I got and read this book at a perfect time as we are still a couple of months away from our next and my Kiddo’s first Dog, it just couldn’t have been better. I still have some vague memories of our first Dog, a German Shepherd that my dad had while I was a mere kid of all 4-5 years :). If my Granny was to be believed, Sheru used to carry my dad’s lunch to his office everyday without fail, a good 5-6 KMs distance hanging on his collar. The last experience that I had with a couple of German Shepherds was in mid 2000, one of my best friends had two of them and I used to spend so much time with them mostly over the weekends for good couple of years. Then we moved to our jobs, I got married, had a kid and all that. I still remember the day my daughter met them for the first time after so many years, I wasn’t sure how they will react once they see me and had no idea how they are going to react to her. What we went through as I stepped in his house with her crawling behind me (she was too young to walk) I can just not put that in words, so much love, so much affection, they bloody totally remembered me all these years and the way they played body guards to my daughter, let her ride on their backs and always (Always) hanged around her during our total stay with them was totally heartening. I am totally in Awe with W Bruce Cameron, especially the way he has written the book and the entire story, it is unbelievably believable and so damn close to reality on any given day when it comes to Dog’s.
I guess this is the first book that I have ever read on life from the perspective of an animal, a Dog here and a much cuter at that. Right from the very birth to getting adopted by a family, living life with other creatures and family members to actually finding a purpose in life and then fulfilling it with superb style. This guy has to be loved the way he actually is and what an amazing story he had to tell all of us, with so much to learn from it. I loved the way he was always hungry 🙂 and almost his entire universe revolved around something to eat. My kiddo saw the movie way before I read the book and I remember how she was totally excited as she narrated the whole story to me as she knew that I was not going to watch the movie before reading the book. The Dog in question (Bailey) is such a cute and good dog that he reminded me so much of Mr. Nakata (from Kafka on the shore) for his love (or lack of it) towards Cats, you’ve got to read about his histrionics with cats 🙂 and it also reminded me so much of our own Ove (from A Man Called Ove) for his brooding behavior not only towards his own unresponsive family but to other pets in general. Now imagine, how cute is that that the dog actually names his own siblings too 🙂 while narrating the story to us, totally hahalarious character he was. I had a jolly good time reading this book, I actually laughed out loud so many times while reading the book that my Father in law actually looked at me, from top of his own newspaper thinking that I may have gone crazy with that little device I keep hanging on to all day :). Throughout the book I had a wide grin on my face and yes, it was a tear jerker to at times when Bailey learned some lessons hard way. It was so much emotional yet so meaningful.
This book actually gave me a great idea of how animals especially Dogs are so much more sensible than us in reality. I am sure Bruce must have told this story from his personal experience more than the total imagination. Bailey could actually sense so much when he met new people for the first time, their feelings, the danger, the happiness and so on, it was totally too good. It actually made my pact stronger of getting one soon, as soon as I could and now I know what to do with them too 🙂 and it also tells us what they expect from us. If you have a pet especially a Dog, you already know what to expect but if you haven’t and have not even read the book, you really need to read this “Good Dog’s” story ASAP without fail. It’s a terrific story and a total breeze to read over a weekend with so much to learn and cherish about later in life. Also, it tells us big time what is actually a Dog’s purpose on this planet. Do not miss it at any cost.
Movie Adaptation: Time and again this has happened but I refuse to learn a lesson even after watching so many blunders in life. This time too, I just couldn’t resist watching the movie right after I finished the book and all I could do after I saw it was shake my head in disgust and try to forget that I ever saw this movie. Now, as a stand alone movie for those who have no idea of the book’s existence, yes it will work like a wonderful movie. It actually was able to give me some smiles and good moments but they were far and few in between. It actually gets a big boring in between as they so much over did somethings and missed out on so many important points that it isn’t a quarter as good as is the book, but still a little above average as an independent movie. I guess I need to stop watching the movie adaptations in totality to keep myself happy and my expectations in right place. But as they say, Old Habits Die Hard. If you have read the book, skip the movie for couple of months.