A Dog's Purpose
The Person's Purpose

Recently, I called GiGi in Buena Vista, GA. This time, we were discussing other things than medical issues that we had. She wanted to know how Ginger was doing. We also discussed my taking Ginger to a puppy obedience class, her routine during the day, and my fondness for my new canine acquisition.

GiGi is the best read and most well-informed person that I know that is 65-years or older. Nothing passes her radar screen undetected. However, we got onto attempting to understand canine personalities and how they view the world. Then GiGi added, "I read A Dog's Purpose by Bruce Cameron, which came out in 2010. The storyline starts with a birth of a puppy and quest to find his purpose in the world. The novel continues through a handful of generations of that first dog's reincarnation."

I listened intently to GiGi and understood her attachment to the novel because of her attachment to her two dogs. Additionally, I understood that attachment due to my first dog, Ginger, that I had fifty years ago. I also got my second dog, Ginger, who is now a six-month-old puppy.

We continued our conversation for a long time. However, Ginger wanted out to go potty, and I had to say good-bye to GiGi. When Ginger returned, she got a treat for her successful mission accomplished, and I went back to teaching online and writing. I don't recall how I wound up on some page on the Internet, which was an essay about a new movie that had just opened called, A Dog's Purpose. I refer to these events as personal haunting moments. I wasn't surfing the Internet for anything related to dogs. However, there it was in front of me.

Image result for a dog's purpose


The next thing that I did was to google A Dog's Purpose showing times at a local theater. The next day, I went to see the film. Interestingly, my two online classes were discussing Hinduism that week. Essentially, A Dog's Purpose story is about reincarnation. Theologically, reincarnation is the basis of Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism.

The film dealt with one dog's several reincarnations. Interesting, the various dogs narrate the movie from the perspective of the dog. Each dog presents his or her narrative of life as the dog sees it. Each dog devotes much thought and then action in that dog's purpose in life.

While watching the movie, the question that haunted me was what is a person's purpose? If a dog had one, it would beg the question about our purpose. Then came the haunting question, am I as purposeful as Bailey and his incarnations were? It was one of the moments in my life that I floated back and forth as I did at a protest rally at Sule Pagoda in Yangon. I was into the movie, and, at the same time, I was into self-reflections about myself. Am I working on what are my reasons for being? I hope that I was as determined as Bailey and his various incarnations were.

That story line is an accurate account of A Dog's Purpose for nearly the entire film. However, then, at the very end of the film, comes an O. Henry twist. The last of the various reincarnated dogs winds up back on the farm where Ethan, who raised Bailey, as a puppy, lived. Several generations of purposeful dogs had an additional overarching purpose not merely what that particular dog's purpose was at that moment in time. Bailey's ultimate purpose was to reunite Ethan and Hanna, his girlfriend, after their lifetime of separation.

Therefore, I left the movie emotionally drained. I had watched a very good movie about Bailey and his quintessential reason for being. At the same moment in time, I was attempting to process how well I was working on my reason for being.

Then I returned home...to be greeted by Ginger, my Irish Setter puppy. A half a century ago, I would go home and be greeted with my first Ginger who was also an Irish Setter. I loved the first Ginger and love her reincarnation into the present Ginger. I was happy to see her, and, as we wrestled on my office floor, my mind was at another place and time. What was my first Ginger's ultimate purpose, what is my present Ginger's purpose, and what was my purpose also? My hauntings were on steroids as my version of Bailey played on the floor.

While playing, I asked Ginger about her purpose in my life. Ginger responded, "Relax. It will be apparent. Trust me." As we played, I was haunted.


Connecting The Dots

Connecting the Dots

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The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture

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Dancing with Death

Dancing with Death

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Thus Ginger Spoke

Thus Ginger Spoke

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My Hauntings

My Hauntings

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Don Quixote

"Don Quixote"

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Visit the GiGi page to read more about this topic.