..........Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com.........

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Scent of the Missing by Susannah Charleson

Scent of the Missing by Susannah Charleson

This is a wonderful book! A non-fiction book about how Susannah Charleson got involved in a canine search-and-rescue team and how, eventually, she gets a Golden Retriever to train for that job. Little Puzzle is only 10 weeks old when she begins her training to become a search-and-rescue dog. Puzzle's willfulness and high drive are assets in the field but challenged Susannah at home. By the time Susannah and Puzzle gain their certification in Search and Rescue, they had spent thousands of hours in training in all kinds of conceivable situations.

It amazed me that these search-and-rescue teams are mainly all volunteers. I just assumed that they were all police canine teams. But these SAR teams are on call 24/7 and add the hours they spend training... it's overwhelming what they do.

Charleson writes so well you feel you are in her head and you feel the same love for her dogs that she does. I'm a dog person. But I believe, even if you aren't a dog person, you would come to appreciate and love dogs from reading this book. Dogs are living beings that have to be cared for. They can be a handful, they have quirks and personalities, and their total dependence on you to take care of them is a big responsibility. If you get a dog and treat it well and make it a part of the family, chances are you will only have minor troubles. A little pee on the rug, a scratched screen door, a chewed up toilet paper roll - in the greater scheme of things, these are minor irritations. But dogs give back with so much love and adoration, loyalty and companionship that the minor irritations are easy to overlook after awhile.

Charleson does not ignore the minor irritations or the doubts she has at times with Puzzle. She talks about them head on and yet, leads you through her process of problem solving. And it's done in a way that you know her love for Puzzle has never wavered and Puzzle's love for her is never questioned. She took on Puzzle as a commitment and never looks back from that. It's the way marriage is suppose to be, a commitment that is never questioned again after those vows are made. Or the way adoptive parents make that commitment when they sign the adoption papers, the child is their's now and no turning back. Once a woman is pregnant she is committed to that child for the rest of the child's life, no going back. It's a done deal. You can't return said child when things become tough.

I cannot say enough about how well Charleson writes! I know her through my sister, Elaine Harris with PomRescue.com. In fact, Charleson adopted one of Elaine's Pommies and is mentioned in the book's Acknowledgement section. Elaine has sent me some of Charleson's writings about her Poms from one of her Pom message boards and I thought then that she was such a good writer, she should write a book. Well, she did and it's well worth the read!

In fact, I would encourage her to write a fiction novel with her heroine being on a search-and-rescue team. I think she's probably got a ready store of ideas from her work to come up with some mystery books. Have a mystery as the core of the story but write of her relationship with her dogs and the working aspect of the SAR team. I think she's got it in her. Again, if I haven't made myself clear, buy the book and read it!

P.S. Check out her book at Amazon.com. They have a link to her webpage, a great interview with her, personal photos and a video of Charleson and Puzzle.

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