jump to navigation

Stepping Stones from Here to There May 3, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Magick & Mystery.

I just finished reading A Dog’s Purpose, by W. Bruce Cameron, the New York Times bestselling author of 8 Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter.

Written in “first person” . . . it’s a dog’s eye view of the world.

In his first life, Toby, a mutt, first learns to scrounge for food and then learns to open kennel doors from his mother:

Unbidden, the sadness I’d felt from Senora washed through me, and I wanted to squirm up to her and lick her palms and make her happy again.  Of all the things I’d ever done, making Senora laugh seemed the most important.

In his second life, as a pure-bred golden retriever, our intrepid pup opens a kennel door and walks away from a puppy mill:

An opportunity was in front of me that was irresistible, a whole new world to be explored with long, if somewhat clumsy, legs. 

Rescued and named Bailey, our canine hero lives, loves, laughs, and learns with Ethan . . . rescuing him, repeatedly, from pretend-drownings in the pond.  With Ethan, Bailey lives a long and happy life.

In her third life, Ellie becomes a rescue dog . . . with the opportunity to Find and Save people, including a kindergarten boy who wandered away from the playground and got swept away in raging currents:

Ethan.  I could remember how he never did anything without taking me with him, except school.  I loved the sense of purpose I got from work, but there were certainly days, like this one, when I thought of Ethan and missed being a doodle dog, more than anything.

In his fourth life, Buddy, as a black labrador, uses all skills accrued from previous lifetimes to Find and Save his beloved Ethan from ending his life alone:

All I could do now was offer him comfort, the assurance that as he left this life he was not alone but rather was tended by the dog who loved him more than anything in the whole world. … At that moment, I felt peace, secure in the knowledge that, by living my life the way I had, everything had come down to this moment.  I had fulfilled my purpose.

Be prepared to part with a few tears as you share adventures with Toby, Bailey, Ellie, Buddy . . . and Ethan. 

* * * * *

When you look back on YOUR life (or lives, if you can see back that far), are you able to connect the dots from one stepping stone to the next?

Do our struggles today provide us with the lessons we need for tomorrow?


1. Lisa Wields Words - May 3, 2012

I read that a while back and I really loved the perspective, and the dog’s ability to keep lessons learned in one life as he/she moved through another. I wonder what would happen if human’s could do that. Although, I read a book about someone who could remember his past lives once too, (I don’t recall the title at the moment) and spent each new life searching for the soul of his first love, who couldn’t remember hers. it made him live in the past instead of the now.

nrhatch - May 3, 2012

It’s all I can do to connect the dots from THIS lifetime . . . looking back farther than that would be discombobulating for me.

But dogs don’t have as many balls in the air as people . . . so maybe they can hang on to the lessons and let the rest go.

2. Tammy - May 3, 2012

Sounds like a great read.

nrhatch - May 3, 2012

It’s an interesting read. Readers realize the rift between dog’s reasoning abilities and what we WANT them to understand.

Intuitive knowingness carries the day as spirit lights the way. 😉

3. suzicate - May 3, 2012

Our pets can teach us a lot if we’re willing to learn! And they do become cherished members of our family.

nrhatch - May 3, 2012

They do, indeed. 😀

4. kateshrewsday - May 3, 2012

Awww….a must-read for us, Nancy 🙂 Thank you!

nrhatch - May 3, 2012

It has a few “sad bits” . . . but it is NOT “Old Yeller” sad.

5. sufilight - May 3, 2012

Sounds like the type of book that I would enjoy. As for connecting the dots, all I really see is that each experience in life either made me wiser, stronger and kinder or not. I had to repeat similar experiences before I got it. 🙄

nrhatch - May 3, 2012

I found it interesting to see things with a “dog’s eye view” . . . but I’m glad I borrowed the book from the Library rather than buying my own copy.

6. Zen and Genki - May 3, 2012

Sounds like a wonderful perspective…and I’ll admit, I saw it in the store and put it down (“Too cheesy”, I thought)…but after hearing your testimonial, I may just go pick it up! Thanks for the review!

nrhatch - May 3, 2012

I’m glad I borrowed it from the library instead of buying it at the bookstore. Once was definitely enough. 😉

7. jannatwrites - May 3, 2012

I love borrowing books (and movies) from the library. It sounds like this was an interesting read and a unique idea.

nrhatch - May 3, 2012

I love our lending library ~ especially for novels and flicks since I rarely want to read or watch them more than once.

I give it 5-stars for a unique look at the lives of dogs.

8. Booksphotographsandartwork - May 3, 2012

It sounds as if it would incite lots of tears from me, can’t go there. Glad you enjoyed it.

nrhatch - May 3, 2012

I don’t think it’s the right book for you, Linda. Although it wasn’t as sad as Old Yeller. That book made me ball like a baby.

9. Team Oyeniyi - May 5, 2012

Not sure if I can connect the dots yet, Nancy. In time, maybe. We shall see.

nrhatch - May 5, 2012

When I look over my shoulder, I see a series of “if I hadn’t done X, I wouldn’t have been in the right place at the right time for Y.”

Of course, if I hadn’t been mucking about with X & Y, I might have stumbled into Z . . . 😉

10. bluebee - May 5, 2012

Have you read any of the Chet detective dog books, Nancy? Also told from the dog’s POV, they are quite quirky and entertaining

nrhatch - May 5, 2012

I haven’t. I’ve read some series with cats helping detectives . . . but not dogs.

11. Perfecting Motherhood - May 7, 2012

This was one of my VERY favorite books of 2011 (http://perfectingmotherhood.wordpress.com/2011/12/29/our-favorite-adult-literature-and-childrens-books-of-2011/). I just loved it and I’m definitely not a dog person. It was such an interesting concept, especially the ongoing reincarnation until he found his “purpose in life”. There’s a sequel out and I really need to get a hold of it.

nrhatch - May 7, 2012

Thanks for the link. I knew that a few bloggers had mentioned the book, but couldn’t recall which ones. And I hadn’t heard about the sequel.

12. eof737 - May 23, 2012

Definitely a great book to chew over… it offers lots of little insights too. TY!

nrhatch - May 23, 2012

Yup. Whether our life is measured in dog years or people years . . . we can put lots of love into our life. 😀

What Say YOU?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: