A Dog’s Purpose

A Dog’s Purpose ****.* by W. Bruce Cameron

I’m joining Jain with my Edible Book Review at Food for Thought, a delicious blog for readers with an appetite~ for the written word.

 I. Heart. This. Book.

A Dog’s Purpose is told through the eyes of Toby, a pup born feral; reborn as Bailey, a boy’s beloved Golden Retriever; reborn as Ellie, a search & rescue German Shepherd, and finally as Buddy, a Black Lab. The lessons and memories of each life and incarnation are carried over to the next, until ultimately Buddy learns his true purpose. It does come with a warning though~  Publisher’s Weekly calls this “a tail-wagging three hanky boo-hooer”. I have to say the joyous parts far outweighed the sad, which made for a much happier tail :-) than The Art of Racing in the Rain for me.

 I listened to the audio version from Audible, the narration which is done in first-person, or rather first-dog, was delightful. Told simply with the eternal optimism of a dog, there are many laugh-out-loud moments. The end result is a story that speaks of a dog’s capacity to love and protect. If you are a dog lover, you will lap this up.

I’m sharing my chalkware dog collection~ more shabby than chic~ and setting a table and joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday as part of this Edible Review.  Since my canines are vintage, I’m joining Suzanne, Coloradolady for Vintage Thingie Thursday and visiting the alphabet courtesy Jenny Matlock.

A little dog & book love~ combined with some vintage &  food fun :-)

My pack of dogs normally sit and stay (unlike my real life canines :-) on my bookshelves~ their purpose to keep my volumes company.

None of my chalkware dogs have a pedigree, which is more common than not for chalkware. Thought to have originated by the Pennsylvania Dutch in the mid 19th century, it was sold primarily as a less expensive version of the ceramic Staffordshire figurines that adorned the mantels of many middle and upper-class
homes. Chalkware reappeared during the great depression and was used as carnival game prizes and produced through the fifties, until this breakable plaster material was replaced with mass-produced stuffed animals. Chips, nicks, and breaks are common~ the flaking of paint and plaster on the surface is typical, and adds to their time-worn appearance that appeals to me.

Everything looks special under a cloche, so I gathered my various sized bell jars and served up my pack on plates purchased from Home Goods. Placemats & Napkins are reversible and came from Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Most of the early figures were painted by hand. In the 1920s they began using the air brush, which produced good detail and resulted in much faster production with more pieces per hour at cheaper cost.  Later, to further reduce costs, stencils were used so hourly wage earners could be employed, instead of experienced, air brush craftsmen.

 This King Charles Spaniel is designed as an ashtray, popular for the time period, and is serving up dog cookies. Chloe & Gracie said this was their most favorite tablescape ever :-)

Food for Thought was fun~ seeking and finding the food passages like Ellie, the search & rescue German Shepherd :-)

As a feral pup in his first life, Toby and his brothers & sister forage for food, and find among other things, bits of cheese. . .

 I couldn’t resist picking up this bottle since the Lab on the label matched the book jacket . . . I thought I’d pair the wine with dog-shaped cheese, and a crescent moon.

My King Charles Spaniel is standing in as a wine coaster. . .

Buddy finds himself feeling blue:

“I was a dog who had learned to live among and serve humans as my sole purpose in life. Now, cut off from them, I was adrift. I had no purpose, no destiny, no hope.”

Bits of doggy wisdom and observations from Bailey:

  •  You can’t get a cat’s attention unless they choose to give it to you.

  • Dogs have important jobs, like barking when the doorbell rings, but cats have no function in the house whatsoever.

  •  If you’re lucky, you get to go for car rides.

  • Cats are definitely no fun in the car.

  •  Talking to a horse is a complete waste of time.

  • Sometimes we all break out in loud barking, for no reason other than the sheer joy of it.

  • Ducks are dumb creatures.

Bailey has the most food experiences and over the course of his life, has encounters with several farm animals~  a donkey, horse, ducks, and the bane of his existence~ cats.

White Chocolate Popcorn, recipe here, with animal crackers added for Bailey’s benefit :-)

Bailey’s start to a great day:  sleeping in, eating toast crusts, licking eggs off the plate~

“People are vastly more complicated than dogs and served a much more important purpose. The job of a good dog was ultimately to be with them, remaining by their sides no matter what course their lives might take.”

For dish love, visit Between Naps on the Porch ~

 For vintage love, stop by Coloradolady ~

 For book love & food fun, visit Food for Thought ~

For alphabet fun visit~ Jenny Matlock for Alphabe-Thursday~

  34 comments for “A Dog’s Purpose

  1. October 13, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Jain will LOVE this.. Even a doggie sous cloche..the book sounds so sweet..I bet one of my daughters would love it..The wine bottle is perfect too.

  2. October 13, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Wow…what a magical post…I have to admit the book was rightly first on the list but..it was your collection of chalkware dogs,…then arrived the wine bottle..then the popcorn..then the cheese dog shapes..then the egg dog shaped toast… I just kept reading from top to toe! Wonderful!

  3. October 13, 2010 at 8:42 am

    and we are off, another fantastic ride thru your eyes, and tummy! oh how i love your collection… i am almost afraid to look at this since i am working on my dog book, i have it all laid out in my head, my fear is we will overlap since we like to play alike, but i see you have far better props than me, plus mine are alive!

    love ellie searching out passages :-)

    THAT WINE AND CHEESE BOTTLE, CUTE CUTE CUTE! you do know i am over the moon with that! damn you are so good a this!!! the cheese is brilliant… oy i am worrying my a dog for all seasons is going to let you down now, you are such a pro and i have bozo’s…i am waiting until scott builds me my props, think agility… then wish me luck! i want him to make me 3 easy things, for him and them!

    omg on the popcorn… girl i bow to you!

    and now dog gone eggs in a window… you are over the top brilliant with your creativity… egads i am feeling sheepish, which is perfect for my book, but i have none!

    oh that video is so cute, it brought tears to my eyes, he reminds me of tucker who died a little over a year ago, all those memories are flooding back…

    what a fantastic review, i have never smiled so much, you are such a sheer delight to visit, i love love love how you embrace and share your books with boundless creativity. that darn kindle price needs to drop a dollar so i can be reading this too, your review could not be more stellar! thank you for all the joy you share~

  4. Laura
    October 13, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Hey there! Love, love, love to eat eggs/toast as a “Bird’s Nest” or “Toad in the Hole” – so I especially loved the dog bone cutout… how fun…fun table – I need to get back up to the lake one of these days – Have a good week! Love, LL

  5. October 13, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Incredibly fun post. I love your chalkware dogs and all of the information. Your tablescape was very fun as were the quotes from the book. Happy VTT!

  6. October 13, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Oh, how I loved your post. It is so sweet and so creative. May I say I seriously envy your chalkware dog collection? I want my dog show friends to see this post.
    Linda at A Toile Tale

  7. October 13, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    I love the post, but I know I could never get through this book. If they are advertising a three hankie I’ll need at least a dozen. Your collection is so much fun and the food, especially the popcorn (!) looks yummy. I am copying those dog quotes to send to my kids. We have one lovable lab, Nellie! Linda

  8. October 13, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Oh where to begin?
    Do I love and cherish everything about this? YES!! I do. I’m in AWE!

    Look at that incredible dog and chalkwork collection; the way you have displayed everything. I’m going to spend some time here admiring (and in envy, if you don’t mind. ;)

    Sending you a necklace of loving *hearts* for bringing such FUN and beauty to us. And thanks to Jain for bringing us together. :D ((hugs))

  9. October 13, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    How totally darling!! Wow all the ideas, details and creativity…FAbulous job! Come link up to my centerpiece wed on my blog…it is underneath my tablescape post for today.


  10. October 13, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    This is adorable…I loved all your dogs!! Have a great VTT!

  11. October 14, 2010 at 5:13 am

    That’s a FUN and FUNNY post… enjoyed the romp with all your dogs!

  12. October 14, 2010 at 9:19 am

    I love this post! What a clever idea for a table. Your chalkware is quite lovely. You brought back lots of memories of our beloved Sam.. thanks.

  13. October 14, 2010 at 9:54 am

    What a fun post! Love all of your chalkware.

  14. October 14, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Mary, what a wonderful post! Thank you for the book review — I immediately thought of at least three people who’ll be getting it for Christmas! I also enjoyed learning about chalkware. There are so many wonderful touches on your table — the doggie-themed ribbons, the special cheese shapes — just adorable!

  15. October 14, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Wow! what a post! Everything dog related! so cute!~

  16. October 14, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Mary, you do come up with the best ideas. I’m not showing this to my dog because she would be very jealous!

  17. October 14, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Oh! This may be my favorite post ever! Filled with all of my favorite things – doggies, books and vintage goodies … and cheese! Loved every bit and wished for more.

    Happy VTT,

  18. October 14, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    What a wonderful collection of chalkware dogs! I will be reading that sweet book soon.

    Susan and Bentley

  19. October 14, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    What a wonderful collection of doggies! Love how you show them off. Debbie

  20. October 14, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    I can’t believe the amazing effort you put into this post! It’s wonderful and I’m so impressed! Thanks so much for sharing :)

    HaPpY vInTaGe ThInGiE tHuRsDaY!


  21. October 14, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    What an incredibly cute idea! My best friend is a consummate dog lover, so I am going to make sure I send her the link to your page to see this! She will fall in love for sure! Thanks for sharing!!!

  22. October 14, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    I loved your post of doggies! What a special treat for me to veiw today…thank you!

  23. October 14, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Thank you so much for leaving a comment on my blog! I’m the one with the 17-yr-old Bichon. I almost flipped when I saw the picture of your Chloe and Grace. My first Bichon was named Chloe. I had her for 16 years and she looks identical to your little Bichon sitting behind the bigger one in the front. I look forward to the day when I can rescue another Bichon again. :)

    Your blog is just wonderful and I adore your darling little doggy vignettes. I can tell you had so much fun putting it all together. I collect handmade felted Bichons from artists around the globe and thought how fun it would be to arrange a table with each one as a name card holder!

    I love it here and will be back soon.

  24. October 14, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    I love your chalkware dogs! SOO adorable. My favorite is the small white one with his tongue hanging out…reminds me of my Mya! Beautiful photos!

  25. October 14, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    I only recently became aware of chalkware. I am still not sure how to identify it, but I will have to do some studying up! Love your pups!

  26. October 14, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Thanks for coming by and your sweet comments about the table. It was a blast to do!

  27. October 14, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    You have a fantastic collection. It’s displayed in a great way. I enjoyed the stories also. Doylene

  28. October 15, 2010 at 12:23 am

    What a glorious post!!! I love your collection of chalkware dogs. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  29. October 15, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Lovely collection of doggies. You do set a charming table. The book sounds like a fun read too.

  30. October 15, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    This is a really fun post! I am a dog lover, too. Your collection of dogs is beautiful…but I truly love the little touches of the dog cheese, popcorn, and beribboned biscuits.
    Jane (Artfully graced)

  31. October 15, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    Mary, you know I adore each and every one of the edible book reviews you’ve done, but honestly this one has totally taken me over that “dog gone moon”! You are truly amazing at this craft. Your creative energy is endless, and all of us fortunate readers get the endless pleasure of your posts. Every little doggie in your collection puts a smile on my face, but that King Charles repurposed as a wine coaster stole my heart from the first photo. Too cute for words! Your home must be full of fabulous treasures.
    I recently picked up a dog book, hoping to play along again. You and Jain are so creative that I can’t begin to keep up though. Both of you share books with brilliant ideas and amazing photography. Bravo! ~ sarah

  32. October 17, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    A lovely and loving ode to our precious four-footed friends. Dickens, my dear 4# Yorkie also enjoyed this whole post, and he wanted to know when I was going to even attempt to set as charming a tablescape in honor of him. I told him, “It could happen!” Thank you for sharing your marvelous design. Cherry Kay

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