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.
“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)
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.
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.
Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.
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 :)
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.
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.
I loved the little house you bought on a whim. The fact that the dogs adopted it makes it even better.
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.
FIND! About the dogs who really can.
I'd love to listen to more books about service dogs and how they're trained.
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)
Distinct book as far as dog books go.
Susannah's Calm voice that has a reflection to it, but was soft enough to read through the book with clarity.
absolutely yes. I could sit through the book.
The end of Columbia story and the beginning of her diagnosis was slightly foggy, but we caught on after a few minutes
One of the best. I was fascinated.
My fave character was Puzzle.
She presented herself.
Volunteer work...who knew? I never knew SAR dogs and their handlers were volunteers.
appealing, informative, interesting
My favorite parts were probably hearing about all of Susannah's dogs and cats at home.
Hearing about the playhouse was a standout moment for me, and I wished I could see pictures...
I love when authors read their own stories... It makes it more personal and Susannah did a fine job on this audiobook. I really liked her.
There were a lot of different elements to this story; I was pretty much fascinated from the get-go. I can't think of a moment that I wasn't involved and enjoying the listen. Really appreciate the volunteers who give so much of their time and energy for others.
“I am the wife to a wonderful man, the mom to two sweet doggie boys. I'm all about the dog stories fiction or non!
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!
I don't know I have never read anything else like this... Maybe THUNDER DOG!
Besides incessant listening to audiobooks, I also read on my Kindle at night, birdwatch, garden (roses, daylilies), and do genealogy.
I love everything about this author and this book: her own narration, her voice, her love and understanding of dogs, the sharing of the personal details of her life with her readers, her lovable but motley crew of dogs and cats, the description of all that is involved with search and rescue dogs, their training and activities, both general and specific, and maybe most of all, the playhouse.
This book is not-to-be-missed if you are a dog lover. It is a rare treat that you will savor and enjoy. Thank you, Susannah Charleson, for sharing your amazing story with us!
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