Sips of Wine from the Grapevine Presents! “A Dog’s Purpose” reviewed by author and proofreader Jo Elizabeth Pinto

Sips of Wine from the Grapevine Presents! “A Dog’s Purpose” reviewed by author and proofreader Jo Elizabeth Pinto

Good morning Friends and Faithful Followers. I hope this post finds you well.

Today, I’ve a special treat for you. I’m always on the lookout for special pieces to share in between issues of The Writer’s Grapevine Magazine and the following offering met those standards in a big way.

Rather than my writing lines upon lines of praise, let us allow Jo’s work to speak for itself.

If you enjoy this, please feel free to like, comment and share.

Thanks in advance.


Recommending “A Dog’s Purpose” Trilogy

by Jo Elizabeth Pinto



  1. Bruce Cameron has written a wonderful trilogy of books in A Dog’s Purpose, A Dog’s Journey, and A Dog’s Promise. The books can be read and understood separately, but together they tell the story of several generations of the same family, all connected by the farm that sometimes causes conflict but always draws people home again.


My daughter and I enjoyed “A Dog’s Purpose” when it first came out in theaters, but I thought at the time it was just a feel-good movie. Maybe it was. The book is much more complex and amazingly moving. Since the story is told from the point of view of a dog, or various dogs who are all one and the same, intricate human relationships and issues can be examined through the beautifully simple, innocent lens of canine love. Animal rescue, dogfighting, family conflict and loyalty, teenage delinquency, grief, death and dying, etc–we see them all play out as dogs live and die with their people. From the happy to the heartbreaking, the story is infinitely satisfying to any who have loved dogs and mourned their loss as deeply as they have ever grieved their human loved ones.


After reading “A Dog’s Purpose” and getting a glimpse of the way Buddy related to baby Clarity, and falling in love with the dogs, the family, and the Farm in that book, I had to download the audio version of “A Dog’s Journey” right away. My daughter and I had watched the movie version of “A Dog’s Journey” on TV, but as usual, the book is infinitely deeper and more satisfying. Clarity, now the teenage CJ with an emotionally abusive mother and an eating disorder, really needs a dog, and she starts out with Molly to look after her. As with the first book, “A Dog’s Journey” handles heavy subjects–abuse, teen binging and purging, sexual assault, suicide, cancer and hospice care–and the complexities of how these issues play out among human beings because the story is told from the point of view of the dogs who observe with uncomplicated love and loyalty, understanding very little and yet very much at the same time. To those who view death as an end, the book might end sadly. For me, the ending is peaceful and somehow right.


I had been very satisfied with the way “A Dog’s Purpose” and “A Dog’s Journey” ended, so I only picked up this third book in the trilogy because it was too cold and snowy to go anywhere, and I didn’t have much else to do in the house. What drew me in was the fact that one of the original dogs in the book, Cooper, is trained as a wheelchair assistance animal. My first husband had used a dog to pull his wheelchair and to pick up dropped items, so I wanted to see how accurate the author would be. W. Bruce Cameron has obviously done his research, not only about assistance dogs, but also on the dynamics that often happen in families with a disabled member. The realistic portrayal of the tension between the Trevino brothers is impressive, and it’s a subject few authors will touch. Cameron also takes on other tough topics such as family versus factory farming, racism, dogfighting, the difficulties of animal rescue, and the complexities of dating and intergenerational conflicts. These issues are seen through the intelligent yet uncomplicated lens of several different dogs who only want to be loyal and loving to the people they adore.


I couldn’t put these books down, and yet I was sorry to see the stories end. Fortunately, there are several other Bruce Cameron books for me to read, although they aren’t part of the “Dog’s Purpose” series. I’m enthralled about how this author portrays the inner life of both dogs and human beings so vividly. I’m definitely a fan.


I listened to these books on Audible, which I believe added to the richness of my experience. The books are also available on Kindle.



About the Author



Jo Elizabeth Pinto was among the first blind students to integrate the public schools in the 1970’s. In 1992, she received a degree in Human Services from the University of Northern Colorado. While teaching students how to use adaptive technology, she earned a second degree in 2004 from the Metropolitan State College of Denver in Nonprofit Management. She freelances as an editor and a braille proofreader and is a contributor of The Writer’s Grapevine Magazine where more articles like this may be found.


As an author, Pinto entertains her readers while giving them food for thought. In her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, she draws on personal experience to illustrate that hope is always an action away.


Pinto lives in Colorado with her husband, her teenage daughter, her guide dog Spreckles, and an aging family cat named Sam-I-Am.


Her website is:


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