This is a truly remarkable account of an uncommon woman, her extraordinary German shepherd dogs, and their combined talent and devotion. Hebard, a pioneer in the area of canine search-and-rescue work, recounts with co-author Whittemore over 25 years of her life spent training her dogs, herself, and others to assist in the location of lost persons, criminals, and disaster victims. A woman of conviction and purpose, Hebard was able to rise to head of the U.S. Disaster Team Canine Unit and still raise a family. Hebard describes her motivation, how she acquired her dogs, and how she trained them and provides gripping, sometimes graphic, accounts of rescues she participated in. (She located cadavers as well as live persons.) Readers will feel the terror of the 1985 Mexico City earthquake and the horror of the Oklahoma City bombing. They will grieve with Hebard and her family as her canine partners age and pass on. Readers will also be impressed by Hebard's depth of understanding of canine psychology and positive motivational training techniques. Highly recommended.-Edell Marie Schaefer, Brookfield P.L., Wis.
Tells the story of Hebard's work training rescue dogs and participating in rescue efforts for earthquakes, bridge collapses, and floods. Hebard co-founded the volunteer US Disaster Response Team, and worked with her dogs at the aftermath of Mexico City's 1985 earthquakes as well as disasters in Armenia and El Salvador. Includes b&w photos. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Hebard neither had a conventional upbringing nor has had what could be considered an ordinary family life as an adult. Instead, the multilingual child of a diplomatic family settled down to raise her own four children, while at the same time becoming increasingly involved with training her dogs to assist in search-and-rescue missions. This account of Hebard's life will appeal to animal lovers as well as those readers who appreciate adventure travel. But unlike most travel writing, this inspirational narrative vividly presents not only the extreme conditions endured by rescue teams, but also the incredible emotional toll that comes with recovering victims, dead or alive. The heartfelt facts of Hebard's love and regard for the dogs she has raised over the years somewhat ease the somber mood emanating from multiple accounts of traumatic rescues in disaster areas shattered by earthquakes and floods.