The narrator of A Dog's Purpose is played by Josh Gad. He appears as 5 total kinds of dogs throughout the movie.

In the first form, Bailey is a stray dog. He lived in the woods and played with his siblings. However, within a few days, animal control caught him and put him down offscreen.

In the second form, Bailey is caught once again. After being rejected in the animal shelter, he escapes, but animal control catches him once again. When the 2 people that catch him stop for a lunch break, Ethan and his mother find Bailey sweating in the car. Knowing he's being neglected, they break him out of the car and take him to their house. There he meets Ethan's alcoholic father and their cat, Smokey.