For The Love Of Dog
By Skip Sheffield
What is “A Dog’s Purpose?”
The short answer is unconditional love. Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom used W. Bruce Cameron’s screenplay of his 2010 novel to mount a tribute to canines and their human friends.
There is not just one dog in the story. It starts with a Red Retriever who escapes from a dog pound, and is rescued by a woman named Hannah (Britt Robertson). Hannah has a brother named Ethan (Bryce Gheisar) who becomes very attached to the dog he names Bailey.
Dogs don’t live as long as humans. In time Bailey segues into different times and breeds as Buddy, Tino and Ellie. Josh Gad provides the various dog voices. The one constant is Ethan, who grows up to be Dennis Quaid. Hannah becomes Peggy Lipton, in a welcome return to the silver screen.
“A Dog’s Purpose” is aimed squarely at dog lovers. Ironically the movie has been protested by PETA because of a scene in which one of the dogs, a German Shepherd, jumps into a raging river.
My father hated dogs; therefore we never had one of our own. It was not until I was married with children that a dog came into my life. I consider myself better for the experience.
“A Dog’s Purpose” is sentimental, corny and clichéd, but it is filled with love. A dog’s purpose is to “Be Here Now.” That is good advice to humans of any age.