The Dogs Who Found Me: What I've Learned from Pets Who Were Left Behind

The Dogs Who Found Me: What I've Learned from Pets Who Were Left Behind

by Ken Foster


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Now regarded as a classic in dog literature, Ken Foster's memoir chronicles his journey from first-time dog owner to rescuer—and all the lessons and mistakes he made along the way. Bookended by the tragedies of 9/11 and Katrina, Foster finds that dogs open his eyes to the benefits of compassion, selflessness, and the chaotic beauty of living each day in the moment.
But more than Foster's own story, readers remember the dogs. Among them are Duque, a Costa Rican stray; Brando, Foster's first adopted dog and a supposed pit bull mix who outgrew his Manhattan studio apartment; Rocco, a clownish red pit bull whose owner mistakenly gives him away to the wrong person; Zephyr, a cheerful Rottweiler mix who awakens Foster by sitting on his chest when his heart stops working; and Sula, the tiny lost pit bull who showed up at Foster's door one day and stayed.
Whether bearing witness to national tragedy, grieving the death of a friend, or dealing with his own mortality, Foster finds strength in his dogs, and in the reciprocal nature of rescue.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781592287499
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 03/01/2006
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 1,069,862
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.55(d)

About the Author

Ken Foster is the editor of two anthologies, including Dog Culture, and the author of Dogs I Have Met and I’m a Good Dog. His collection of short stories, The Kind I'm Likely to Get, was a New York Times Notable Book. His work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney's, and The Believer. He has taught at The New School, Florida State University, and the University of Southern Mississippi. In 2008, he founded The Sula Foundation, which promotes responsible dog ownership among the pit bull population and sponsors education and outreach in the New Orleans area. He lives in New Orleans, with at least three dogs.

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The Dogs Who Found Me: What I've Learned from Pets Who Were Left Behind 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received this book for Christmas from my well meaning husband. I was excited at first because I have been rescuing dogs for the past thirteen years. When I say rescue I mean I have found them, treated them for any ailments they have, sterilized them, vaccinated them, and finally put them in what I would hope would be their forever home. I have rescued or reunited with their original owner close to 50 dogs. By no means am I a rich person but have somehow been able to do this all on my own. Never once have I dropped a dog off at a shelter for the dog to be 'somebody else's problem'. I became extremely aggravated reading Ken's book because he is reluctant in rescuing. The only time I was impressed was when he chased a dog from a truck stop to try and capture it. I became emotional when he spoke of finding dogs and taking them to the SPCA. I'm not sure how his local SPCA is in regards to kill vs. no kill, but the Harris County SPCA euthanizes more animals than Harris County Animal Control. I had studied this in depth as I had done a term paper on the subject. It was like he was sentencing the dog to an almost certain death like the last dog he rescued before Hurricane Katrina hit. It doesn't matter to me that he would call and check on the status of the dog every now and then to confirm that it would not be put down. Mistakes happen all of the time in shelters and dogs that were meant to be adopted are put down. I am very surprised that this book was published. I was disappointed to learn that I was reading the book of a 'wannabe'. I actually stopped reading the book at mid point but then decided to see if Ken would redeem himself and sadly he did not. Yes, it was wonderful and amazing that he provided a home for Brando, Sula, and Zephyr. But having a benefactor take care of medical expenses and dumping dogs at the local shelter is hardly heroic. My copy was trashed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As the mom of 2 rescued dogs, I can tell you that this book was touching. It covers 9/11, and hurricane Katrina which we can all relate to on some level. Wonderfully written. I just purchased his next book Dogs I have met,& I look foward to reading it.
Collie_owner More than 1 year ago
If you've never experienced first hand dealing with an animal shelter or breed rescue, this account of the author's experience with stray and rescued dogs is very enlightening. Apart from the facts and statistics that one can find about shelter and rescue dogs on various websites, Ken Foster's personal experience can teach the reader something about what it's like to deal with these wonderful creatures, on a day to day basis. Just as in other aspects of life, there's good days and bad days. But, if the reader really thinks about what the author is saying, you can come away with a new-found respect for animals you may never have thought about. True to his educator background, he included good "checklists" for dog handling and resource websites to help the reader explore further, if you wish to do so. If you are looking for books that shows the power of animals in our lives, you should definitely include this one in your repetoire.
55American More than 1 year ago
This is a great book for anyone who has a love for dogs. It is also very good for someone like me who wants to get more involved with rescue work. The book is well written and very easy to understand. The book also shows the insite of what it really takes to help dogs in need and also helps you to understand what is needed to be the person who steps to the plate first and not to let what other people think brother you. I would recommed this book to anyone who even thinks they want to rescue dogs and what you have willing to do.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A must read for anyone who rescues dogs or cares about dogs.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love to read about dogs. This one really took it to a good level. It is true it is serious and it is funny all at the same time. It still wasnt as good as marley and me but it was a good book and this is an amazing author
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are dog lover, you will enjoy reading this book.
CCNeeNee More than 1 year ago
Very heart-warming easy read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really appreciated this book and that the author admitted he was a reluctant animal rescuer. He was extremely honest and did not try to romanticize his involvement. I love the fact that he was compelled to do what he could for dogs even though he knew sometimes he may not be able to do as much as he wanted to. I think anyone who rescues animals feels the same and has doubts that what they are doing is enough. I applaud his honesty and his commitment.
FaithWA More than 1 year ago
This book is a heartwarming account of one man and the many dogs that touch his life.

Obviously unbeknownst to a previous reviewer, Ken is not, and does not profess to be, a full time dog rescuer, what he is is an average Joe (no offense to the author) who cares enough to help the dogs that randomly cross his path. This alone is more than many people will do given the same circumstances. What you will find after turning page after page in this book is that Ken Foster LOVES dogs; the action kind of love that not only sees a lost dog and acknowledges its presence as he drives by it, but the kind of love that puts his own plans on hold to ensure that the lost dog is safe and secure. I loved this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book really tugs at your heart strings. I am SO looking forward to Kens next book due out this Fall. If you love animals, especially DOGS, your heart will melt.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ken Foster gives you a great insight into animals and what it really takes to be a great pet owner. I enjoyed his style and also the 'rules' that he sprinkles through the book. I found myself crying and all the resources in the back will be very helpful! Definitely will be checking out the dogs I see (if they appear to be abandoned) much more closely.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Dogs Who Found Me is about dogs, in particular about the stray dogs that wander into our lives and what to do with them. The author recognizes the way in which his dogs have helped him through tough times, often seeming to appear in his path at times when he needs direction. I thought the personal context he provides makes the stories more interesting than just abandoned dogs on their own--I wasn't confused at all. And he does a great job of weaving in facts and advice, particularly about pit bulls.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
the author had been spot lighted in our local newspaper so I searched his books out and read this one. It was a meandering and relaxing read - in the form of a series of short stories - tied together. A good book if you have only short periods to read and you can easily set it down and come back late.
TheDivineOomba on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I received this book in the mail, I started reading it immediately. Its such a charming book, that perfectly captures a mans relationship with dogs as it changes from a dog is a dog, to rescurer of strays, especially pit bulls. It also captures the horrors of Hurricane Katrina and those that stayed behind to be with thier pets. Ken Foster loves his dogs, and makes a case for the pit bull breed.
LittleTaiko on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Nice book that emphasizes the importance of dogs in our lives as well as illustrating some of the tough love that occurs by these small groups of people who are rescue oriented. The book had a little too much focus on pit bulls for my taste, but it's understandable since that's what the author knows.
bereader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The cover grabbed me at the library one day but the story is what kept me. A well written memoir, it made me think more about the plight of pit bulls in this country.
stuckinabigbook on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really love this book. Ken Foster is extremely honest and realistic in the portrayal of his animals and people that don't like dogs. The mixture of humor, hard hitting facts, and social commentary made this the greatest dog book I have ever read. Absorbing and tender - couldn't put it down!
joerrvt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book will grab any dog lover by the heartstrings, but is written to give your emotional toil a well-deserved break as well. Foster delivers heart-rendering descriptions of events and the dogs who saw him through them in a way that serves to make us ever more grateful for our own canine angels. At the same time the book is written in such a way to provide quick, humourous, and thoughtfully informative escapes from the more anxious sections. Sula the pit bull's story captivated me most of all, not only because of the dog's similarity to one of my own, but because of Foster's candor concerning the truth of the plight of many a great pit. A quick read, I recommend it to anyone who needs a short refresher on whay our companions mean so much to our lives.
goldiebear on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a quick read. If you love dogs, you will enjoy this book. You really understand how the author feels about his dogs and the dogs he just seems to randomly find. It makes me wonder now if I starting paying more attention I might see more lost dogs. The stories were sweet and touching. It makes me angry to read about all these people who are able to just abandon dogs. People can be so selfish sometimes. It wasn't the most exciting thing I have read lately, but I enjoyed it.
whitreidtan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ken Foster rescues dogs. He not only takes them in to find them homes, but he takes them into his heart. With this book, he invites the reader into the stories of several of the dogs he's rescued, as well as some that he couldn't and who haunt him to this day. Weaving through the stories of the dogs that find Foster, is the story of his life with his own rescue dog, Brando, and then of sister rescue dog, Zephyr. Some of the stories of other dogs are incomplete feeling and I was struck by the sense that at times, Foster was working really hard to keep an emotional distance, perhaps so that he didn't end up adopting zillions of dogs himself. But I can hardly make that a complaint when I am incapable of going into pet stores that sell dogs without aching to bring them all home with me. This book will appeal to dog lovers, those whose animals sleep on the bed with them, curl up on the couch next to them, those whose animals are so confident in their owners' love they pester them with toys for hours at a time. It's a quick read, one that offers satisfying conclusions to most of the dogs' stories, and that reassures dog lovers that there are people like Foster out there, willing to take the abused, the abandonned, and the neglected into their hearts and their homes, even if it's just a way station on the road to their permanent home.
PierresFamily More than 1 year ago
I wish that every dog lover and dog owner could read this little book. After reading this book, i can literally state that "I laughed; I cried." It was a wonderfully eclectic book, that included his own personal heartwarming anecdotes about rescue dogs he'd saved and then given up to other homes, as well as "laugh outloud funny" adventures with his own dogs. But it also provides info - like the heart-ripping but vital info about heartworms - that is not what we WANT to read, but what we NEED to read. The only point on which I would disagree is his assumption that city life is better for dogs, than country life. I have seen the opposite to be true; in fact, our vet told us that our move to the country added a couple years to our dog's life. Many thrive where they can get out and walk every day, interact with neighbor dogs etc. Of course, this all depends on the dog, the dog's family's schedule, and the care given to the pet. Good and bad care occurs in both environments. At any rate, if you love dog(s), don't miss this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is a great story about opening your eyes and paying attention to what or who is around you. Although the rescue stories are not always as expected, the author brings to life the reality of everyday life when you just love dogs. The author allows you to see what somebody goes through when they want to help but aren't necessarily professional rescuers. GREAT BOOK!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago