The Big Bus Tour to promote Dr. Marty Becker's latest book Your Dog: The Owner's Manual has finished its tour of 30 cities around the country in 45 days. It's time for a retrospective. And to pick up your own copy of Dr. Becker's book, visit drmartybecker.com.
The Big Bus—all wrapped and ready
The design on the outside of the bus encouraged fellow road travelers to visit their veterinarians to maintain the health of their pets, which was the overall message of the tour.
The Crew: Gina Spadafori
Gina, Marty's writing partner and co-author of the book, blogged and tweeted throughout the tour to keep everyone up-to-date. Find out more about the crew here.
The Crew: Jimmy Searl
Jimmy, the tour manager, kept the crew on task and on time. Find out more about the crew here.
The Crew: Phil Stewart
Phil, the tour bus driver, has driven many a rock star in his day and found this tour to be more like a vacation from the usual mayhem. Find out more about the crew here.
The Crew: Chris Binnall
By way of Bonner's Ferry, Idaho (Dr. Becker's home town), Chris signed on as the assistant tour manager and became Dr. Becker's right-hand man. Find out more about the crew here.
The Crew: McKenzie
The official tour dog, McKenzie, who belongs to Gina Spadafori, was the star of many a media interview along the way. Find out more about the crew here.
Very important practitioners
Dr. Becker debuted his presentation to VIP veterinarians and staff in Houston, Texas, the first stop on the tour, April 25. Each morning in the scheduled cities, he delivered his message of how practices must take control of delivering information to pet owners so they don't rely on often imperfect information from the web. For more about the stop in Houston, click here.
Just in time for the start of the tour, the front page of USA Today's Life section on April 25 serendipitously featured Dr. Becker's message about not relying on the Internet for veterinary information.
En route to the pet owners
After each VIP presentation, Chris would drive Dr. Becker in the chaser car to a local PetCo for a meet-and-greet and book signing with pet owners. (Phil would drive the bus over to the event earlier in the day). Here they navigate the Houston traffic.
The veterinarian-pet bond
At the Houston Petco event, Dr. Becker got to schmooze with some doggies.
On the air
During an interview for KTKR-TV at the Houston Petco event, Dr. Becker discussed ways to save money without skimping on your pet's health.
Then on to the Big Easy
After the Petco event, it was time to head on over to New Orleans, the next stop on the tour.
Stopping for a little Cajun
For a quick bite along the road, Phil and Jimmy recommended Chicken on the Bayou, where the crew sampled the joint's po'boy oyster sandwiches.
Good Morning New Orleans!
Bright and early the next day, Dr. Becker was on the set of Good Morning New Orleans to promote the Petco event later in the day. He also had a chance to assess the body condition scores of Lucy, the co-anchor's dog, and Huxley, who belonged to one of the producers, to help emphasize the benefits of a healthy weight. For more on the New Orleans visit, click here.
A chance to take in the sights...
For a brief break before the VIP event in New Orleans, Dr. Becker and McKenzie surveyed the vista of Lake Ponchartrain.
... and take in the local fare!
The Becker crew also had a chance to stop at the world-famous Cafe du Monde for cafe au lait and beignets.
Several members of a veterinary practice often showed up for the VIP presentations, like this group in New Orleans.
How do you spell that?
This New Orleans Petco employee was thrilled to get an autographed copy of Dr. Becker's book.
Meet the press
A reporter from the New Orleans Times-Picayune snapped some photos and got the inside scoop on the tour from Dr. Becker.
The general manager of the Petco in New Orleans, Denis Breaud, told Dr. Becker of his trials and triumphs while a zookeeper at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans when Hurricaine Katrina hit.
After New Orleans, it was on to Florida. The tour took a slight detour to see this stuffed 13-foot gator near Gainesville, Fla. Dr. Becker later proclaimed that the local orange juice he's holding was the best he ever tasted.
Green room greetings
Dr. Becker got a chance to bond with Murphy, who belongs to Linda Carson, the morning news anchor for WSSB-ABC in Tampa, Fla., before his appearance on the show on April 28. For more on the stop in Tampa, Fla., click here.
On set with Murphy
During his segment of the morning news, Dr. Becker gave Murphy, seen here with her owner Linda Carson, a clean bill of health.
Lots of new friends for McKenzie
Dogs from three rescue groups turned out at the Petco event in nearby Sarasota, Fla., later in the day.
Cats are welcome, too!
Even a cat adoption team arrived at the Sarasota Petco event.