Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Ken Foster, pit-bull proponent, remembers his pit stop in Denver

Ken Foster, author of I'm a Good Dog, didn't plan on making a stop in Denver. "But as the book's publication date approached, I began to see how much the book meant to people who love their dogs," Foster told us. "And it felt like an oversight not to do something in Denver, where change is so desperately needed." Especially now, after the shooting of Chloe in Commerce City.

And so Foster was at the Tattered Cover Colfax last Tuesday, meeting with fans of both his book and pit bulls. The stop was particularly memorable, Foster reports on

I remember saying that I'd been filing more frequent reports from the road, with anecdotes, interviews, and updates on upcoming appearances. Then I hit the road, and a month came and went without my knowing it....I'm going to work my way backwards, because I just got back from Denver.

Denver, as you probably know, has a ban on all "pit bull type dogs," which means that any dog that anyone thinks might look like a pit bull will be euthanized. If it is owned, it will be removed from the home. Because of the zigzagging boundaries of Denver's city limits, it is possible for the people across the street to be able to keep their dog while you may not.

Given all of this, I wasn't sure it made sense to go to Denver, yet I also felt that in spite of this, it didn't make sense to avoid it. On Tuesday morning I hand-wrote notes to each of Denver's city council members and then set out to deliver a copy of I'm a Good Dog to each of them. It was a bit of a scavenger hunt. I also stopped by the city's lavish but strangely empty animal shelter, where I encountered this tragically ironic sign: The event, at the Tattered Cover, was a huge success, with exiled Denver residents attending accompanied by photos of their outlawed pets. Westword, the weekly newspaper, posted three stories on the book and my appearance during a 36-hour period. My favorite of these is the last of them, which features a gallery of photos, including photos of the photos of dogs who could not attend.
If you missed his reading, you can still see that pit bull post here.

More from our archives: "For two decades, pit bulls have been public enemy #1 in Denver. But maybe it's time for a recount."