Thursday, September 11, 2014

Travels with Casey by Benoit Denizet-Lewis | Book Review

One of my favorite animal rescue organizations is Stray Rescue of St Louis.  In late July, I wrote about the Dream at Dreamfund to benefit Stray Rescue which was set up by Benoit Denizet-Lewis, author of the book Travels with Casey.  When Benoit's publishers at Simon and Schuster saw my tweets, they offered me a copy of the book. 

Since I knew there would be no actual traveling for me this summer, I was delighted to take them up on their offer.  I figured it would be fun to vicariously travel the US with Benoit and his yellow Lab.

New York Times Magazine writer Benoit Denizet-Lewis worried that his dog, Casey, didn't like him very much.  So Benoit rented an RV, lured Casey inside with treats, and embarked on a 13,000 mile road trip designed to help them bond. 
Along the way they spent time with wolf-dogs in Appalachia, dedicated stray dog rescuer Randy Grim, got pulled over by a K9 cop in Missouri,  visited Cesar Millan and so much more.  The result is Travels with Casey: My Journey Through Our Dog-Crazy Country.

"A moody Labrador and his insecure human take a funny, touching cross-country RV trip into the heart of America's relationship with dogs."
Part travelogue, part memoir and part informational, Travels with Casey made me laugh.  It made me cry.  It made me think a lot about dogs in general, but especially about my own dogs and my relationships with them.

I'd read some early reviews of this book that portrayed it as humorous.  It is, however, Benoit also tackles some very serious issue regarding canine health, pets of the homelessness, overbreeding, dog rescue and much more. 

At first I was disappointed.  I'd expected a light hearted story of a man and his dog hitting the road.  A compilation of their adventures together.

Instead I found a thoughtful examination of the relationship between this man and his dog.  As well as the human - dog connection as well.  Perhaps, as someone along the way suggested to Benoit, our dogs teach us to love.  I know mine have.

I'm delighted to thoroughly recommend Travels with Casey to dog lovers everywhere.

Travels with Casey ISBN-13: 9781439146934, published by Simon and Schuster,  is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and at other booksellers.

All the best books have trailers these days!

Benoit Denizet-Lewis is a writer with The New York Times Magazine and an assistant professor of writing and publishing at Emerson College.  He is the author of America Anonymous: Eight Addicts in Search of a Life and American Voyeur: Dispatches from the Far Reaches of Modern Life.  He has contributed to Sports Illustrated, The New Republic, Details, Slate, Salon, Out, and many others.  He lives in Jamaica Plain and Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Casey is an eleven year old Labrador / Golden Retriever mix who likes all
humans, most dogs, and some cats.

Disclosure:  I was given a hardback copy of Travels with Casey by Simon and Schuster without any request for a review or monetary compensation for promotion.  This is my honest opinion of the book.


  1. This sounds like a wonderful book. Rudy certainly looks enthralled with it! :)

  2. I think that's exactly what dogs teach us!!

  3. We would love to travel the country together, but not in an RV. It is a great bonding experience. Every road trip we do take brings us a bit closer I think.

  4. How nice you got a book and got to enjoy it.


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