This memoir recounts the joys and tribulations of author Philip Casale and soon-to-be wife Sarah after they rescue a two-year-old Border Collie with “boundless energy and an anxious demeanor.”
When the couple brings Miles home in July 2013, it’s the first time either has owned a dog, and both are about to learn some hard and expensive lessons. Suffering from separation anxiety and fueled by a Border Collie’s intellect and exuberance, Miles wastes no time is blazing a path of destruction in their New Jersey apartment. He shreds furniture, bedding and window coverings, stains the carpet, scratches the hardwood and shatters a mirror—among other damage.
But the pair is committed to solving Miles’ behavioral problems, and after several failed attempts, they agree to hire an in-house trainer who charges $300 an hour. The trainer so intimidates Miles within a few minutes that even Philip cringes at the idea of a return visit.
In time, life in the Casale household calms, but Miles nevertheless finds ways to keep things interesting, such as the time he eats his harness.
The love and dedication the Casales show Miles makes for a heartwarming, humorous story. There are, however, questions that go unanswered. Dogs of Miles’ size are not permitted in the Casale’s apartment, so they agree he will have to be hidden from management. Given Miles behavior, that seems an impossibility, but if the management grew wise to Miles, there’s no word of it. Likewise, when Miles destroys a pair of curtains at beach cottage rental, readers never hear the owner’s reaction.
There are also some editing issues, most notably repetitive transition phrases such as “Having said that,” and “With that in mind.”
Such flaws aside, this tale will be enjoyed by dog lovers, who will no doubt cheer for Miles and his “mom and dad” from beginning to end.