A Dog’s Purpose

Whaddaya get when you cross Doctor Who with the Puppy Bowl? The study of a dog through multiple regenerations and various breeds concentrating on a particularly happy stint as Bailey (voiced by Josh Gad) who is rescued from a hot car by Ethan in 1961 (judging from Gunsmoke opening credits and the passed down Captain America & Bucky comic from the Golden Age!) Dedicated to protecting his human companion from harm, Bailey saves Ethan from a burning home, consoles him during his parents’ breakup and nurses the bond with Hanna (Britt Robertson) before passing on. Like Lassie went from “Jeff’s Collie” to “Timmy & Lassie” to working with the forestry ranger, Bailey awakes as part of a K-9 unit, then as a Corgi to a lonely college girl before sliding into a neglected phase that leaves him abandoned. A trained, harnessed, supervised stunt dog is not in peril, something PETA cannot seem to grasp. Is the purpose of a pet anything less than to make us better people and lift the human spirit? Directed by Lasse Hallstrom who also gave us My Life As a Dog.