RL #1: Sep. 11th, 2017 - Topic #1 Characters - A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron
The main character of this story is Toby, a brown and black mutt rescued after his family had been trying to survive in the wild. He is significant in the story because he simply learns to be positive, despite any situation he is in. This influence is shown towards the people he bonds with. Then, Toby is taken to a pen he calls 'The Yard', with whom he travels with Senora, an affectionate, elderly lady, and her assistant, Carlos. The author illustrates this point when Toby observes, "A woman with long white hair stood there above us, her face wrinkled in kindness. 'Here puppy, it's okay, You'll be all right. Here puppy,' she said." (21). Toby is also dynamic of the relationship with him and humans throughout the story. For instance, on page 18 it explains, "Sometimes when we were out hunting they barked at us from behind fences, most likely jealous that we [his family] were trotting around free while they were imprisoned." This is followed by the text on pages 20 and 21, which reveals, "'Here, boy,' one of them whispered. I didn't know what it meant, but the call seemed as natural as the sound of wind [to me]... I didn't run. I didn't move. I allowed the loop of the rope to slip over my face and tighten on my neck."
RL #2: Sep. 23rd, 2017 - Topic #3 Plot - A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron
An important scene is when Spike attacks Sister in an attempt to steal her bone, with Fast and Toby coming to her defense. As a result of this, Toby's leg is permanently damaged and he now has the inability to walk. This point of the story takes place in the rising action of a plot structure. This event also shows the usual and opposite characteristics in the four characters involved: Spike, the alpha dog of all dogs in the Yard, Fast, Toby's brother, Sister, Toby's sister, and Toby himself. Spike’s usual violent behavior is shown when Toby says, "Spike [usually] spends his day on patrol and would snap at us for no reason whatsoever- there was [already] a black energy in him, something strange and mean… [in battle] he turned and slashed at me, and as I stumbled backward his jaws clamped down on my foreleg.” (48, 49). Fast's opposite behavior is demonstrated when Toby states, "Fast was overjoyed, and clung to her side the whole time. It occurred to me that Sister had always been his favorite as I watched him bow toward her- this was now his [usual] routine... We'd be doing nothing wrong!- but [in battle] Fast couldn't take it anymore and he lashed back at Spike, teeth flashing. I was surprised when Fast took Spike on but I eventually did the same." (35, 49). Sister's and Toby's opposite behavior is shown when he explains, "None of us noticed Spike until he was upon us, and his quick, silent attack on Sister's haunches drew an instant frightened whelp I didn't expect [from her]... I instantly slunk to the ground, but then I, propelled forward by a rage I'd never felt before, joined Fast in battle, the two of us snarling and biting." (49). This creates the universal theme of the story: change. This is applied to Fast's, Sister's and Toby's reactions to their new characteristics changing in comparison to their usual characteristics. I would conclude that these behaviors were the whole importance of the plot scene, which keeps me wondering whether they would stick with them throughout the story.
RL #3: Oct. 18th, 2017 - Topic #2 Conflict - A Dog's Way Home by W. Bruce Cameron
This story follows a dog named Bella as she journeys hundreds of miles on foot in order to reunite with her owner, Lucas. Before crossing paths, Bella had lived fondly with Mother Cat and her kittens in the crawlspace of an abandoned house that was among a row of houses. Developers wanted to raze this row with an apartment complex, but Lucas had heard of this, and frequently came to secretly water and feed the cats (he eventually decided to raise Bella, coming with her on a leash on such visits). One day Lucas informs the developers of the cats, opposing that they can proceed until all are secured, but Gunter, who is overseeing demolition, refuses to stop. This main conflict is demonstrated as the author explains the conversation they had, even though Bella, the main character, is unaware: “‘Actually, she [Bella] was rescued from the crawl space under the house you’re getting ready to demolish… that’s what I’m trying to explain, that not all the animals were caught. So you can’t legally tear down a house with feral cats living under it.’ Lucas said. ‘And that’s my fault?’ Gunter questioned. ‘No. There are organizations dedicated to this, who treat this humanely. We called one and are on their way here now.’ Lucas replied. ‘Well guess what? You got any idea how hard it is to get anything built these days, Lucas? There’s about a dozen agencies you have to work with. I finally got my demo permit after a year delay. A year. Understand? It’s not personal. There’s just nothing you can do about it.’ Gunter said. Lucas declared, ‘But it is personal! It’s personal to the cats. It’s personal to me. They are all alone in the world. Abandoned. And I’m all they’ve got.’” (35, 38). Being a personal one, the main conflict affects Lucas and Bella internally, and the cats externally. The cats could be killed by the demolition of the developers, which will influence Lucas and Bella because of the grief they will feel for them if it happens.