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.
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 Puzzleand#8217;s adventures as they search for the missingand#8212;a lost teen, an Alzheimerand#8217;s patient wandering in the cold, signs of the crew amid the debris of the space shuttle Columbia disasterand#8212;and unravel the mystery of the bond between humans and dogs.
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.
About the Author
Susannah Charleson is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Scent of the Missing, as well asandnbsp;a flight instructor, service dog trainer, and canine search-and-rescue team member, who most recently began a non-profit organization called The Possibility Dogs, which rescues, trains, and places dogs with people suffering "unseen" disabilities.andnbsp;She lives with her search partner, Puzzle, a golden retriever certified for the recovery of missing persons, her service dog partner-in-training, Jake Piper, a German shepherd-pit bull-poodle mix, as well as a rabble of pomeranians, a chihuahua-cairn terrier mix, and two cats.