Dylan's Dilemma (Dylan's Dog Squad #1)

Dylan's Dilemma
Publisher Name
Dylan and Friends Publishing Company
Age Range
Release Date
August 19, 2022
Dylan, a Cocker Spaniel, lives with Aiden, an American professor, in South Korea. Since Aiden doesn’t believe in dog training, Dylan has an awesome life—no rules and no restrictions.

After Dylan destroys Aiden’s apartment by chewing his way through electrical coverings, baseboards, furniture and then the interior of Aiden’s new BMW, Aiden decides Dylan is too much trouble and sends him to live with Casey his twelve-year old brother in California.

Casey is thrilled to have Dylan, but Casey’s Mom is not. Dylan has thirty days to become a good dog—or else.

Editor review

1 review
Dylan's legend grows
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What worked:
Dylan is an American Cocker Spaniel although the story begins with Aidan purchasing the dog from a South Korean pet shop. Aidan is forced to give up Dylan so the dog finds himself flown across the ocean to live with Aidan’s mother and little brother Casey. This creates a conflict with the mother since Dylan is a “serial chewer” and Casey has one month to prove Dylan won’t be a problem. As the plot unfolds, Dylan does typical doggie things but a mother might view them as definitely not things a good dog should do. This becomes the conflict driving the story as the family tries to improve Dylan’s obedience and impulsive behavior to become a permanent member of the family. The fact that Casey is impulsive and mischievous only complicates matters.
The story is told from Dylan’s viewpoint with his thoughts displayed in italics. He finds the pet carrier too cramped with not enough room to turn around in order to drink from his water bottle. He likes the taste of nice shoes and claws up pictures on the floor to make a comfy bed for his nap. He likes to snatch food from unsuspecting humans and he can’t resist any opportunity to playfully chase geese and other animals. Dylan can’t communicate with the human characters but his thoughts indicate he understands English, but sometimes misunderstands situations. There are moments when humans seem to comprehend what Dylan’s thinking and they respond to his thoughts in kind.
The highlights are found in the second half of the book but I don’t want to include any spoilers. Casey leaves Dylan leashed in a public park but the dog’s natural instincts create a problem that results in legal issues. As a result, Dylan and Casey begin a journey of community service that elevates their relationship and their public image. These chapters expose readers to common efforts to improve childhood literacy and care for patients at a children’s hospital. Dylan encounters a potentially life-threatening problem when visiting a fair but his actions add to his emerging social popularity. It seems like this problem might lead to the plot’s climax but Dylan’s legend continues to grow until the end.
What didn’t work as well:
Most of the communication between Casey and Dylan is inferred so the moments where Casey seems to actually hear the dog’s thoughts are unusual. In other scenes, Dylan’s thoughts indicate he’s aware of everything going on and reacts “logically” to situations. The overall book is realistic fiction but these moments give it a slight feel of speculative fiction. Whatever, the story is fun to read.
The Final Verdict:
Pet owners will love this book and dog owners will probably identify with many of the mishaps found in the first half. With the narrator inside Dylan’s mind, readers will connect with the dog’s kind spirit and curiosity and root for him to have a happy ending. I recommend you give this book a shot.
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