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Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search-And-Rescue Dogby Susannah Charleson
Synopses & Reviews
Susannah Charleson had always lived in a houseful of dogs, having rescued many from shelters and pounds. But in the wake of the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing, she became intrigued by a newspaper photograph of a diligent search and rescue dog alongside her exhausted handler. Susannah clipped the photo, realizing she knew little of the work dogs did to rescue humans. And in the gravity of that disaster, she recognized how very important that work was. So she began to volunteer.
After a time serving as an assistant for certified canine teams on the ground, Susannah qualified to train a dog of her own. Puzzle was no ordinary dog, however. This bright and willful golden retriever puppy exhibited unique aptitudes for the dangerous and complicated work Search and Rescue teams do, but she was less inclined toward the role of compliant house pet. Further, Susannah wondered if she would ever be able to win Puzzles respect and love.
SCENT OF THE MISSING is the story of their adventures together and the complex bond they form, as they help pursue the rescue and recovery of human victims fallen prey to crime, misadventure, or catastrophe. A teen gone missing. An Alzheimers patient wandering in the cold. The debris of the space shuttle Columbia disaster. From the earliest air-scent lessons and basic scenario training to her final mastery of advanced search patterns and whole body dialog, Puzzle emerges as a fully communicative, collaborative partner in a noble enterprise that unfolds from case to case across the forests, plains and cityscapes of the southwest. Along the way Susannah and Puzzle learn to read the clues in the field, and in each other, to unravel the greatest mystery of all that of the human/canine bond.
Both haunting and inspiring, SCENT OF THE MISSING is a remarkable memoir of a unique relationship that lifts the veil on the fascinating and vital world of search and rescue volunteers.
Charleson shares the adventures with her search-and-rescue dog, a Golden Retriever named Puzzle, and chronicles the close relationship they forge as they search for the lost.
The personal narrative of the author's relationship and adventures with her search-and-rescue (SAR) dog.
An unforgettable memoir from a search-and-rescue pilot and her spirited canine partner
In the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, Susannah Charleson clipped a photo from the newspaper of an exhausted canine handler, face buried in the fur of his search-and-rescue dog. A dog lover and pilot with search experience herself, Susannah was so moved by the image that she decided to volunteer with a local canine team and soon discovered firsthand the long hours, nonexistent pay, and often heart-wrenching results they face. Once she qualified to train a dog of her own, she adopted Puzzle, a strong, bright Golden Retriever puppy who exhibited unique aptitudes as a working dog but who was less interested in the role of compliant house pet. Scent of the Missing is the story of Susannah and Puzzles adventures as they search for the missing—a lost teen, an Alzheimers patient wandering in the cold, signs of the crew amid the debris of the space shuttle Columbia disaster—and unravel the mystery of the bond between humans and dogs.
About the Author
Susannah Charleson works as a handler with her partner, a Golden Retriever named Puzzle, for the Metro Area Rescue K9 unit in Dallas, Texas, an elite volunteer canine Search and Rescue team responding to local, state, and national search and recovery cases. She also serves as the team's Public Information Officer and gives lectures across the country about SAR. A flight instructor who previously flew disaster searches, Susannah is also an experienced television and radio broadcaster. She and Puzzle share their home with six other dogs, four cats, and a fish named Sound Bite.
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