A debut memoir chronicles life with a 2-year-old rescue dog from a New Jersey shelter.
In 2013, Casale, a newly graduated veterinarian, realized his dream of adopting a dog. Miles Murphy, originally abandoned in Kentucky, burst into the author’s life with every ounce of pent-up energy a border collie who has lived in a series of shelters could muster: “Like a stallion out of the gates at the Kentucky Derby,” Miles bolted “out of the kennel.” This sweet, irascible 45-pound scamp would change Casale’s life. The author and his girlfriend Sarah (now his wife) had made all the appropriate preparations for Miles, but as any dog parent knows, new canines will have plenty of ideas of their own. Within the first couple of hours, Miles scored a corncob from the garbage, which Casale managed to retrieve when it was halfway down the pooch’s throat. They quickly learned that Miles had serious separation anxiety. He destroyed everything in sight when he was left alone so they secured him in his crate when they departed for work. But Miles proved to be a clever guy. One night, the author returned home to find Miles “had pulled the quilt through the top grate so hard that it dislodged the latches that kept the front door attached to the roof of the crate...it was like a jail break.” Casale has assembled an articulate, upbeat collection of vivid vignettes that are intended to recapture, for the author as much as for the audience, those many moments that form the unique relationship between human and canine. Frustrations, anger, and fears are overwhelmed by unabashed love and joy. In his engaging account, which features family photographs of Miles, Casale is also on a mission to promote rescue adoptions: “I can’t help but think about how many shelter animals’ lives could improve if they were as fortunate to share the benefits that their” purebred counterparts “were lucky to have.” As he writes in his dedication: “A home is just a reader’s choice away.”
A familiar story but canine lovers should find much to enjoy in the antics (and photos) of an incorrigible border collie.