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Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search-and-Rescue Dog | [Susannah Charleson]

Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search-and-Rescue Dog

After the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, Susannah Charleson was so impressed by the newspaper photo of an exhausted handler and his search-and-rescue dog that she decided to train a dog of her own. A dog lover and pilot with search experience herself, Charleson got Puzzle, a strong, bright Golden Retriever, who from the start, exhibited a unique aptitude for search-and-rescue work. But the puppy’s willfulness challenged even Susannah, who had raised dogs for years.
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Publisher's Summary

After the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, Susannah Charleson was so impressed by the newspaper photo of an exhausted handler and his search-and-rescue dog that she decided to train a dog of her own. A dog lover and pilot with search experience herself, Charleson got Puzzle, a strong, bright Golden Retriever, who from the start, exhibited a unique aptitude for search-and-rescue work. But the puppy’s willfulness challenged even Susannah, who had raised dogs for years.

Scent of the Missing is the story of Susannah and Puzzle’s adventures and the complex relationship they forge as they help in the pursuit and recovery of people who have fallen prey to crime, misadventure, or catastrophe: a missing teenager, an Alzheimer’s patient wandering in the cold, signs of the crew amid the debris of the space shuttle Columbia disaster.

©2010 Susannah Charleson (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Riveting….All dog lovers should read this book.” (Temple Grandin, author of Animals Make Us Human)

“In this celebration of the human-animal bond, a fascinating woman has written eloquently about her fascinating colleague, Puzzle. I loved this book.” (Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of The Hidden Life of Dogs)

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (173 )
5 star
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4.2 (127 )
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Story
4.2 (132 )
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Performance
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  •  
    rda fan Wisconsin, USA 10-05-10
    rda fan Wisconsin, USA 10-05-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating"

    This was one of those books I couldn't wait to get back to every time I had to stop listening. I was sad when I had reached the end. This is definitely one I'll listen to again.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah Old Saybrook, CT, United States 03-16-11
    Deborah Old Saybrook, CT, United States 03-16-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent!"

    This story was great. I really appreciated the perspective from the inside. I respect all trainers, handlers, and of course, the rescue animals. I love the bond that forms. Very happy to have listened to this story.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tango Texas 08-22-13
    Tango Texas 08-22-13 Member Since 2012

    Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hurray! A dog book by someone who has DOGS"

    After reading several of the latest dog books from authors drawing conclusions about dogs based on living with ONE dog, this book by Susannah Charleson was a breath of fresh air. Charleson has not only trained and worked with Search & Rescue dogs, she has lived with many dogs and many breeds of dogs and worked with animal rescue groups as well. In addition to actually knowing dogs, Charleson doesn't make sweeping conclusions about dogs or their people. Scent of the Missing has a very accurate subtitle, "Love and Partnership with a Search-and-Rescue Dog". Although Charleson discusses her SAR work outside of her work with her own dog Puzzle and SAR work in general, SotM is very much a personal memoir about one woman and one dog and their personal and professional relationship.

    Charleson had some professional writing experience prior to writing this book and apparently had done some voice over work in the past also, but I still had some trepidation about a book written without a co-author or ghost writer AND an audio book with author as narrator. I have rarely liked authors as narrator except for Neil Gaiman, but Susannah Charleson is good. She's a competent writer - the book is interesting, well organized, funny, and touching - and, I really liked her narration. She has a pleasant voice and you can hear the emotional investment she had in the story; it added a lot of energy and warmth to the telling. If you are looking for detailed information about High Visibility SAR work (like September 11th or Hurricane Katrina), this isn't it. But if you are interested in a good primer on how both people and dogs get into SAR work and what that life is like, this would be a great place to start. Scent of the Missing is also a book almost any dog lover will really enjoy. It's a great tail - oops, I mean tale :)

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill United States 08-04-11
    Bill United States 08-04-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story about dogs and public service"

    In a time when people only think about themselves this book is a shining light. The book does a great job of highlighting the rigors and motivation of the people and animals involved in search and rescue. Susannah does a great job as both the narrator and author. I only wish I had her touch with animals.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Lancaster, CA, United States 06-22-12
    Barbara Lancaster, CA, United States 06-22-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thank You!"
    What did you love best about Scent of the Missing?

    Susannah, you rock! I love dogs and now I have a whole new appreciation for what SAR dogs is all about. I could not stop listening until I'd heard your whole story. Thank you for your service and your deep love for dogs and humans. I would recommend this to all my dog-friendly friends.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Scent of the Missing?

    I loved the little house you bought on a whim. The fact that the dogs adopted it makes it even better.


    What about Susannah Charleson’s performance did you like?

    The quality of your voice found that perfect balance between vulnerability and strength. While being tender towards your dogs, you were also a no nonesense SAR volunteer.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    FIND! About the dogs who really can.


    Any additional comments?

    I'd love to listen to more books about service dogs and how they're trained.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer FRESNO, CA, United States 05-05-12
    Amazon Customer FRESNO, CA, United States 05-05-12 Member Since 2011

    dia

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Best Dog Book I've read"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This by far, outweighs any whispering book. This story has grip, is simple and straightforward with the writing. The Narration is top notch & did not stray and fit quite well to the story. I am extremely impressed by the voice narration + the content. I learned a lot about scent training, what goes on for SAR and how it affects folks. Not too drippy, but portrays a human side of the facts of life. well done, Susannah (no, I don't know her)


    What other book might you compare Scent of the Missing to and why?

    Distinct book as far as dog books go.


    What about Susannah Charleson’s performance did you like?

    Susannah's Calm voice that has a reflection to it, but was soft enough to read through the book with clarity.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    absolutely yes. I could sit through the book.


    Any additional comments?

    The end of Columbia story and the beginning of her diagnosis was slightly foggy, but we caught on after a few minutes

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie-Ann Oshawa, ON, Canada 01-23-13
    Leslie-Ann Oshawa, ON, Canada 01-23-13 Member Since 2012

    I am the girlfriend to a wonderful man, the mom to two sweet doggie boys and two overly cautious girl cats, the Manager, Operations and Knowledge Support Services at CAMH, a blogger, a reader, a business owner, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a neice, a cousin, a twitter lady for The Puppy Rescue Mission... AND VERY TIRED! LOL!!!!

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    "Had me on the Edge of my Seat..."
    What did you love best about Scent of the Missing?

    I loved how the author understood dogs. I loved how she was worried that she would fail her dog. I loved the way they worked together and that she loved Puzzle!


    What other book might you compare Scent of the Missing to and why?

    I don't know I have never read anything else like this... Maybe THUNDER DOG!


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Mishawaka, IN, United States 08-30-12
    Sandra Mishawaka, IN, United States 08-30-12 Member Since 2012

    sansmile

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Book"
    Where does Scent of the Missing rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best. I was fascinated.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My fave character was Puzzle.


    Which character – as performed by Susannah Charleson – was your favorite?

    She presented herself.


    Any additional comments?

    Volunteer work...who knew? I never knew SAR dogs and their handlers were volunteers.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blaise Pabon Mountain View, ca United States 08-29-12
    Blaise Pabon Mountain View, ca United States 08-29-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Superb narration"
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    The author narrates very well and she reproduces the animals barks and snorts and growls with great precision and energy.


    How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

    I love dogs and it was a fascinating look into the life of someone who volunteers such a huge portion of her life to service.


    Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

    Because she was present during the events she narrates she's able to introduce the nuances of mood, accent and personality, giving this audiobook an intensely realistic feel.


    What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

    Nothing wrong with the performance at all.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    8dove8 NY, United States 03-05-13
    8dove8 NY, United States 03-05-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Behind the scenes Heros of Search and Rescue..."
    What did you love best about Scent of the Missing?

    The dogs of course...


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Scent of the Missing?

    The moments of dog and handler bonding and relationship which were beyond the expected...


    Any additional comments?

    Many fascinating stories from the real lives of the amazing volunteers of Search and Rescue....

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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