Becker Bus Tour: Everything's bigger in Texas

Becker Bus Tour: Everything's bigger in Texas

Dr. Marty Becker's Big Bus tour gets off to a rousing start in Houston.
Apr 26, 2011

Here’s the tour bus:

Pretty impressive! It’s transported the likes of Kid Rock, Lady Gaga, and, appropriately, at least nominally, Dog the Bounty Hunter. And now it’s the lifeline of the Big Bus Tour. Humming with WiFi access, flat-screen TVs, black leather seats, wood paneling, and black faux marble countertops trimmed with neon blue lights, it’s a true sensation.

Before jumping on the bus on the first day of the tour, Dr. Becker and crew began what will become their normal schedule for their 45-day tour. First, he spoke at a VIP luncheon attended by Houston-area veterinarians. The overall theme was “Vets vs. Net”—how veterinary practices must take control of delivering information to pet owners so they don’t head to websites that may contain questionable information.

Just in time, and completely coincidentally, Monday’s USA Today ran an article in its Life section featuring Dr. Becker and this same message—pet owners should visit their veterinarians and not rely on “Dr. Google.”

After the presentation, the bus got on down the road to a Petco in a suburb of Houston—Spring, Texas. Here, Dr. Becker took his message directly to pet owners and signed copies of his latest book, Your Dog: The Owner’s Manual. Among the attendees were Susan Cragg and Peter Cragg, DVM, MS, from The Woodlands Veterinary Services in The Woodlands, Texas. They came expressly, Susan Cragg says, because they knew the book held the answers to increasing veterinary visits, which have been on the decline as shown in January’s Bayer Veterinary Care Usage Study.

“Dr. Becker is one of the leaders of the progressive movement,” Dr. Cragg says. “Change is coming, and we need to be the leaders, or it will be dictated by others.” Dr. Cragg bemoans the fact that some pet owners and veterinarians still haven’t figured out that a visit isn’t just for a vaccine anymore. This is just the reason that this tour is taking place—it’s all about how healthy pets must visit vets.

At Petco, Dr. Becker also met enthusiastic pet owners (pictured below) and was interviewed by KTKR-TV. He discussed ways to save money without skimping on your pet’s health, such as taking inexpensive preventive measures when it comes to dogs’ oral health. McKenzie, the tour's official dog-on-the-road, got to help out with the interview by having her teeth brushed by Dr. Becker. McKenzie belongs to Gina Spadafori, Dr. Becker’s writing partner. The tooth brushing went extremely well, considering it was McKenzie’s first time and the fact that she wasn’t so sure about that minty taste.

Next stop: New Orleans—which is about a six-and-a-half hour drive. Unfortunately, after such a long day and the daunting reality of such an early morning on Tuesday (the crew has to be at a TV studio at 5:45 a.m.), the dinner specially arranged by Emeril Lagassse for late evening was bypassed for a quicker bite on the road at Chicken on the Bayou, which reportedly has the best po’boy oyster sandwiches you can find. The Becker crew agreed they were pretty good.

Stay tuned for Tuesday’s adventure, New Orleans style!