Susannah Charleson

Susannah Charleson is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Scent of the Missing, as well as 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. She lives in Midland, Texas, 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.
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A “haunting meditation on trust, hope and love” by a woman who adopts and trains a Golden Retriever puppy to become a search-and-rescue dog (People).
 
In the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, Susannah Charleson’s attention was caught by a newspaper photograph of a canine handler, his exhausted face buried in the fur of his search-and-rescue dog.
 
Susannah, a dog lover and pilot with search experience herself, was so moved by the image that she decided to volunteer with a local canine team, plunging herself into an astonishing new world. While the team worked long hours for nonexistent pay and often heart-wrenching results, Charleson discovered the joy of working in partnership with a canine friend and the satisfaction of using their combined skills to help her fellow human beings.
 
Once she qualified to train a dog of her own, Charleson adopted Puzzle—a smart, spirited Golden Retriever puppy who exhibited unique aptitudes as a working dog, but was a bit less interested in the role of compliant house pet. Scent of the Missing is the story of Charleson’s adventures with Puzzle as they search for a lost teen; an Alzheimer’s patient wandering in the cold; and signs of the crew amid the debris of the space shuttle Columbia disaster—all while unraveling the mystery of the bond between humans and dogs.
 
“A riveting view of both the human animal bond and the training of search and rescue dogs. All dog lovers and people interested in training service dogs should read this book.” —Temple Grandin, author of Animals Make Us Human
From a New York Times best-selling author, an important and heartfelt exploration into the world of lost dogs and the power of reunion

One in six dogs go missing at some point in their lives, leaving bereft owners to search high and low, hang missing posters, check shelters, and hope for good news. But amid these grim statistics, countless happy endings are forged. Tails wag again. Best friends are reunited.
 
In Where the Lost Dogs Go, Susannah Charleson, author of Scent of the Missing and a trusted chronicler of the human/animal bond, dives headlong into the world of missing dogs. The mission to reunite lost pets with their families starts with Susannah’s own shelter rescue, Ace, a plucky Maltese mix with a mysterious past who narrowly survived months wandering lost. While Susannah formally studies animal behavior, lost-pet search tactics, social media strategies, and the psychology of loss, Ace also steps up for training. Cheerful and resourceful, Ace has revealed a nose for the scent of lost pets, and together they help neighbors and strangers in their searching.
 
In Where the Lost Dogs Go, readers take to the streets beside Susannah to bring home a host of missing pets. Along the way, Susannah finds a part of herself also lost. And when unexpected heartbreak shatters her own sense of direction, it is Ace—the shelter dog that started it all—who leads Susannah home. Inquisitive, instructive, heartrending, and hopeful, Where the Lost Dogs Go pays tribute to the missing dogs—and to the found—and to the restless space in between.
“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
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.
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