4 star rating
Travels with Casey
By Benoit Denizet-Lewis
 ISBN# 9781439146934
Author website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt


A moody Labrador and his insecure human take a funny, touching cross-country RV trip into the heart of America’s relationship with dogs.

“I don’t think my dog likes me very much”, New York Times Magazine writer Benoit Denizet-Lewis confesses at the beginning of his 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 canine companion attempt 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, known for his deeply reported dispatches from far corners of American life meets an irresistible cast of dogs and dog-obsessed humans. Denizet-Lewis and Casey hang out with wolf-dogs in Appalachia, search with a dedicated rescuer of stray dogs in Missouri, spend a full day at a kooky dog park in Manhattan, get pulled over by a K9 cop in Missouri, and visit Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan in California. And then there are the pet psychics, dog-wielding hitchhikers, and two nosy women who took their neighbor to court for allegedly failing to pick up her dog’s poop.

Travels With Casey is a delightfully idiosyncratic blend of memoir and travelogue coupled with an exploration of a dog-loving America. What does our relationship to our dogs tell us about ourselves and our values? Denizet-Lewis explores those questions and his own canine-related curiosities and insecurities during his unforgettable road trip through our dog-loving nation.


Travels With Casey is a ride along story of the author Denizet-Lewis and his dog Casey’s journey across America in an RV. Mr. Denizet-Lewis thinks Casey doesn’t really like him. He is coming off an ended relationship and had just spent time in the office of a Manhattan psychoanalyst who specialized in our relationships with our pets. He sets out to write about the different relationships people in America have with their dogs and hopes the trip will bring him closer to Casey.  The stops the writer makes and the dogs and people he meets are enjoyable and some are informative. All though for me (a dog lover) I could have done with less information about the writer himself and more about the dogs.

Mr. Denizet-Lewis has a pleasant writing style that flows easily and keeps the reader entertained. Any dog lover will enjoy the stops he makes, the people and dogs he meets and the information he brings to the pages of Travels With Casey.

I enjoyed the time he spent with the wolf dogs, the sled dogs and Cesar Millan most. I had a hard time reading about his time at a high kill shelter and think other dog lovers may as well. Along the way Casey gets a new partner and the relationship the writer has with both dogs changes his view on Casey.

As a dog lover and person owned by many a dog in my life, I found it hard to understand the author’s view of Casey. I was glad to see it change by the end of their travels. And as I stated before I really didn’t expect so much time to be spent on the writer in this book. However that is just me. I think most readers will enjoy this book and am sure any dog lover will greatly appreciate the time Mr. Denizet-Lewis spent exploring the relationships of people and pup. I would recommend this book to most any dog lover and anyone that wishes they could explore the many different ways that dogs are a part of our lives.