‘A Dog’s Journey’ stirs up emotions with a touching story


Andrea Butler

“A Dog’s Journey” by W. Bruce Cameron

Andrea Butler, Staff Writer

Some people say that life has no purpose and is an endless journey with no end.

The same can’t be said of Bailey, a dog who has been many dogs and knows their purpose.

In “A Dog’s Purpose” by W. Bruce Cameron, Bailey fulfilled his purpose of protecting his owner Ethan throughout four lives and believed his time on earth to be over. Much to his surprise, he found a second purpose watching over Ethan’s granddaughter CJ.

A Dog’s Journey” is the sequel to “A Dog’s Purpose” and is about Bailey and his second purpose in his lives.

It starts with Buddy, the last dog of “A Dog’s Purpose,” meeting Clarity June (CJ) for the first time. He does his best to keep her out of harm, but CJ’s mother is antagonized by dogs and vehemently dislikes Buddy. When CJ and her mom leave, Buddy thinks nothing of it until the day comes where he passes of old age and is reincarnated again. When he wakes up, he doesn’t understand why he was reincarnated again until he sees CJ and it all clicks into place.

His new name is Molly, and Molly becomes CJ’s safe place, the only good thing in her life. As time goes on, Molly keeps trying to help CJ along her journey through life, even though two more reincarnations. Discovering new things along the way, Bailey helps to shape CJ’s path in life, and lives day-by-day, enjoying life to the fullest.

One of the most extraordinary things about this book is the integration of a plot into a dog’s simplistic thoughts. Bailey only ever understood emotions, so having the events separate from Bailey’s thoughts made understanding his motives as well as the timeline easier and more interesting.

It was a bit hard to relate to the struggles CJ was going through because I never dealt with anything of the same magnitude as her, and Bailey himself couldn’t even understand what she was going through. Because he felt her emotions and reciprocated them with his own, he was able to help her through it all just by being there for her when she needed him, and that’s something even humans don’t do consistently.

The emotions felt by Bailey throughout the book are so potent and pure that it makes me tear up when I read it. No human I’ve ever met has ever had such clear motives for doing things, and it’s refreshing to read about instead of a typical plot with convoluted characters around every corner.

While it’s clear that both books take place over several generations, there isn’t any mention of a change in the world or new technology. The focus on Bailey and his journey instead of giving pages to a description of the world each time he reincarnated made the story all the more enjoyable because I could focus on the story and not need to keep track of anything else.

“A Dog’s Journey” is a book I highly recommend for anyone who needs a refresher in their tastes of books and is willing to sit down with a tissue box and shed some tears for the Bailey what he does with his lives.

The movie for “A Dog’s Journey” came out in theaters May 17, 2019.