A Dog's Purpose

Synopsis: A dog looks to discover his purpose in life over the course of several lifetimes and owners.
Director(s): Lasse Hallström
Production: Amblin Entertainment
  3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
100 min


What is the meaning of life?

Are we here for a reason?

Is there a point

to any of this?

First, I had no idea

what was going on.

I... I couldn't see a thing.

It was warm.

There was my mother.

- -Every day, I had fun.

Was having fun the point?

The whole point?

No, it couldn't be

that simple.

Here's one.

And then it was over.

That's it for you.

No more fun.

It seemed like

such a short life.

I mean, what exactly did I do?

There was some playing.

There was some eating.

I dug in the dirt.

But when I really thought

about it,

it didn't add up to much.

I was back.

And I was a puppy again.

Alive and ready

to ask the big questions.

To dig for answers.

Just let me in there.

Um, where am I?

So what else do you have?

-Uh, this one here.


-What is it?

-It's a red retriever.

Oh. Oh, yeah.

- Oh!

-Nice dog.

Good breed. Easy to train.

You got something smaller?

I got some

cute yorkies over here.


-I got this Japanese chin.


-Uh, poodle.

Corgi over here.

Got a pomeranian.

Look at all this great stuff.

Somebody knew I was coming.

Oh, yeah.

Hey, look at this.

What do we have here?

Look at this little guy.

Bet it's worth a couple bucks.

Yeah, it was a knockout

in the second round.

I lost everything.

Hang tight, guy.

- Now, you're buying this time.

- Not today, buddy.

I thought about my life.

I still had so many questions.

But I kept coming back

to the same one:

How do I get a drink of water?

Do you want to get

an ice cream?

- Sure.

What flavor?

Mom, I hear something in there.

Hey, honey.


Hey, mom, come here.

My god.

It looks so thirsty.

It's too hot in there.

I think we need to get him out.

I can't open the door.

Wait, it's locked.

Please, mom.

Okay, stand back.

- You poor thing.

You poor, poor thing.

How are you, boy?

- Good?

- What... what is this?


-A boy?


-A boy!

-Are you okay?

-I-i never knew there might be

-such a thing as a boy.

-Tired, huh?

I think this little guy

is gonna make it.

Can we keep him, mom?

-I don't know.

I think your father

might not...

I decided right then and there

I am definitely

keeping this boy.

Yeah! Dad, can we keep him?

--Well, who's gonna feed him?

-I will.

-Who's gonna clean him?

I'll do everything, dad.

-You think you're ready

to do it? -Yeah.

-Oh, I don't know, son.

-He's a good boy.

- He's a good boy.

Come on, please.

He's a retriever, dad.

He'll fetch your slippers.

And the paper when it rains.

Name something

you want fetched.

He can do it.


Hey, come here!

--What are you doing?

So, Ethan and I discussed

that the dog

-would be his responsibility.

-Come here! Yeah. Good boy.

Please, dad?

Come on. He needs a pal.

All right, this thing

that you two are doing,

it's dirty pool, okay?


-Take him away.

I want to talk

to your mother alone.


We'll keep it till tomorrow...

You nervous, boy? Don't be.

It'll be okay. Yeah.

We don't have much choice.

They make a mess.

-You gotta clean 'em.

-Oh, come on.

-He's gonna be bored with it.

-Oh, come on, Jim.

You know it.

You know how he is.

If he says no, we can run off

and go find another family.



You have a dog.

- Yes! Oh, my gosh, yes!

Come on, boy. Dad!

-Whoo! Yes!

-All right.

Oh, my gosh, thank you!

Come on! Come on!



i-i would think.

And I'm Ethan.

I'm the owner.

Do you think he knows

how to spell my name?

I would think so, honey.

Here you go.

Good boy.

Here you go.


- Come on, Bailey.

Bailey, sit.


Roll over. Roll over.

Get that out of your mouth!

Get that out

of your mouth.

Okay. Come here.

Shake your paw.

Shake your paw.

Come on. Yeah, good boy!

Turn around. Turn around.

- Come on.

- What's he saying?

-It's too many words.

Come on. Okay.

-I'm gonna do this now.

Come here.

Good job. Good job.

But one word got said

more than any other.

Bailey, Bailey,

Bailey, Bailey, Bailey.

After a while,

I came to understand

the words that mattered.

I had a boy,

and his name was Ethan.

I got a name.

My name was Bailey, Bailey,

Bailey, Bailey, Bailey.

Oh, gee, honey, I wish I'd have

known that you and Wes were...

I learned my place

in the pack.

Mom liked me.


-Dad liked me.

-Yes. Yes, no, I understand.

-A lot.

Oh, excuse me.

Hold on. Come on.

Get down a bit.

I was sad for the cat.


he wanted to be a dog.

Wasn't my fault

he couldn't be a dog.

Ethan, it's time to go to bed.

Time to turn out

the light, okay?


Okay, come on. Come on.

Come on. Come on.

- Okay.

"Don't! Don't do it, cap.

"Let him have it, bucky.

"We'll pound some sense

into this character.

"Pow! Stomp!

"It's coming right at us.

Jump for your lives!"

Ethan always came up

with such great games.

-"Boom!" -Making noise

under a blanket-- genius.


-Every night as I fell asleep,

I thought about how happy

I was that I had an Ethan.

And that I wasn't a cat.

Bailey, get in the car.

Come on, boy.

Come on!

Whenever the family wanted

me to get some fresh smells,

we all got in the car

for a ride.

Tree, toad, moss, skunk,

dead skunk, pond,

-mud, goat.

- -Goat!

Everyone was asking themself

-the same question...

"Why can't everything

smell like goat?"

Ooh, it stinks!

-Oh, look who's here!


Guess what we got.

What have you got?

Rate this script:5.0 / 6 votes

W. Bruce Cameron

William Bruce Cameron (born 1960 in Petoskey, Michigan) is an American author, columnist, and humorist. Cameron is most famous for his novel A Dog's Purpose, which spent 19 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and is the first book in a two book series that concludes with A Dog's Journey. The book is the basis for the movie version starring Dennis Quaid, Britt Robertson, Peggy Lipton, K.J. Apa, Juliet Rylance, Luke Kirby, John Ortiz and Pooch Hall, and released in theaters on January 27, 2017.Cameron is also the author of the best-selling self-improvement book 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, which was later adapted into the ABC sitcom of the same name that aired between 2002 and 2005. His book, 8 Simple Rules for Marrying My Daughter, was released in 2008, and already had a Hollywood movie deal before its publication, with 89 Films and Wendy Finerman, producer of The Devil Wears Prada. Cameron is also the author of How to Remodel a Man, which was excerpted in the August 2005 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, and was the subject of the November 1, 2005 Oprah Show. His novel, A Dog's Purpose, was published July 2010 by Tom Doherty Associates. It was 19 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list in its hardcover release. The softcover version was released May 24, 2011. In total, A Dog's Purpose has spent a year on The New York Times Bestseller list (hardcover and paperback combined). He wrote a weekly column for around 50 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada, including Hawaii's MidWeek; "8 Simple Rules", told his humorous cautionary tales and memories of his life and was named after his bestselling book. In 2012, overwhelmed with other work, Cameron put it on hold after 689 editions. more…

All W. Bruce Cameron scripts | W. Bruce Cameron Scripts

0 fans

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:

1 Comment
  • linken_c
    i liked the movie but is there a shorter film like this
    LikeReply 13 years ago


Translate and read this script in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)


Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


"A Dog's Purpose" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 4 Mar. 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/a_dog's_purpose_1885>.

We need you!

Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

Watch the movie trailer

A Dog's Purpose

Browse Scripts.com

The Studio:

ScreenWriting Tool

Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.