Book

Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search and Rescue Dog follows commercial pilot and canine handler Susannah Charleson and her Golden Retriever partner, Puzzle, as they train to certify together as a canine SAR team. While willful, opinionated, high-drive puppy Puzzle overturns the household, matures and is trained and tested beside her partner in hundreds of scenario searches, Charleson also continues to work beside other certified canine units on actual calls-outs for the missing. Abducted children, strayed Alzheimer’s patients, drowning victims, and teens who seem to have disappeared with no trace left behind. The fall of shuttle Columbia adds its own instruction about the nature of 21st-century disaster. As their partnership emerges, along the way Charleson and Puzzle come to understand the urgency that drives their work and the collaboration that allows them to do things together neither one could do alone.

15 Responses to “Book”

  1. [...] Rescue dogs have been a great help during the devastating tragedy in Haiti.  A special article  The Science of Sniffer Dogs by Alan Boyle describes what makes these talented canines very important during a rescue mission. If you find this article interesting or would like to read more about search and rescue dogs you may  want to check out Susannah Charleson’s book Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search and Rescue Dog. [...]

  2. [...] Rescue dogs have been a great help during the devastating tragedy in Haiti.  A special article  The Science of Sniffer Dogs by Alan Boyle describes what makes these talented canines very important during a rescue mission. If you find this article interesting or would like to read more about search and rescue dogs you may  want to check out Susannah Charleson’s book Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search and Rescue Dog. [...]

  3. [...] Rescue dogs have been a great help during the devastating tragedy in Haiti.  A special article  The Science of Sniffer Dogs by Alan Boyle describes what makes these talented canines very important during a rescue mission. If you find this article interesting or would like to read more about search and rescue dogs you may  want to check out Susannah Charleson’s book Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search and Rescue Dog. [...]

  4. Mimi says:

    I am loving this book so much. Thank you for sharing your experience with us! I haven’t been this captivated by a book in months. Thank you again.

  5. [...] of the Missing Subtitled "Love & Partnership with a SEARCH-AND-RESCUE DOG". Book | Scent of the Missing I really enjoyed this book, and she had me laughing out loud at some descriptions of her dogs' [...]

  6. Terre says:

    I love this book, “Scent of the Missing” by Susannah Charleson and her charming, hard-working rescue dog Puzzle.

    “Scent of the Missing” is so full of heart – funny, sad, inspiring, educational and just full of Southern spunk and graciousness.

    I’ve had dogs all my life but they’ve been pets, nothing like these well-trained rescue dogs. The details are amazing and the book is really well-written. It’s great reading, very compelling, intriguing in so many ways.

    I wish Susannah Charleson would write more. Maybe a childrens book about a special dog with a nose that knows so much?

  7. KimRN DenverCO says:

    Hi, I just wanted to thank you for your terrific book. I just finished reading it, and was sad when it ended! It is truly amazing what dogs can do with their noses. My two dogs are Havanese, not particularly gifted in the scent department compared to some breeds, but I think I will try some scent games with them anyway, just for fun. Thank you Susannah and Puzzle for the work you do. You both are an inspiration. And please give Puzzle a scritch for me!

    Sincerely,
    Kim Swan

    P.S.

  8. Debbie Ober says:

    Loved the book. Especially after meeting you and Puzzle at Bookmania in Stuart Florida last month.
    And I know that noise that Puzzle makes: wrooo. One of my springer spaniels does that when she’s very happy. I never had a dog before that made that sound.

  9. Susannah says:

    Debbie, thank you so much! Glad to know that the fellow owner of a wroo-woo-woo dog knows I am not exaggerating that wonderful, prideful sound.

    Loved the visit to Stuart last month and am so grateful that you enjoyed Scent of the Missing. Thank you again.

  10. Jennifer Browning says:

    Dear Susannah,

    Thank you for such a wonderful book. I am very appreciative of the time and energy you and other SAR teams dedicate to your work. When I heard about the Tsunami in Japan, my first thought was “I hope they are sending SAR teams right away – don’t wait!”

    I have always wanted to do therapy work with my dogs, as a way to spend more time with them and give back to the community, and your book inspired me to start formally training one of my dogs (a golden – collie mix) for the test. I hope you and Puzzle are well. Give her a scratch behind the ears for me!

    All the best,
    Jennifer and the canine members of my family Maisy and Tucker

  11. Susannah says:

    Hi Jennifer!

    Thank you so much for reading Scent of the Missing. I’m glad the dogs and the stories resonated with you! With regard to Japan, canine teams and other SAR resources are on the way — some already there. Though I believe my local team will not be called (we aren’t federally funded), I have a working relationship with a UK team, and if they go, I may go, as well. Japan does have some fine canine teams of their own, but the real question is, as it always is in crisis — how were those members of the team affected, and were the safely able to get out of harm’s way in time enough to go back in as rescuers?

    Our prayers are with the people of Japan. One of my former flight students is a native (in fact, he was the spotter in the plane on one search in Scent). He is currently in Africa, but his family is in Japan, and I very much hope all is well for them. It will be weeks before we’ll know, I think.

    Thank you again for reading our story. Puz and other members of the muttley crew will be in the next book, due 2013. If Puz could type, she’d send greetings, but a virtual wag and a woof is the best I can do as her secretary. :)

    All best!

    -=Susannah

  12. Susan Aspeotes says:

    Thanks to Susannah & Puzzle for an entertaining and very educational book. I look forward to hearing more about Puzzle…and I LOVE that name.

  13. Judith says:

    Susannah: I enjoyed your book. I respect the fact that you approached each actual search with subtlety, perhaps for the privacy of the victims and their relatives. The chapter about the Columbia loss was extraordinary, and I could feel the perspective of the dogs. I hope that you are well! And Puzzle too of course. (We had a Golden, and we still miss him.) Best to you! ……… Judith

  14. frederic says:

    A pilot based on that book has been ordered by TNT. It will star Tricia Helfer and Summer Glau.

    Source : Summer Glau Wiki

  15. Wendy says:

    Dear Susannah,

    Your book was recommended to me soon after I picked up my future search dog from the SPCA by our team vet who was about half way through it at the time.

    Those puppy stories rival those of our house now but thankfully now almost a year old my Bella is finally getting past that stage.

    Your book came up in talking again the other day during training on our first big training with our rescue squad being involved as well. Bella did trail her person but unknown it was not a trail that had been laid on purpouse of by the team member. Our “lost soul” had taken a stroll and Bella and another already cert-ed dog on the team picked that trail up. Hence she had not found her person. We were preparing to go back out for another search but the person was then found.

    Then I remembered as I was talking to one of the air scenters when she asked what we could do for Bella since she did not find him…When he came back I took her over to him. Her tail started to wag and she sniffed him for a good few min over joyed that it was him…and then shook her head and walked away happy. I happened to remember that from your stories and it worked great for us!

    We hope to get our certifications by summer.

    Thank you so much for sharing your life with Puzzle with all of us!