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The Dogs Who Found Me ~ Ken Foster

May 14, 2011


Genre: Adult Non-Fiction/Dogs
Publisher: Lyons Press
208 pages
ISBN: 9781592287499
Source: Book store

“It is true that pit bulls grab and hold on. But what they most often grab and refuse to let go of is your heart, not your arm.”
Vickie Hearne

When Ken Foster was growing up, he encountered dogs but didn’t hold them (literally) as dear as he does, as an adult. Perhaps that’s because, back then, he didn’t carry the aura he does now. Seemingly everywhere he goes, there is a dog peaking around a corner, walking across a busy intersection or just generally in the wrong place at the right time, waiting to be rescued.

His collection of stories in The Dogs Who Found Me is an emotional whopper for dog lovers. Now, I think that’s true but then, I can only speak as someone with two shelter dogs and a dog that we steered clear of heading to the death chambers at Fulton County. For those who have pure bred or store-bought dogs, this might not hit as close to home. However, for me, it was so clued in to how my dogs have ended up in my life that I couldn’t help laughing, crying and reminiscing through the whole thing.

Foster’s prose isn’t what I’d call eloquent but it’s about the level of trotting around that I have come to expect from “dog writers”. For some reason, I think that this should be different as I connect complete passion with both writers and dogs. Together, that means that dog books and dog articles should be overflowing with flowery and amazing verbiage. I know that this isn’t true after reading myriad examples of dog stories, long and short. Who knows why it’s the case but it just is and something, I suppose, I have just learned to accept.

Acceptance is key, though, because once past the average word choice, the stories are simply to die for. Ken has a way of relating to the average dog experience though, brusquely tearing through 9/11, heart surgery and Katrina. Each disaster, personal or global, is both a major catastrophe and a literal walk in the park, according to Foster, simply because of his connection to his dogs.

I highly recommend this to all “dog people”. I’m also contemplating buying it as gifts for those people in my life who simply never seem to “get” my (or my husband or son’s) connection to dogs when they’re up or down and out.

One of the random perks of the book is a little frivolous but I think it’s worth noting. In the back, Foster lists a huge collection of links and addresses for shelters and organizations, in real life and on the web that helped him and can help others. Really, do check this out! Here are some of the links but see the book for more:

(Also, this is a bit of a spoiler, post book, but he has set up a foundation for one of his beloved dogs and the site is worth checking out: http://www.sulafoundation.org/)

The Dogs Who have Found ME

Donnie and Teddy
(Rescue Org and Shelter Acquisition)

Sky
(random surrender on the sidewalk in front of PetSmart)

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 15, 2011 11:02 am

    Oh, this one might kill me. It’s very hard for me to read these books without sobbing the whole time!

  2. May 15, 2011 11:31 am

    I am such an animal lover that I kind of have a policy to never read books that feature them because I know I will just sob and sob and sob. I feel like that would be especially true here because like you, I have a rescued shelter dog in my home, and a pit bull at that! Love her sooooo much and sometimes when I think about the fact that she was so close to being put down because no one wanted her (her original owners even knew she was at the shelter and just never came for her!), I still cry.

    I might get this book for Tony the next time I’m looking for a gift; I think he’d really like it a lot! Also, your fur babies are BEAUTIFUL!

    • May 15, 2011 6:18 pm

      I’ve long lived with that policy but this has been on my list for quite some time. It really is a great one, especially IF you have rescues (especially especially if they’re pitties!) Let me know if you do end up reading this. It’s really quite a fun book.

  3. May 15, 2011 7:15 pm

    I also have an insane attachment to my shelter dogs. My pit bull Boogie was dumped at the shelter and was living there for 2 years before we took him home with us. Now, I know it was a no-kill shelter, but 2 years is an incredible amount of time out of a dog’s short life span to sit in an outdoor run in the sun. It makes me upset even to think about. He is the best dog that we could have ever hoped for, and I live everyday to make up those 2 years to him. Needless to say, he is spoiled rotten!

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