A Dog’s Purpose – Book + Beach Towel Giveaway!

We are giving away a copy of A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans by W. Bruce Cameron, plus a matching beach towel! This heartwarming book, told from the perspective of a dog, explores the dog’s bonds with humans as he navigates his way through several lifetimes. His experiences include everything from being a stray, to having a loving home, to being a search and rescue dog. Check out this interview with the author and leave a comment for the chance to win this awesome summer beach read.

What inspired you to write this book?

One day, entirely by chance, I encountered a dog who looked at me and behaved toward me exactly as my first dog, Cammie, used to when I was a boy.  I started thinking, “what if dogs never really die?  What if they are reborn over and over, what would that look like from the dog’s perspective?”

How did your personal experiences with dogs shape the book?

You don’t ever have to ask a dog, “want to go for a car ride?  Want to go for a walk?  Want to roll in road kill?”  The answer is always “yes.”  They are so enthusiastically joyful and optimistic.  That’s what I hope I captured with A Dog’s Purpose—even in the worst of times, dogs are irrepressibly happy.


The author with his dog, Tucker; Image by Ute Ville

What were the difficulties of writing from the perspective of a dog? How did you get into that mindset?

I think it was easier for me to write from the perspective of a dog than it would be for a dog to write from the perspective of me.  I imagined what it must be like to be a dog in a human’s world, with so many wonders (like a refrigerator—all those amazing smells!) and so many experiences (what does a dog think when he gets on an elevator?) that are all controlled by us.  Even the most mundane elements make for delightful discoveries when viewed through the eyes of a dog.

You covered a wide range of experiences for a dog. Was it difficult to write about some of the more challenging circumstances?

I’ll confess:  I loved the dogs in A Dog’s Purpose, so yes, it was difficult to write about things like being kept by a hoarder or winding up on a short chain with inadequate love and attention.  It helped, though, that while humans might be absolutely miserable, a dog under such circumstances tends to look on the bright side of things.

What is a dog’s purpose? How does a dog’s purpose differ from a human’s purpose?

We bred dogs to be with us.  We guided each breed to specific tasks—each task ultimately involved with serving mankind.  So in the end, their purpose is to be with us.  Humans, of course, have far more complicated purposes.  I like to think, though, that for each of us, dog and person alike, our lives are in the end a search for our own purpose.

What message(s) did you want to get across with this book?

I wanted to communicate what we already know in our hearts:  that true love never dies, and that if we are open to it, our real friends will always be there for us.

Have you been surprised by the amount and level of reader response?

A lot of the literature out there right now consists of grim, dystopian stories.  A Dog’s Purpose is an uplifting tale about the purest form of love available.  I think that sometimes when the headlines are discouraging, people want to read something to make them happy.  That’s what my book does, so no—I’m pleased, gratified, and delighted that so many people see things my way, but not surprised.


(Forge Books; $12.99; May 24, 2011)

Check out www.adogspurpose.com for more info on the book, and to nominate your dog for Dog of the Week. You can also follow A Dog’s Purpose on Twitter and Facebook!

WIN THE BOOK! Leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of A Dog’s Purpose: A Novel for Humans by W. Bruce Cameron plus a matching beach towel. Winner will be announced August 2. Good luck!

CONGRATULATIONS TO:

Bridget M.

Please email Samantha at samanthas@care2team.com to claim your new book. Thanks to everyone who entered!

276 comments

Danuta Watola
Danuta W5 years ago

Very interesting. Thank you.

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Carole Rousis
Carole R7 years ago

Nice idea for a book. Would love to read this one.

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Michele Wilkinson

Will look out for this book.
Thanks

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Eternal Gardener
Eternal G7 years ago

Wonderful.

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Odean C.
Odean Cusack7 years ago

I think all animals especially dogs make us better people if we give them half a chance. Every one is awesome in their own way.

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Brenda Towers
Brenda Towers7 years ago

Thanks.

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Patricia H.
Patricia Hartman7 years ago

I am always telling my dogs "if you only had words". They try so hard to communicate and usually get their point across very well. I often want to know exactly what they are thinking or what they would say in a given situation. Even without words they communicate much better then people! They say what they mean and mean what they say! If they wag their tail then they like you or it's a "yes" answer or even "do it again". If they don't like you - you won't have to wonder! My dogs (all girls) greet me like no one else! My husband asked why I don't greet him like I greet the girls. I said,"if you meet me at the door wiggling your tail like they do, then I would greet you the same way!" Dogs always know what you like and what you want. They know if you're in pain and can even find the spot where you are hurting! The word "'dog" is the word "God" spelled backwards. And they certainly reflect many attributes of God! Of course I don't believe they ARE God. But they are forgiving, faithful, unconditionally loving,longsuffering, great listeners, and they would be with you everywhere if they were alllowed! Love my fur babies! They are not human but never the less,they are family members! I even like being with them better than with some people!

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B.b. H.
B.b. H.7 years ago

Buddy is my dog now. He has been with me through it all. And before him, there was Toby, and before Toby was Rufus. We laugh, we play, we cry, we sleep, we run, we play and he listens to my vents. My dogs got me through cancer and depression and all sorts of stuff, and I cant' wait to see this book.

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Lucia D.

Would love to see our world from a different perspective ;-)

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Sue Griffiths
SUE Griffiths7 years ago

Dogs are my passion. I read somewhere that dogs come into your life, teach you and then leave. This is so true. This lovely poem is guaranteed to make every dog lover cry. I cannot read it without my eyes filling up.

If It should be.
If it be I grow frail and weak,
and pain should wake me from my sleep,
then you must do what must be done
for this late battle can't be won.
You will be sad, I understand.
Don't let your grief then stay your hand.
For this day more than all the rest,
your love and friendship stand the test.
We've had so many happy years,
what is to come will hold no fears.
You'd not want me to suffer so,
when the time comes, please let me go.
Take me where my needs they'll tend,
only stay with me until the end.
And hold me firm and speak to me,
until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time you too will see,
it is a kindness you do to me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
from pain and suffering I've been saved.
Do not grieve that it should be you,
who has to decide this thing to do.
We've been so close we two, these years,
don't let your heart hold any tears.

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