A Dog's Purpose Book Summary

A Novel for Humans

by W. Bruce Cameron22


A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron is a heartwarming, insightful story about a dog's multiple lives and his quest to find his purpose through the humans he impacts.

Cover of A Dog's Purpose Book Summary

Get the Book

What is A Dog's Purpose about

A Dog's Purpose, written by W. Bruce Cameron, is a touching novel that explores the multiple lives of a dog named Bailey. Through various reincarnations, Bailey searches for his purpose while forming deep connections with numerous owners. The story is narrated from the dog's perspective, providing a unique commentary on human relationships and the bonds between humans and their canine companions. The novel balances humor with emotional depth, making it a captivating read for dog lovers and anyone interested in the dynamics of love, loyalty, and life from a dog’s point of view.

A Dog's Purpose 5 Key Takeaways

Bailey's First Life

Bailey starts his journey as a stray puppy and eventually finds a loving home with a boy named Ethan. Their bond becomes central to Bailey's understanding of his purpose.


Bailey experiences multiple lives, reincarnating as different breeds and genders. Each life teaches him new lessons about love, loyalty, and human behavior.

Life as Ellie

In one of his lives, Bailey reincarnates as a police dog named Ellie. He forms a profound bond with his handler, further deepening his understanding of service and loyalty.

Finding Ethan Again

Bailey is reincarnated yet again and ultimately finds his way back to Ethan, now an elderly man. Their reunion is heartwarming and filled with a sense of fulfillment for both.

The Final Purpose

In the end, Bailey realizes that his true purpose is to be a 'wingman' for Ethan, helping him reconnect with his childhood sweetheart, Hannah. This revelation brings the story full circle and highlights the enduring bond between the dog and his human.

A Dog's Purpose Best Reviews

  • The New York Times praises A Dog's Purpose as 'A heartwarming and thoroughly entertaining tale that makes you believe in the special bond between dogs and their humans.'
  • USA Today describes it as 'One of the most unique and uplifting novels, capturing the essence of life from a dog's perspective.'
  • The Los Angeles Times calls it 'An emotional rollercoaster that will make you laugh, cry, and appreciate the simple joys of life and loyalty.'

Top A Dog's Purpose Quotes

  • 'Dogs have important jobs, like barking when the doorbell rings, but cats have no function in a house whatsoever.'
  • 'I had a purpose, I was needed again and again and again.'
  • 'Love never dies, and true friends are always with us.'

Who should read A Dog's Purpose?

A Dog's Purpose is ideal for dog lovers, animal enthusiasts, and anyone interested in emotional, heartwarming stories. It offers insights into the unique bond between humans and their pets and encourages readers to reflect on the purpose and meaning of life from an unconventional perspective.

About the Author

W. Bruce Cameron is an American author known for his heartwarming novels about dogs. His works often explore the deep bonds between humans and their canine companions. Cameron has written multiple bestsellers, including A Dog's Purpose, which has been adapted into a successful major motion picture. His other popular works include A Dog's Journey and The Dogs of Christmas. Cameron's writing is characterized by its humor, emotional depth, and insightful commentary on human-animal relationships.

A Dog's Purpose FAQs

Is A Dog's Purpose a true story?

No, A Dog's Purpose is a fictional story, though it deeply resonates with dog lovers and explores themes that many believe are true about the purpose and impact of dogs in our lives.

What is the main idea of A Dog's Purpose?

The main idea is to explore the meaning of life, love, and loyalty through the eyes of a dog named Bailey, who is reincarnated into different breeds and forms deep connections with various owners.

Is A Dog's Journey a sequel to A Dog's Purpose?

Yes, A Dog's Journey is the sequel to A Dog's Purpose. It continues the story of Bailey as he finds a new destiny and forms an unbreakable bond with his loved ones.