I finished reading this New York Times bestseller yesterday – it’s been on my reading list for some time and I was lucky to have been given a copy as a Christmas present.
I have not been disappointed. This story follows a dog who is reincarnated several times and, each time, he looks for his life’s purpose. Starting his life as a stray born to a feral mother, this first life is a short one and gives insight into shelter life and euthanasia from the dog’s point of view.
The dog has a much longer life with his ‘boy’ Ethan as a Golden Retriever named Bailey, witnessing Ethan’s first love and encountering a psychotic neighbor with a penchant for animal cruelty (this part of the book is the darkest).
Reincarnated again, Bailey returns as a girl dog who becomes trained in search and rescue…
And then finally reincarnated again, during this final life of the book the dog is reunited with his Ethan, who is now a much older man…
There are many humorous scenes in this book, such as the dog’s observations about wearing the ‘cone of shame’ during several of his experiences when being neutered/spayed.
The book has been made into a movie that has only recently been released, and with controversy concerning the animal welfare standards on the film’s set, I’m not sure I will be interested in seeing the movie. But I highly recommend the book – it’s a keeper in my dog book collection.
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand