The Art of Racing in the Rain
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Question about Racing in the Rain (contains spoiler) First off, I loved the book, five stars etc. etc....

I just didn't get one thing so I'd appreciate your thoughts.

At the beginning of the book, Enzo, having been found in a puddle of his own pee, is about to be taken to the vet for a "one way" trip, presumably to be euthanized. The rest of the book is told as a reflection on his life.

At the end of the book he appears to pass away peacefully in Denny's arms (a beautiful scene, wonderfully interpreted in the audiobook version).

I'm not sure how to reconcile this apparent discrepancy - any thoughts?
asked by Colin Macqueen on July 28, 2009
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Showing 1-10 of 13 answers
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I agree with Sandy. Enzo thought he was "faking" his weakness, with the idea that it was time for him to die, although he'd acknowledged at the beginning of the book he really could have more years left for his life. He thought it was time for him to go, however, and by lying in his own piddle he figured that his owner would come to the same conclusion and take him to the vet. However, when Denny got home that last night, Enzo discovered that, in fact, he really was weak, and that he was not really "faking" at all...which disturbed him somewhat. I was so moved by the ending, for instead of the "one way trip to the vet"...Enzo recieved the wonderful blessing of dying in his beloved Denny's arms, with the smell of pancakes in the air, in his own kitchen. He deserved no less.
emeleste answered on August 12, 2009

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I think he simply died before he was taken to the vet, which was his wish.
Sandy A. Campbell answered on August 1, 2009

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The hint in Enzo's death is the chapter before, where Enzo muses the death of Ayton Senna and how Senna had accomplished everything he could and it was his time to go. (Re-read the quote of Dr. Sid Watkins.) As Senna had accomplished (almost) everything in F1, so too had Enzo. Enzo had been Denny's companion and supporter through Eve's decline and death and the battle with the Evil Twins and finally Denny getting the ride in Italy. Denny would become the champion that Enzo always knew he was, so it was at last time for Enzo to move on to the next life.
JR Mann answered on November 6, 2009

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Wow I never even noticed that! I did appreciate the full circle effect where it starts with Enzo at his end and then finishes with him peacefully passing, but now that you mention it, it doesn't really make sense to me either. I would have to agree with Sandy; he probably died before going to the vet because in the beginning, Denny never actually leaves for the vet, he simply mentions it on the phone. That theory makes the most sense. I just loved, loved, loved the ending. Not only was this the most beautiful story I've ever read, but the most beautiful ending! I was so happy for Enzo and Denny. The cherry on top was definitely Enzo coming back as a human, just as he wanted!
coolgamer answered on June 9, 2010

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Read it - you will love it. So much better than Marley and Me. It will leave you feeling optimistic!
B. Silverman answered on July 15, 2010

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Interesting. I had the impression he was describing the process of going under in the vet's office. I like your ending better than mine!
Fred Forbes answered on September 18, 2009

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Read it you won't regret it.
MBH answered on July 9, 2010

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Read "A Dog's Purpose". The dog dies a number of times but comes back each time as another puppy. But with each reincarnation, he remembers things from the last and is able to apply them to the present. It is a beautifully written story that ends with him discovering his true purpose as a dog. Funny, sad, insightful. The perfect book for those of us who have loved, and lost, our dearest canine friends.
L. Burr answered on December 3, 2011

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I'm still trying to decide whether to read this book myself....or not. I run a canine rescue, and having lost so many, either by Mother Nature, or at the hands of the vet, I don't know if I can stand yet another dog crossing over. I cry too easily, and too much I suppose. Sort of like "Marley." I couldn't read that one either....
Virginia Cook answered on June 30, 2010

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It took a while for me to get used to the dog who spoke like a college professor... an old and wise college professor. But, when I did settle into the book, I was blown away at the wisdom contained in this seemingly simple book about a man and his dog. There are so many thoughts expressed that are worth writing down and reflecting on them. Meanwhile, I thoroughly enjoyed this well-written book.
Carol B. Layton answered on July 12, 2011
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