Study Guide

A Dog's Purpose Chapter 1

By W. Bruce Cameron

Chapter 1

  • This book is narrated by a dog.
  • This dog has just been born, so he does little puppy things, like eat, sleep, eat, sleep, eat, and sleep.
  • Even though this book is narrated by a dog, it isn't a talking-animal book like Animal Farm. These animals don't actually talk.
  • Our narrator mentally names his puppy brother Fast, his other puppy brother Hungry, and his puppy sister Sister. Her defining trait? She's female.
  • Fast and Sister hang out, leaving our narrator feeling stuck with Hungry, the runt of the litter.
  • There soon comes a time when Mother doesn't want her litter feeding on her, so she takes the pups out hunting.
  • During one trip away from the little creek bed where they live, the dogs encounter a fearsome creature: a man.
  • Our narrator feels Mother's fear and knows that men are "to be feared, to be avoided at all costs" (1.21).
  • Soon, Hungry lives up to his name. He stops eating and lies down to die.
  • It doesn't take long before a couple of men in a truck show up to frighten the doggy family. These men have poles with ropes on the end, and they use them to drag Mother away.
  • The men also capture Fast—not so Fast now, is he?—and our narrator, but Sister escapes.
  • Our narrator isn't scared by any of this. He's excited to be riding in a truck. It's like getting arrested but being happy just because you're in a police car.