Study Guide

A Dog's Purpose Love

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"Puppy Love" was a popular song in the 1960s and '70s, crooned by both Paul Anka and Donny Osmond. There's even an urban legend that a DJ played the song for an entire morning in 1972, going for the pre-Internet version of a Rick Roll.

Although the song "Puppy Love" is about "How a young heart really feels" when in love, it is talking about human hearts, of course. But A Dog's Purpose shows us that puppies have hearts, too—only they fall in love with their human owners. The novel explores the simple-but-complex relationship between humans and their four-legged companions: although they have different numbers of legs, they both have two hearts that beat as one.

Hmm, that lyric is almost cheesy enough to be in the "Puppy Love" song.

Questions About Love

  1. Which humans love the dog? Does the dog love any humans who don't love him in return?
  2. Is the dog capable of loving other dogs? Or can he only love humans?
  3. What different types of love do we see between humans? Who shows familial love? Or romantic love? How would you classify the love between the dog and his (or her) owner(s)?

Chew on This

The dog experiences love to varying degrees during his lives. But the love he treasures most is the love he shares with Ethan. He feels that they have a special bond above any other relationship.

Because the dog can sense strong emotions, he forms stronger bonds with humans than he does with other animals, which do not feel as intensely.

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