City of Dogs w/ Ken Foster

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Ken Foster

About The Episode

Ken Foster had no relationship with dogs even far into his adulthood. But when he made a trip to Costa Rica and visited an artist colony on a farm, he met a dog who he built a companionship with during his time there.

He realized how much he had been missing out on with how dogs can impact your life and your perspective on the world. So Ken decided to rescue a dog, Brando, from a Brooklyn shelter.

Through having a dog, his way of meeting people, and moving around the city, changed around. He also got healthier from all their walks together around the city – at that time, they would even go around

They lived in NYC for a couple years in a really small East Village apartment. Partially to help Brando and to give himself a break from the city, they moved to Florida and then New Orleans. They swapped a tiny apartment for a whole house and backyard. Then more dogs came along. The second was Zephyr, who bonded well with Brando. Then Sula, a pit bull, showed up at his door one day and was the third dog. Then they headed to New Orleans. But they got there right before Hurricane Katrina and ended up temporarily evacuating a month before the storm, only to come back soon after.

Meanwhile, Ken started writing a memoir, The Dogs Who Found Me, of his experience with dogs. He also started doing more work in the rescue world, particularly with pit bulls.

After being in New Orleans for 10 years, he found the urge to come back to NYC and made his way back. He started working with the Animal Care Center (ACC) of NYC - where he served as the Community Pets Coordinator until recently.

That led to Ken’s latest book, City of Dogs, which he made as a way to dispel the assumptions that city dogs aren’t as happy as in less crowded and busy locations. He teamed up with a photographer and they drove around in Ken’s car for a couple months and met a lot of different people and over 4,000 dogs. They went across all the boroughs and into all sorts of neighborhoods to meet these different people. The stories, and photos of the stories, are included together in the book.

About The Guest

Ken Foster is a dog book author and is the former Community Pets Coordinator at Animal Care Centers of NYC. His latest book, City of Dogs, is a look into how dogs live throughout the five boroughs and the unique relationships between dogs and their human counterparts within different neighborhoods. He also collaborated on it with a photographer who helped capture the dogs and people along the way. Ken has written several other books on dogs such as The Dogs Who Found Me, Dogs I Have Met, and I'm A Good Dog.

Jack Sommer