A New York Times bestseller and People “Book of the Week”: This hilarious, charming road trip through canine-loving America is “essential reading for dog lovers and armchair travelers” (Library Journal, starred review).
“I don’t think my dog likes me very much,” New York Times Magazine writer Benoit Denizet-Lewis confesses at the beginning of his cross-country journey with his nine-year-old Labrador-mix, Casey. Over the next four months, thirty-two states, and 13,000 miles in a rented motor home, Denizet-Lewis and his lovable, moody canine companion try—with humorous and touching results—to pay tribute to the most powerful interspecies bond there is, in the country with the highest rate of dog ownership in the world.
On the way, Denizet-Lewis—“a master at effortlessly weaving bits of research into his narrative” (Los Angeles Times)—meets an irresistible cast of dogs and their dog-obsessed humans. Denizet-Lewis and Casey hang out with wolf-dogs in Appalachia, enter a dock-jumping competition in Florida, meet homeless teens and their dogs in Washington, sleep in a Beagle-shaped bed and breakfast in Idaho, and visit “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan in California. And then there are the really out there characters: pet psychics, dog-wielding hitchhikers, and two women who took their neighbor to court for allegedly failing to pick up her dog’s poop.
Denizet-Lewis’s memoir “is a lot like Casey…fun, sweet, and a little neurotic” (Chicago Tribune)—a delightfully idiosyncratic blend of memoir and travelogue coupled with a sociological exploration of a dog-obsessed America. Travels With Casey is “a thoroughly engaging and often hilarious investigation of the therapeutic nature of our relationships with dogs” (Booklist).
New York Times Magazine writer Denizet-Lewis spent four months driving around America with his Labrador mix Casey to paint a portrait of Americans and their love affair with dogs. The result is an engaging account that covers the gamut, from aggressive dog owners at an NYC dog park, ruminations on how dogs get their names (a surprising number are named after Grateful Dead songs), San Franciscans who practice yoga alongside their dogs, and the curious Black Dog Syndrome, which makes it much harder for black dogs to get adopted from shelters. It's not all sweet anecdotes and wagging tales: Denizet-Lewis has some hard questions for Ingrid Newkirk, head of PETA, regarding their high number of euthanizations, and his account of time spent in the euthanasia room at a shelter in Texas is rough going, but these and other stories are part of the picture as well, and each of Denizet-Lewis's subjects are treated with compassion. Comparisons to John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley are obvious, but this is an entirely different and equally rewarding piece of work that expands with each page without losing its narrative thread or the reader's interest.