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A Dog’s Way Home is a heartwarming tale about a rescue dog named Bella trying to find her way back to her person. The basic premise is more grounded and simple compared to A Dog’s Purpose, but it ends up becoming more meaningful and it leaves a tender place in your heart.
In this novel, there’s only one dog with one singular purpose—as readers, we fall in love with Bella (easily one of the sweetest dogs in the world) and connect with her on her journey. W. Bruce Cameron does a brilliant job of weaving in different themes and plot elements without feeling forced. Bella encounters people among many different walks of life, and they all feel like real people—not symbols of a bigger issue or plot devices. These are the people who help Bella along in her journey and as Bella says, if she hadn’t found these people, she wouldn’t have been able to find her way home.
From the beginning of the novel, Cameron makes it clear that Bella is a smart, sweet dog. These are the traits that help her succeed throughout the book. She spends two years travelling across Colorado doing Go Home—deep within her soul is a burning desire to be a good dog with her person. As much as we don’t want to ever be separated from our canine best friends, I think we all hope to be good enough people to our dogs that they would climb mountains to find us again.
Cameron’s storytelling abilities are much stronger in this book compared to A Dog’s Purpose—he seamlessly weaves the different themes and characters together, and even though we don’t get much time with people who aren’t Lucas, Olivia, or Mom, we feel like we get to know them. And any hardships they face feel all the more poignant when we see them through Bella’s soulful eyes.
This novel is a beautiful, nuanced tale—everything works together effortlessly to tell a sweet and emotional story about the bond between dog and human. Dogs need people, and Bella needs her Lucas.
As much as I love both books, A Dog’s Way Home holds my heart just a little bit more. Bella’s journey, her singular purpose in her life, gives me hope and a little bit of joy in a time when things feel unstable. If you love dogs or want to understand why people love them so much, I highly recommend this book.