A Dog's Purpose
W. Bruce Cameron
Forge, Jul 6 2010, $22.99
Toby is born in the wild with three siblings. However, he and his family are captured by humans. Whereas his mother wants freedom from their guards, Toby comprehends human speak and likes the kindhearted woman running the shelter for stray dogs like him. However, Toby is hurt when a new vicious canine attacks him. The woman puts him down in act of euthanasia.
He returns to life as Bailey the golden retriever pet of young Ethan. They live during the school year with his parents, but in the summer the lad and his dog live with his grandparents on their farm; both are attracted to Hannah. When Ethan is a teenager, a schoolmate burns down Ethan's house; injuring him. He and Bailey recuperate at the farm even as the boy’s parents separate. Bailey comforts Ethan before dying of old age.
“He” comes back as a female Ellie the K-9 police dog until she loses her sense of smell. She remembers her bond as Bailey with Ethan. When he returns for the fourth time as Buddy he searches for his Ethan, a lonely elderly person living alone on the family farm.
This is an exhilarating and poignant parable that showcases a canine’s love for his human companion as Toby and his three latter reincarnations never forgets his bond of love with Ethan. Well written, readers will enjoy this fine tale as a cat may have nine lives, but a dog with purpose has at least four lives.