Ethan named her Buddy. She never left Ethan and after Ethan passed away, Buddy realized that she had finally fulfilled her purpose on earth as being man’s best friend!


A Dog's Purpose teaches us that a man and a dog's relationship never ends. Bailey had many lives, but he came back to Ethan in the end. The love that the two of them had for each other shows us the importance of love in our lives, whether you are a human or a dog. From the dog's point of view we learn how dogs look up to humans and respect them. Everyone, whether a human or an animal, has a purpose on Earth.