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

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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 Puzzle’s adventures as they search for the missing—a lost teen, an Alzheimer’s 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.

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More by Susannah Charleson

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Susannah Charleson
“Reading The Possibility Dogs is like taking an amazing literary journey with a dear friend by your side. The characters you meet will enchant you, but the storyteller will capture your heart. If you love dogs, this is a can’t-miss book written by a kindred spirit.” —Jennifer Arnold, author of Through a Dog’s Eyes and In a Dog’s Heart

After a grisly search-and-rescue operation led to troubling consequences for author Susannah Charleson, she found that her relationship with Puzzle, her search dog, made a surprising contribution to her own healing. Inspired by that experience, Charleson learned to identify abandoned dogs with service potential, plucking them from shelters and training them to work with disabled human partners, to whom the dogs bring assistance, comfort, and hope.

Similar to her best-selling first book, Scent of the Missing, Charleson’s The Possibility Dogs goes beyond the science that explains working canines to tell the stories of the dogs themselves. Like Merlin, a black Lab puppy who had been thrown away in a garbage bag and now stabilizes his partner’s panic attacks. And service dog Jake Piper, a formerly starving pit bull mix who went from abandoned to irreplaceable. This heartwarming combination of memoir and research is sure to both inform and inspire.

“What an amazing book. Combine love, knowledge, and real-life drama with pitch-perfect writing, and you’ll end up with The Possibility Dogs. Simply brilliant!” —Patricia McConnell, author of The Other End of the Leash

“Insightful and earthy, Charleson is never maudlin. She keeps it real . . . All the stories have tremendous heart and power and you believe Charleson when she writes: ‘Any dog can surprise you,’ and ‘great dogs can come in odd packages.’” —Boston Globe
SUSANNAH CHARLESON
Depois do atentado na cidade de Oklahoma, Susannah Charleson recortou uma fotografia do jornal: um tratador de cães exausto, com a cara enterrada no pêlo da sua cadela de busca e salvamento. Susannah, que adorava cães e tinha experiência de buscas enquanto piloto de aviões, ficou tão comovida com esta imagem que decidiu trabalhar como voluntária numa equipa cinotécnica local e depressa ficou a conhecer pessoalmente as longas horas de trabalho, o pagamento inexistente e os resultados, muitas vezes angustiantes, que obtinham. Mesmo assim continuou e mal conseguiu a certificação necessária para treinar o seu próprio cão, adoptou Puzzle, uma cachorrinha Golden Retriever, esperta e forte, que tinha uma aptidão única para cão de trabalho, mas que estava pouco interessada no papel de animal de estimação obediente. A teimosia e energia de Puzzle, ambas essenciais para o trabalho de busca, foram um desafio até mesmo para Susannah, que já criava cães há muitos anos. No Rasto dos Desaparecidos é a história das aventuras de Susannah e Puzzle e da relação forte que se estabeleceu entre ambas enquanto procuram os que se perderam - um adolescente desaparecido, uma doente com Alzheimer que vagueia perdida, no frio, vestígios da tripulação entre os destroços do vaivém espacial Columbia. Desde as primeiras lições para aprender a seguir os cheiros até ao completo domínio do diálogo com todo o corpo, Puzzle emerge como uma parceira cooperante num empreendimento nobre. Ao longo do caminho, Susannah e Puzzle aprendem a ler as pistas no terreno e em cada uma delas, para conseguirem fazer o trabalho que nenhuma delas poderia fazer sozinha, e para revelarem o mistério da relação entre os humanos e os cães.

Reviews

4.3
110 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Published on
Apr 14, 2010
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9780547488509
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Pets / Dogs / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Susannah Charleson
“Reading The Possibility Dogs is like taking an amazing literary journey with a dear friend by your side. The characters you meet will enchant you, but the storyteller will capture your heart. If you love dogs, this is a can’t-miss book written by a kindred spirit.” —Jennifer Arnold, author of Through a Dog’s Eyes and In a Dog’s Heart

After a grisly search-and-rescue operation led to troubling consequences for author Susannah Charleson, she found that her relationship with Puzzle, her search dog, made a surprising contribution to her own healing. Inspired by that experience, Charleson learned to identify abandoned dogs with service potential, plucking them from shelters and training them to work with disabled human partners, to whom the dogs bring assistance, comfort, and hope.

Similar to her best-selling first book, Scent of the Missing, Charleson’s The Possibility Dogs goes beyond the science that explains working canines to tell the stories of the dogs themselves. Like Merlin, a black Lab puppy who had been thrown away in a garbage bag and now stabilizes his partner’s panic attacks. And service dog Jake Piper, a formerly starving pit bull mix who went from abandoned to irreplaceable. This heartwarming combination of memoir and research is sure to both inform and inspire.

“What an amazing book. Combine love, knowledge, and real-life drama with pitch-perfect writing, and you’ll end up with The Possibility Dogs. Simply brilliant!” —Patricia McConnell, author of The Other End of the Leash

“Insightful and earthy, Charleson is never maudlin. She keeps it real . . . All the stories have tremendous heart and power and you believe Charleson when she writes: ‘Any dog can surprise you,’ and ‘great dogs can come in odd packages.’” —Boston Globe
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