Talking animals usually bring to mind old episodes of "Mr. Ed" or the kids' movie, "Babe." While cute, I don't tend to read books with talking animals, unless it's to my children. Recently, a friend's dog passed away and I felt so inadequate in offering comfort that I thought this book could give me insight.
While not a true story, the book reads like a "canine memoir," taking the reader on an emotional journey as the narrator tries to determine his true purpose as a dog. He narrates the story, but unlike "Mr. Ed" he can't really talk to his family. From early puppy-hood as a feral stray to the loving arms of a young boy named Ethan, this dog grows and learns life lessons, skills and tricks of survival as well as pleasing his humans. He learns to swim, how to comfort his master and to trust his instincts about people. He has near-death experiences and trains as a search and rescue dog, all the while learning the power of loyalty and love.
If you enjoyed "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein, you'll enjoy this dog-narrated story as well. There's a twist to this plot that makes it unlike other uplifting pet books like "Marley and Me" or "Dewey the Library Cat" and I think is more fun to let the reader experience than share in this review. Having read "A Dog's Purpose," I think any animal lover would enjoy the story and take comfort in its message.
Recommended by Frazier Walker