After working as a journalist covering two wars and Philadelphia politics, author Michael Schaffer has turned his attention to the American pet-obsession. Ryan Donnel/Henry Holt And Company hide caption

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Louis C.K. remembers getting "really big laughs" during his third try at stand-up. "I was so excited that I had a little foot in the door," C.K. says. He's pictured above in his FX series Louie. KC Bailey/FX hide caption

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