Dogtripping: 25 Rescues, 11 Volunteers, and 3 RVs on Our Canine Cross-Country Adventure

Dogtripping: 25 Rescues, 11 Volunteers, and 3 RVs on Our Canine Cross-Country Adventure

by David Rosenfelt

Hardcover(First Edition)

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David Rosenfelt's Dogtripping is moving and funny account of a cross-country move from California to Maine, and the beginnings of a dog rescue foundation

When mystery writer David Rosenfelt and his family moved from Southern California to Maine, he thought he had prepared for everything. They had mapped the route, brought three GPSs for backup, as well as refrigerators full of food, and stoves and microwaves on which to cook them. But traveling with twenty-five dogs turned out to be a bigger ordeal than he anticipated, despite the RVs, the extra kibble, volunteers (including a few readers), and camping equipment. Rosenfelt recounts the adventure of moving his animal companions across the United States with humor and warmth, and tells the tale of how he and his wife became passionate foster parents for rescue dogs, culminating in the creation of the Tara Foundation and successfully placing several thousand dogs with loving families.

An NPR Best Book of 2013

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250014696
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/23/2013
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.94(w) x 8.32(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

DAVID ROSENFELT is the Edgar and Shamus Award-nominated author of five stand-alones and ten previous Andy Carpenter novels, most recently Leader of the Pack. He and his wife live in Maine with the twenty-five dogs they have rescued.

Read an Excerpt

Dread and More Dread …



We were going on a journey that I expected would end up somewhere between that of Lewis and Clark and that of the Donner Party. Someone once said that the difference between an ordeal and an adventure is attitude. That’s how I knew I was in for an ordeal.

We were eleven mostly intrepid travelers, closing the traditional exploration circle by heading east from Southern California to Maine. No wagons, just three RVs. After all, this is the twenty-first century.

Of course, we didn’t have many of the difficulties that the early pioneers had to endure. They were going through uncharted territory; we’d MapQuested the route and had three GPSs to make it foolproof. They had limited rations; we had refrigerators full of food, and stoves and microwaves with which to cook it. Not that we were without our refreshment challenges; for instance, we’d have to use a manual corkscrew for the wine.

Their communications went as far as their voices could carry; we were loaded down with cell phones, BlackBerries, and iPads. One of our group said that we actually had more computer power on board than astronaut Alan Shepard did when he first went into space, but I have no idea if that’s true.

One thing we shared with our predecessors was the presence of plenty of animals. Their animals were crucial to their trip, but ours were the very reason for our journey.

Their animals represented the transportation itself; the horsepower behind the vehicles was alive and breathing. They probably also provided food, but I’d just as soon not go there. But if the pioneers hadn’t had the benefit of their horses, when we talk about going out west today, we’d mean Cleveland.

In our case, three gas-fueled RV engines were our power source. The animals were the passengers; we were transporting our dogs, all twenty-five of them, to our—and their—new home. They were all rescue dogs, a small portion of the thousands that we have saved from the misery of the Los Angeles shelter system, but this trip was likely to make new demands on their endurance.

Our group included nine other people that volunteered for the trip, which was pretty remarkable. Some were friends; others were readers of my novels whom I’d met only once or twice. Three of them I’d never met at all. Giving us their time and energy in this way was amazingly generous, and I planned to thank them four or five thousand times before we got to Maine.

Of course, at the time I was thinking “if” we got to Maine.

The truth was, this undertaking could have been even more daunting. Twenty-five is pretty much the fewest dogs Debbie and I have had in the last ten years. We’ve had as many as forty-two, but we feel that more than forty is slightly eccentric.

The human members of our team, none of whom had known each other previously, had been corresponding by e-mail for weeks. They were totally enthusiastic. They seemed to regard this as an incredible adventure, destined to be a source of great memories for years to come.

Not me.

Since I’ve always been an “RV half empty” sort of guy, I expected it to be torturous at best, and a disaster at worst.

Which brings me to the obvious question: how the hell did we get into this situation?


Copyright © 2013 by David Rosenfelt

Table of Contents


Title Page,
Copyright Notice,
Dread and More Dread ...,
It Began with Tara,
A Really Long Year,
The Endless Planning,
Pong the Dalmatian,
Hanging Up the Tacos,
The Tara Foundation,
Saint Cyndi,
Willie Boy,
"Do You Take Pets?",
"Poop" ... Just This Once,
Solving the "How",
Sally and Jack,
The Team Comes Together,
The Smell,
Harley and Dinah,
I Hate Home Depot,
Crazy Sky and the Coyote,
Walking the Dogs,
Final Preparations,
Time to Let Go,
Mamie and Coki,
The Gang Was All There,
You Know the Old Saying ...,
Simon the Psycho,
Big Sarah,
The Barking. My God, the Barking,
Noel and Kahlani,
My Career Went to the Dogs,
Tommy and the Snake,
That Lying Calendar,
Dogs Can Bring Us Together,
Little Sara,
Back to Basic,
Dogs and Ducks Don't Mix,
A Moment of Weakness,
Feeding Time at Home,
Go East, My Friends,
Please, Please, Don't Kill the Dog,
Welcome to Maine,
Looks Can Be Deceiving,
Please, Not the RV Again,
Dorothy, We're Not in California Anymore,
Also by David Rosenfelt,
About the Author,

Customer Reviews

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Dogtripping: 25 Rescues, 11 Volunteers, and 3 RVs on Our Canine Cross-Country Adventure 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Jamie6 More than 1 year ago
David Rosenfelt's account of a cross country relocation of 25 dogs via RV is warm and entertaining. Rosenfelt often finds the humor in the situations he and his wife (and a few volunteers) encounter along the journey.
IzzyBIB More than 1 year ago
A truly touching story about a dog rescuer and his hilarious trip across the country to save a pack of dogs. A must read for animal lovers.
EG678 More than 1 year ago
This is a darn good book. It details David Rosenfelt's journey across the country with 25 dogs in an RV. What really works with this story is the humor that the author peppers the story with.
irishclaireKG More than 1 year ago
An Incredible Story of Incredible People. It is very hard to describe what lengths Rosenfelt and his wife have gone, and go to, in order to rescue thousands of dogs that, for the most part, have been cruelly thrown away. As a passionate animal lover, not only did I enjoy this dry and self-deprecating read, but I was thoroughly enchanted (and relieved) to know that not only do people like the Rosenfelts exist--but there are people out there who share my view of/love of animals and their place in the world: or should I say OUR place in THEIR world. The author and his band of volunteers sacrifice God only knows how much money, physical/personal comfort, and so much more to rescue and care for these creatures. This is the sort of read that helps restore my faith in (some of) humanity.
AprilGobbLR More than 1 year ago
A nicely done memoir that will tough the hearts of any dog lover. Great material presented in a well told fashion.
BeddySF More than 1 year ago
Very well written and covers all emotions! Even if you aren't a dog person you'll appreciate all aspects of the trip, from the planning stages to the trip itself. A great story and one of true human compassion and kindness. A must read!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has so much humor and compassion in it. What a trip he had! If you love dogs this is a great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely loved the book! Humorous, touching and very uplifting!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the book!!!!!!!!!!!! Could't put it down
Anonymous 6 months ago
This is definitely a book for dog lovers. It's a light, easy read with short chapters. I enjoyed it tremendously.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a fun and moving story. I'm not sure I could of handled the trip but smiling a lot would have helped. I love his dry sense of humor and DO think of him as a "real" man. ?
kayek1 More than 1 year ago
The name tells a lot about the book "Dogtripping, 25 rescues, 11 volunteers, and 3 RV's on Our Canine Cross-Country Adventure", and yes the trip and the planning that went into it was fascinating, funny, and well worth the read. But the background about the Tara Foundation, that David and his wife Debbie founded, which was named after their first Golden Retriever and was the reason behind becoming a rescue, was touching. The stories about the dogs was humorous, touching, and occasionally brought a tear to my eye. All in all, it was a great read, and I enjoyed every single page.
Jani8 More than 1 year ago
This book is not fiction, though the situation sounds like it should be. David Rosenfelt, the author of the Andy Carpenter series and his wife started rescuing dogs while they lived in Southern California. I think the largest group they had at one time was 39. Thirty-nine dogs! They took golden retrievers along with other larger dogs from shelters before they would have been euthanized. Some of them were then adopted by others, who were carefully screened to make sure the dog would be in a good home. The rest were theirs. They decided to move to Maine. To get there they used 3 RVs, 11 people and 25 dogs. It was mind boggling! In between the narrative of the move, he wrote short chapters on some of the dogs they have had over the years. I love his voice with all the self-deprecating humor and obvious love for the dogs. It was a very funny book with a lot of sweetness thrown in. Kudos to David Rosenfelt and his wife, Debbie Myers. You will enjoy going on the road with the “Woofabagos”!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A laugh a minute and a few tears. Must read for dog lovers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's impossible not to laugh-out-loud while reading this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first time I have been disappointed in on of Mr. Rosenfelt's books. Being in rescue myself, I have lived most of these stories personally. Given the name and the description of the book, I thought the book would actually be about the trip itself. We finally gave up after the first 100 pages or so. Not much trip, just individual rescue stories. I feel like I wasted my money. I still very much enjoy the Andy Carpenter stories so I hope he goes back to writing those.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved reading about all the rescues. This couple have truly given their lives including time, cleanliness and personal comfort for these sweet dogs. I wish there were a few more details about the actual journey, however.
Bookfool More than 1 year ago
I have read all of David Rosenfelt's books and liked them a lot. Especially "Heart of a Killer" and his Andy Carpenter series. Dogtripping was not what I expected. Most of the book was about dogs that he and his wife have rescued and not that much about his trek from California to Maine. I was disappointed in the book.
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scoda More than 1 year ago
As the owner of a Golden Retriever, I laughed out loud in places (mostly because of the shedding and hair problems). Rosenfelt is a great story teller with a big heart. I normally read only fiction but this was a must read for me. I enjoyed every mile!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Entertaining, as David Rosenfelt always is!