At nine years old, Labrador mix Casey and his human Benoit Denizet-Lewis set out to tour the U.S. in a rented RV—and get an intimate look at people’s relationships with their dogs along the way. We are saddened to report that yesterday, May 15, Casey passed away at thirteen years old.
In the country with the highest dog ownership rates, there was no shortage of interesting tales to tell and adventures to be had on the road. And after many months with his New York Times Magazine writer human, Casey was witness to all kinds of quirky people and their pups.
The pair met a cast of homeless teenagers and their best canine friends in Washington, enjoyed the dog parks of Manhattan, did some dock-jumping in Florida, and even stayed in the Beagle-shaped bed and breakfast in Idaho—all of it documented in the best-selling book, Travels With Casey.
Casey made friends with a lot of wonderful people and their equally amazing dogs, and was “surrounded by some of his favorite humans” until the very end. Denizet-Lewis posted the following on the Travels With Casey Facebook page this morning:
I have a heavy heart today, but also gratitude. Gratitude that I had the privilege of sharing most of my adult life with my dog, Casey. I had to put Casey to sleep yesterday, after the sudden onset of very grave symptoms. […] His tail wagged several times, and he kissed us. He was 13. He was a good boy.
He also shares a collection of photos of Casey throughout the years, adding that “This week, I would love nothing more than for this page to be a celebration of his life and spirit.”
A man who loved his dog very much, Denizet-Lewis is understandably struck with sadness, but is dedicated to making this sweet dog’s memory a happy one.
I thought I would have longer to say goodbye, to thank him for loving me, for challenging me, for saving me, for reflecting my life back to me. Casey saw me at my best and, too often, at my worst. But he stuck around. He barked, smiled, kissed, sighed, chased—and barked some more, in case everyone within earshot missed it the first time. He was loved. I’m grateful that I was able to tell him that.
Thanks for sharing your adventures and your life with us, Casey. We’ll miss you.