Kara's Reviews > A Dog's Journey

A Dog's Journey by W. Bruce Cameron
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Apr 20, 12

Read from April 18 to 20, 2012

As seen on: Bookosaur

I have always been an animal lover, but dogs in particular hold a special place in my heart. I grew up on a dairy farm, which meant our family dogs were strictly Outdoor Dogs. My father, a farmer to the core, didn't believe in having animals in the house; though, during the winter months, when my dad fell asleep, I would sneak our Border Collie into the house and she would spend the cold nights curled up on the back mat. When I moved out, the first item on my agenda was to get a dog - not just any dog, but an Indoor Dog - and that's how I ended up with a chocolate lab named Wilson. My boyfriend often accuses me of loving Wilson more than I love him, but I always assure him that there is absolutely no way that such a statement is true. (view spoiler)

Needless to say, I'm a dog lover through and through. I adored W. Bruce Cameron's first novel, A Dog's Purpose , so when I learned on twitter courtesy of Raincoast Books that he had written another, my metaphorical tail was a waggin'. In Cameron's first book, A Dog's Purpose, we were introduced to the idea that dogs lead multiple lives in order to find and fulfill their purpose. Buddy, the black Labrador in A Dog's Purpose, for example, has lived three previous lives: the first as a playful puppy named Toby; the second as a Golden Retriever named Bailey; and the third as a search and rescue dog named Ellie.

A Dog's Journey , Cameron's follow-up novel, picks up right where A Dog's Purpose left off, with Buddy, the lovable Labrador. Buddy's life is coming to an end, and he spends his last remaining days watching over Clarity, his "boy's" (i.e. his owner's) granddaughter. Buddy is sure he has fulfilled his purpose and is certain that when he passes away he will not be reborn for a fifth time, as a new dog. And yet, when the time comes and Buddy feels himself slipping away, his last thought is of Clarity, who Buddy has determined is in need of a dog of her own to take care of her. You can imagine Buddy's surprise when he wakes up again, this time as a poodle-cross named Molly, but his confusion is quickly replaced with joy when he is adopted by Clarity, now a troubled teenager who goes by the name of CJ.

As with Cameron's first novel, I read most of A Dog's Journey with my own dog curled up at my feet, or, more often than not, curled up beside me on my bed (take THAT, Dad - Wilson is an Indoor Dog and an Up-on-the-Bed Dog!). Cameron's ability to describe the world through a dog's perspective elicited a number of reactions from me, from laugh out loud moments, to pull at the heartstring moments, to full out ugly cry moments, to light bulb moments when I realized that, yes, that's exactly how a dog would see a particular situation.

As I finished the novel, one thing became overwhelmingly clear to me: we could all stand to learn a thing or two from our four-legged friends. In fact, I even started wondering what the world would be like if humans behaved more like dogs. Never mind the fact that we'd greet each other by sniffing each other's behinds, most of the time we would be genuinely happy to see each other, there would be no need for lying because our emotions would be written all over our face, we would love unabashedly and with no strings attached, and all the happiness in the world could be obtained by hearing two simple words: walk and cookie. If humans acted more like dogs, and specifically more like Buddy, the world would be a much better place.

Sometimes sad, oftentimes funny, but always entertaining and genuine, A Dog's Journey is a heartwarming read that any animal lover will enjoy and appreciate.

Thank you to Raincoast Books for sending me a copy of A Dog's Journey.
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Cathy None of my childhood dogs were indoor dogs either Kara and I wanted one so much. Now I have 3 on my bed!

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