Study Guide

A Dog's Purpose Chapter 4

By W. Bruce Cameron

Chapter 4

  • Spike is the new addition to the yard.
  • Spike's covered with scars. Maybe he should have been called Scar, but that name has already been taken by another animal troublemaker.
  • Bobby warns Senora that he doesn't trust Spike, but she tells him, "There are no bad dogs, Bobby, just bad people" (4.18).
  • Spike might prove Senora wrong.
  • Spike and Top Dog get into a vicious fight—which Bobby breaks up by blasting them both with a high-pressure hose.
  • But when the water dries, one thing is clear: Spike is now Top Dog.
  • Does that mean Top Dog needs a new name? Second-from-the-Top Dog is a bit of a mouthful.
  • When Spike later mounts Sister, Fast jumps in to defend her doggy honor.
  • Toby joins Fast, and both dogs scuffle with Spike.
  • Spike clamps his jaws on Toby and is taken back to the cool room by Bobby.
  • There, the men either put a cast on one of Toby's legs or amputate it; it's unclear.
  • Either way, Toby is only able to walk on three legs now.
  • Toby doesn't have long to wobble, however, because authorities soon show up at the Yard.
  • Senora wails and cries that they can't take her dogs, but the authorities accuse her of keeping the dogs in "inhumane" (4.62) conditions.
  • The authorities' humane solution is to round up all the dogs and gas them.