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

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  2,774 ratings  ·  237 reviews
Disaster-prone writer and reluctant dog rescuer Ken Foster finds himself adopting an ever-growing collection of stray dogs, from a beagle abandoned in a New York City dog run to a pit bull in a Mississippi truck stop. Their circumstances offer a grounding counterpoint to his own misfortunes: the shock of New York City after 9/11, the evacuation of New Orleans during Hurric ...more
Paperback, 194 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by Lyons Press
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4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,774 ratings  ·  237 reviews

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Jan 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
I admit, this is not the literary accomplishment of the ages (thus the four stars), but it's near and dear to my heart. Last March (2007) I found a dog roaming outside around my house, and he had clearly been on the road for days. Long story short, I sent him to the pound, rescued him from the pound when no one came for him, nursed him back from a number of illnesses and diseases he had, and he lived in my garage for almost five months (my own dogs weren't exactly being nice to him, so the garag ...more
Peregrine 12
Jul 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dog-books
This book was not what I expected. The chapters read more like a personal journal than a book - and it's not especially an uplifting book. The best thing about this book, in my view, is Foster's ability to describe our reluctance to help animals that clearly are starving before our eyes. He articulates his and others' fear and selfishness in a way that is realistic, albeit painful.

The writing is honest and not sappy-sentimental. But it's hard to follow sometimes, as Foster frequently seemed to l
Jennifer (aka EM)
Oct 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Tells the story of dog rescuer Ken Foster from 9/11 to Hurricane Katrina in both a practical and a personal way. Low on sentiment and - remarkably, given some of the segments - anger. High on responsibility and love for dogs. Would have liked pictures of those he's rescued and his own dogs.
Jun 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Ken Foster writes about dogs he has found and those who have found him. Each chapter is a story about an individual dog as well as lists related to dogs. I inherently liked this book due to his focus which is rescue. I have worked in rescue as well as fostered dogs and cats myself. I continue to volunteer in this area but no longer foster. It takes a special person to do this type of work and Ken Foster is definitely that good hearted kind of person. He talks about seeing strays where other peop ...more
Danielle Louise
It is proving very difficult for me to review this book. I purchased it in March 2006 when our bookstore reopened post-Katrina, but then I let it sit on my shelf for five and a half years because I wasn't sure I was ready to read it. Sure enough, even now, the chapter about the storm hit me hard. (He mentions a man and woman evacuating in two separate vehicles with dogs and birds. I met them while evacuating, too, and that memory hit me vividly when I read that part.)

So, the end of the book was
Jul 28, 2009 rated it liked it
I expected to like this book quite a lot, since it's about a guy rescuing dogs. But he works too hard at finding greater meaning in rescuing dogs--what it says about us as people, how having a dog changes us in ways that are really profound, and so on.

I fostered dogs for a year and I currently have two rescue dogs. I've picked up many abandoned dogs and found homes for them. I do it because I don't like to think of animals in pain--hit by a car, starving to death, etc. I love having dogs and my
This book made me angry. The author is soooo superior the entire time (or at least the first half that I read), looking down openly on those that can't make animal rescue their entire lives. He writes like he is God's gift to dogs, but then suddenly about halfway through the book he talks about PUTTING DOWN A DOG BECAUSE IT GOT INTO A FIGHT WITH HIS DOG. What the actual fuck. He goes so far as to say that that particular pit bull was "not the dog he deserved." You, sir, are gross and disgusting. ...more
Aug 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
how easy was this book for me to read? essays about how dogs change our lives -- i'm all over it! foster writes about his dogs Brando, Zephyr and Sula with compassion and honesty. each of them has his/her own unique story of how they came to be in foster's home and heart. it reminds me of my many mutts that we've rescued and loved over the years. now that my dogs are getting older, it made me remember each of their rescue stories with fondness. it seems as if my dogs have always been in my life ...more
Britt Maag
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book has helped me a lot with dealing with my current foster dog and giving her up. Ken has good stories and really good tips on finding dogs and other rescue related stuff.
Eleanor, C.
Sep 16, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: animal lovers
Even though I'm a cat lover, it restored me emotionally to read stories of one man's love letters to his dogs.
May 15, 2011 rated it really liked it

“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 th
Kaylee Temple
Sep 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
1: Summary
-The Dogs Who Found Me is all about Ken Foster and how rescuing dogs and being close to dogs every day affected him. Also he speaks about how to rescue animals. This book is basically a how to save homeless dogs. He also puts inspirational stories of how he has helped dogs in the past. In the back of the book he put organizations that help dogs and other animals and then put store both on line and off that helps with making a dog happy or in helping rescuing.
2: Opinion of Novel
-I loved
Lis Carey
Sep 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ken Foster is a somewhat disaster-prone writer and academic who didn't set out to do dog rescue. After he adopted his own dog, Brando, though, it was just a matter of time. He loves dogs, especially pit bulls, and can't ignore the stray or abandoned dogs he's now seeing as he moves around New York City with Brando. At first he's just making sure someone (else) takes home dogs abandoned at the dog park. Then he's calling his friends in dog rescue to find foster homes.

Then he starts taking in dogs
Nov 29, 2015 rated it did not like it
If you're looking for a heart warming, feel good book (similar to something like Chicken Soup for the Dog Lovers Soul), this book is not it. I found the writing to be very unemotional, and while the author talks about several dogs he found, he seems to have no connection to them. I fall in love with every dog I meet so I cannot relate to the indifferent and apathetic approach to both the dogs he owns and the ones he finds.

I also found the tone to be arrogant and patronizing. For example, he scol
Jul 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Maureen by: NPR
Shelves: memoir, dogs
A sweetly-written heartfelt account from a man who sees the abandoned dogs that all of us other people ignore, TDWFM is well worth reading. He tracks life with first one dog, then two and so on from the aftermath of 9/11 to living through Hurricane Katrina. I wish his account of post-Katrina New Orleans had been longer, but since the focus of his book is the dogs instead of the people, that is probably just as well.

When one side of his heart stopped working, Foster's dogs tried to tell him that
Feb 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2008
I'm blazing through it and loving it so far. I'm about 75 pages into it but just had to put it down and compose myself as two sentences made tears spring into my eyes and drove me here to make a note. To quote : "When you let animals into your life, even as a foster parent, you are making a promise that you will take care of them for as long as it takes, until they find a home of their own. When they finally do leave, there's a part of them that stays with you and a part of you with them." I've ...more
Jun 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: dog lovers
Shelves: bookswap, non-fiction
Ken Foster has done things that I only wish I could personally do. He didn't ask to be these animals' savior. They just found him one day and that was that. He couldn't say no. In this book, Foster talks about how his life came to revolve around the animals that found him and especially the ones that he couldn't let leave. I have a special place in my heart for pit bulls and I have the same feelings about them that the author expresses in his novel, but I won't go into a diatribe here about how ...more
Natasha North
Nov 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
If you are a person who has found yourself trying to coax a stray out of the road, knocked on doors to track down a missing owner, or took a challenging shelter dog into your life, you will find a kindred spirit in Foster. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and admire his tenacity. Lots of people have compassion for animals; not everyone has follow through. One does wonder briefly why homeless animals bother him when he does not seem particularly distraught by homeless humans, but perhaps that's anot ...more
Oct 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
How could I not love a book written by someone who has succumbed to the charm of pit bulls as much as I have. Some of the things he wrote with which I really identified were his friends who say they never see a stray animal, and how those people just aren't allowing themselves to see them; or that when you rescue an animal you do it despite not knowing how it will work out or what it's going to cost simply because you have no choice. I kept reading bits and pieces out loud to my husband -- I lau ...more
Feb 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
I thought it was rather serendipitous that Ken Foster mentions meeting some friends in front of Three Dog Bakery in New Orleans bacause the last book I read was written by one of the founders of Three Dog Bakery.

I was also pleased to see the author tout Wellness brand dogfood. I'm a big advocate of feeding your pet nutritous food, which usually does not include grocery store brands that are full of by-products, gluten, corn, preservatives, and other things that are not good for your pet.

I admi
Ruby Hollyberry
Jan 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, bio-memoir
Just got a replacement copy of this! Beautiful book. Tells it like it is in reference to rescue and to what pit bulls are like. I love Foster's three dogs, rotten spoiled as they sound. Boy, is Foster something! People think I'm obsessive about animals! Our two rescued pits do sleep in the bed, and we do additionally have around ten cats at any given time (all but the original one pulled from county kill shelters, just like the dogs - our first cat was a stray), but I have given up doing rescue ...more
Eva Leger
Feb 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: dog lovers
I really, really enjoyed this and I sooo needed this book right now. I've stopped reading two or three books this month because I didn't like them and the a few of the recently finished ones weren't all that great. So when I started this, even though I love dog stories, I was skeptical. One of the last dog stories I read was horrendous with the author not even being a dog lover IMO.
This was just the opposite - it's obvious from page 1 that Foster is a true dog lover and it's also obvious how ho
May 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
This was a very touching, heart-warming book. I think any animal lover has probably been in some of the same situations as Mr. Foster when it comes to finding dogs (or dogs finding us). You question if you can keep it yourself with the ones you already have or would it better with someone else. And if you do let them go, you worry if you did the right thing and how they are doing. I know I certainly have. I look forward to finding a copy of his next book. I'm hoping he picks up where he left off ...more
Jul 10, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: animals, non-fiction
The Dogs Who Found Me is a quick read and worth the afternoon it takes to do so. Ken Foster and his dog Brando rescue -- almost inadvertently in some cases -- a variety of dogs, adopting some and finding homes for others. The story follows Foster from New York, which he left after September 11th, to New Orleans where he was living when Hurricane Katrina struck. Despite the tragedies that bookend the story and the everyday tragedy of so many people who treat their animals as disposable, the overa ...more
Aug 29, 2009 rated it liked it
An enjoyable and quick read. I laughed to myself a few times because it seemed as if the author spent quite a bit of time trying to avoid some of the dogs who found him, but that is something most of us who find a lot of animals has done. The author seems authentic and honest and writes the same way. He is never overly sentimental about the animals and is frequently quite honest about the future awaiting some of the unwanted, yet this book has a lot of heart. There is also some good practical ad ...more
I listened to the audiobook version of this on my commute to and from work. I found myself gripped with fear that something bad would happen to the dog during each rescue story. One day I continued listening on my walk from the car to my building just to make sure that the dog ended up OK.

Something about the writing style made it hard for me to follow the stories at times, and maybe that had to do with listening rather than reading. However...

Ken Foster is a great advocate for pit bulls and rott
Jennifer Braxton
Dec 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
I wasn't completely sold on this book, as Foster has a particular way of writing that's a bit off-putting to me. He seems somewhat gruff and uncaring - almost detached - when he talks about some of the animals he's met. But, throughout the story, you realize that he really does care about these animals. It's just something about his attitude (frustration, maybe?) that comes through in his writing style. I kept wondering, "how does this guy actually care about animals?" Though, just because he do ...more
Oct 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: animal lovers
This is one of my faves:) Ken Foster, the author himself, tells of his first time rescuing a dog and how it led to a number of rescues. The stories are endearing, funny and truly heart warming.

Any animal lover should read this. I will say that when I first went to read it, I was leary because I didn't want to hear sad animal stories. However, he finds a home or shelter for all and for the most part this is full of happy endings. It also has a lot of good, informative information about pets. High
Jan 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is not a great piece of literature, but, if you're heavily into dogs, as I am (I'm writing a book about dogs vs. wolves and the co-evolution of dogs and humans) you will surely find this an enjoyable read. It's an autobiographical account of Ken Foster's rescue of strays, which, unless you appreciate how much dogs love and trust people, you might not be as moved by a I was --and am. Come to think of it, if you don't appreciate dogs, maybe you should read this and learn to appreciate them. O ...more
Aug 18, 2011 added it
Shelves: 2007, animals
You gotta love Ken, the author, and his affinity for rescuing pit bulls. This book was written in a down-to-earth style and his love for dogs comes shining through but is balanced by the reality of how tough it is to try to rescue every stray dog that comes your way. He has some chapters with just practical advice for people fostering dogs from a shelter, heartworm dogs and on just understanding dogs. I admire his passion and compassion and the way he's built up a network of friends to help. A ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Combine Editions 2 10 Jun 22, 2018 12:34AM  
Around the Year i...: The Dogs Who Found Me: What I Have Learned..., by Ken Foster 1 11 Feb 15, 2016 01:06AM  

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Ken Foster is the author of a memoir, The Dogs Who Found Me, which was a national bestseller. His collection of short stories, The Kind I'm Likely to Get, was a New York Times Notable Book. He is also the author of Dogs I Have Met, a collection of essays, and the editor of two anthologies, The KGB Bar Reader and Dog Culture. His work has been translated into German, Turkish and Arabic, and has app ...more
“She's a pit bull," I told them, making sure to say it as matterof-factly as I could. But no matter how I said the words, the parents always took the children by the hand and led them away. People hear about pit bulls, but often they have no idea what they really are-that they used to be considered nanny dogs, trusted members of the family. Or that even when they do have issues, it's not with people but with other dogs. The breed may attract a higher number of dubious owners, but the breed itself should be judged on its own.” 4 likes
“There's a strange intimacy between a lost animal and the person who finds him. In terms of time, what you've shared is tiny and insignificant, but that moment is a vital pivot in the animal's life, the line between his old life and a better, new one. In some cases that fine line is the one between life and death.” 3 likes
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