I reviewed three books this summer. I chose these books because they involve cross-country road trips with dogs and I wanted to take inspiration from them for my own dog road trip mission:
- Travels with Casey by Benoit Denizet-Lewis
- Dogtripping by David Rosenfelt
- Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck
And I was hoping for entertaining stories that provide insights into long dog road trip realities.
This is the second book in the review series …
Dogtripping by David Rosenfelt
Dogtripping was not what I expected.
I anticipated tales about road tripping with (lots of) dogs, as the book cover illustration and subtitle suggests.
“25 Rescues, 11 Volunteers, and 3 RVs on Our Canine Cross-Country Adventure”
It turns out that the book is more about an unexpected fork in the road the Rosenfelts took when they started a dog rescue foundation.
“So dogs kept coming home with us, one after another after another. We had crossed over into full-blown dog lunacy and burned the bridge behind us.”
At first I was disappointed.
Most of the chapters devoted to the cross-country road trip were about its planning. The few pages about actually being on the road were not a “let’s hit the road!” type of adventure tale but more of a “let’s haul ass and get all these dogs from California to Maine as fast as possible!”
Enter the Rescues
Interspersed throughout the book are chapters devoted to the dogs they rescued by bringing them home to live out the rest of their lives.
It did not take long to fall in love with each of the dogs. I looked forward to hearing how dogs eventually found themselves in the Rosenfelt home. For rescuing each of these dogs, I started really liking the Rosenfelts.
“Wanda belongs in the house, on the bed, on the couch, wherever the hell she wants to go. And that is how she is going to spend the rest of her life.”
The book gave me a greater appreciation of the resources dog rescuers pour into our communities to save the soul, love and character each dog brings to our world. I tip my hat and thank them all. (Although, there was no talk of fundraising and hard job of finding funds, which made me wonder if the Rosenfelt’s funded their own rescue.)
Dogtripping is entertaining and heartfelt without being sappy. Rosenfelt combines a healthy amount of levity and humor with the heavy realities that are dog shelters and dog rescues.
However, Rosenfelt is both too self-deprecating and self-promoting. It’s like a burp in the storytelling each time he does it.
Inspirations and Insights?
Dogtripping inspires me to start paying more attention to dog rescues.
But there were little to no insights into the realities of dog tripping. The only idea I gleamed was to create my own mobile “dog park”.
If you are looking for a story about taking a road trip with dogs, Dogtripping is not it.
I recommend this book for its entertainment and for the joy of meeting the rescued dogs. And, perhaps, to make you think twice before bringing more than 20 dogs home to live with you.
Disclosure: The words and opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own with no outside influence. I purchased “Dogtripping” myself. I’ve had no communication with the author, publisher or anyone else associated with this book.
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