Customer Reviews for

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

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

amazing SAR dog story..

this book was almost perfect, regarding real life story of a dog and owner intertwined, plus equal in depth information in the canine search and rescue world. told in a humble, female perspective, with unpretentious inserts of humor and touching personal tragedy. not ...
this book was almost perfect, regarding real life story of a dog and owner intertwined, plus equal in depth information in the canine search and rescue world. told in a humble, female perspective, with unpretentious inserts of humor and touching personal tragedy. not your typical writing, which makes it even more memorable and worth reading.

posted by rubypearl on March 27, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Must read if you love dogs!

Very interesting and fun to read. Made me want to join a Search and Rescue team!

posted by 2739060 on October 17, 2011

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  • Posted March 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    amazing SAR dog story..

    this book was almost perfect, regarding real life story of a dog and owner intertwined, plus equal in depth information in the canine search and rescue world. told in a humble, female perspective, with unpretentious inserts of humor and touching personal tragedy. not your typical writing, which makes it even more memorable and worth reading.

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good Book

    It's a good book to read for everyone it makes us appriciate our animal friends more.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2013

    This is a fascinating book that I feel privileged to have read.

    This is a fascinating book that I feel privileged to have read.  Though the sound of it has always impressed me, I have a newfound respect and appreciation for Search and Rescue Teams.  A well written book which describes the sights, sounds, smells, procedure, discipline, devotion, sacrifice, fun and emotion so well that you’re in the moment.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2012

    Great Book

    If your interested in K9 SAR then this is a realistic portrait of what it's like, enjoyed and will read again and again.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    What it really takes to be on a Search and Rescue Team

    You've seen them on the six o'clock news and in the newspapers: search dogs and their handlers. 9/11, the Oklahoma bombing, and virtually every high profile tragedy, the dogs in their colorful vests are on the scene - sniffing for victims. They also perform the more "routine" emergency searches including drownings, missing children, teenage runaways, and Alzheimer walkaways.

    But did you know that the vast majority of search and rescue squads are volunteers? What would compel a person to willingly sign up for the hardest of duties without monetary compensation? And what is it like to raise/train a search dog? In Scent of the Missing by Susannah Charleson, the author answers these questions and more.

    The memoir is a beautifully written account of Puzzle's, a Golden Retriever, first eighteen months of training and searching. The story details Puzzle's maturation as a search dog and Charleson's growth as a handler. Scent of the Missing also conveys what really happens when a search is called. Not all searches are successful and some are emotionally draining on the handlers.

    As Charleson poignantly notes after one fruitless search:

    Some of us are angry, some so sad we can barely speak. Rescues that become recoveries are never easy. Recoveries involving children - whether we are there at the moment of find or not - may be the hardest of all. In time we go on to other searches and other sectors behind the dogs. But I am never far away from Braden [a child victim]

    Still rain or shine, optimistic or with a heavy heart, on the next search call the dogs and their handlers will be there to give 100 percent until they are told to stand down (cease searching).

    Scent of the Missing is a must read for anyone who has ever wondered what it is like to be search and rescue member.



    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (April 14, 2010), 304 pages.
    Review based on borrowed public library copy.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2010

    The heart of the search and rescue dog

    Every day we call on our canine companions to help us through tragedy, share our joys and sorrows as family pets. Scent of the Missing brings those attributes of the loyal dog to a new level of awareness. The value of the search and rescue dogs is immeasurable and this book details that fact. It is also a commentary on human determination and strenght of spirit when faced with overwheming obstacles.
    This is an enlightening book about Search and Rescue dogs, the dedication of the handlers and inspirational. The writing style is smooth and effortless. Humorous in places and heartwrenching in others, it is a good read.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 30, 2010

    Finally an author who can write with a dog story worth telling!

    Finally an author who can write with a dog story worth telling has come along! In Scent of the Missing Susannah Charleson illuminates the often romanticized, but little known world of search and rescue dogs. She starts with her own introduction to the SAR, as a field assistant and finishes the book with an accounting of the training of her own SAR dog, Puzzle. If you are expecting sappy, feel-good accounts of rescues you may be disappointed. Susannah tells it like it is including the disappointments, heartbreak, and the rescues that may have been better staying unfound. Still, in the end, you will have a profound appreciation for the incredible work and dedication demanded of the handlers and dogs.

    While SAR is a fascinating world, what really makes the book is Susannah's writing style. The book flows effortlessly and the vocabulary and subject matter are sophisticated. I learned a lot from this book and enjoyed myself along the way. I can only hope that Susannah continues the story of Puzzle!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 1, 2010

    entertaining & educational

    when i started this book, i didn't have clue as to the extent of training that went into a search & rescue dog.

    with an engaging writing style, the author both educated & entertained me; i came to really care if puzzle & suzannah would make the cut to become sar dog & handler. i am so happy they did!

    the teams of sar dogs & handlers do such an important job with no government support & sometimes not much understanding from their employers when they need to be deployed at a moment's notice.

    we all owe them a big thank you for the job they do & this is one terrific book!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 12, 2010

    Scent of the Missing

    Absolutely fascinating book. Amazing to learn of the capabilities of dogs....I don't understand why search and rescues groups don't receive any type of government assistance...what these people do is absolutely invaluable.

    Reading this book should be "required" for high school and college students, maybe it would be a help in encouraging compassion.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2013

    On 2/6/13

    Growing up i decided i wanted to start my own animal rescue .after reading this book it reminded me of that time and how at that moment i was living the dream of owning my own business .

    This book is an amazing book and lets people know that they should follow their dreams of saving animals.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2012

    Excellent book - informational but so heartfelt - for dog lovers of every kind!

    Susannah Charleston "speaks" for her Puzzle as I speak for my dogs - cracking up everyone in hearing/reading distance as the dogs' thought bubbles are spoken aloud. When a dog as full of herself as Puzzle speaks her mind, entertainment of the first degree ensues. More importantly, Ms. Charleston brings the life of a search and rescue dog and handler/trainer, the training, the difficulties and rewards, into a beautiful focus for those of us who only know them from news shows and newspapers when disaster strikes, remaining ignorant of the before and after. It was only after reading this the first time that my mind was opened to the use of dogs in time of war, through the new Rin Tin Tin book. This was the second time I'd bought and read this book. First time when it came out about two years ago, I bought it for my brother-in-law for his birthday. He sweetly allowed me to read it before he did! I regretted not having a copy so I recently bought it for my Nook and read it again. It was a double pleasure. I have never followed anyone on Twitter before, but now I am trying to figure out how to follow Susannah and Puz. I'm a Puzzle groupie!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2012

    Great Read

    You will laugh and you will cry. We are belivers of Golden Retriever

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012

    Scent of the missing

    This is an excellent read. If you love dogs and adventure you will love this book. The dedication of sar dogs and their handlers is inspirational.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2012

    Loved this book

    Loved it! I will read it over and over

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2011

    Must read if you love dogs!

    Very interesting and fun to read. Made me want to join a Search and Rescue team!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2011

    Great book for dog enthusiasts!

    Great behind-the-scenes look at the training of a S.A.R. team. Very well-written.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 6, 2011

    Great.

    Wish there would have been more stories about searches after Puzzle got certified. The training program seems way more intense than the training that myself & my dog are going through. Would love to talk to this woman.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2011

    A good book for those interested in SAR

    This is an easy book to read. I was not sure what to expect when I started to read the book. Was it going to be an unrealistic, "my dog is a hero" type book, or my dog never misses a person? But I was very pleasantly surprised to find that it was a down to earth account, more like a memoir, of the authors first involvement with SAR as a pilot, and then in training as a canine handler. The book is a mix of life with her dog, from puppyhood to maturity, as well as personal accounts of her own life and her SAR training. The book resonated with the author's humility, honesty and accurate description of all three aspects of her life. I feel that this blend of topics make the book more interesting and fun to read.
    I strongly recommend it for anyone who is involved with SAR, and those who aspire to become involved in any aspect of SAR.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    great read and very educational!

    this book is awesome. a great story about the human/dog relatioship as well as insight into the world of search and rescue and the hard work and sacrifices of those involved.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 28, 2010

    A great read!

    I enjoyed this book a lot. I found myself unable to put it down! This author is extremely easy to relate to, which makes it easy to lose yourself in this book. I found myself cheering for her and Puzzle, and worrying when things looked bad. This book is staying in my little library for sure!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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