Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Scent of the Missing by Susannah Charleson

This is just a fun book to break up the summer reads.  The author, Susannah, finds herself drawn to search and rescue (SAR) and, as an animal lover, decides she wants to train, handle and use a dog for rescue missions.

In order to become part of this elite team, it is necessary for the volunteer to spend hours and hours and hours shadowing others who are already in the field.  The training is grueling both physically and psychologically, but somehow she managed to pummel her way through.

Puzzle, the 11 week old puppy chosen for Susannah, is a golden retriever.  Cute little guy, as you can see from the pictures but completely ambivalent to her handler.  The book chronicles the journey from puppy and handler growing together to become a team that trusts one another completely.  The book is interspersed with stories from the field, which add interest but is secondary to the thesis of the book - becoming a team with an ambivalent dog.

The author articulates herself very well and her wry humor left me laughing in spite of myself.  As an owner of a yellow labrador retriever, I certainly empathize with her experiences of chewed up and destroyed property, the excitement of the dog when it sees the owner going for the leash, and the unprovoked attack of other animals in the house.  Nobody gets hurt and all the other animals learn to tolerate rambunctious dog.

Subject is interesting.  Characters entertaining.  Writing style fun.  Recipe for a really enjoyable read.

4 stars

* Just in case the FTC were to ask, I was provided a copy of this book by PUYB (Julie) for an honest review. 

1 comment:

CountessLaurie said...

Looks cute. I am not really a dog story person, but since this is autobiographical, I may give it a go. Thanks for the review!!