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

Version: Unabridged
Author: Susannah Charleson
Narrator: Susannah Charleson
Genres: Fiction & Literature, Non-Fiction, Essays & Anthologies, Social Science
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Published In: April 2010
# of Units: 9 CDs
Length: 10 hours
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In the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, Susannah Charleson clipped a photo from the newspaper: an exhausted canine handler, face buried in the fur of his search-and-rescue dog. A dog lover and pilot with search experience herself, Susannah was so moved by the image that she decided to volunteer with a local canine team and soon discovered firsthand the long hours, nonexistent pay, and often heart-wrenching results they face.
Still she felt the call, and once she qualified to train a dog of her own, she adopted Puzzle, a strong, bright Golden Retriever puppy who exhibited unique aptitudes as a working dog but who was less interested in the role of compliant house pet. Puzzle’s willfulness and high drive, both assets in the field, challenged even Susannah, who had raised dogs for years.
Scent of the Missing is the story of Susannah and Puzzle’s adventures together and of the close relationship they forge as they search for the lost—a teen gone missing, an Alzheimer’s patient wandering in the cold, signs of the crew amid the debris of the space shuttle Columbia disaster. From the earliest air-scent lessons to her final mastery of whole-body dialog, Puzzle emerges as a fully collaborative partner in a noble enterprise that unfolds across the forests, plains, and cityscapes of the Southwest. Along the way, Susannah and Puzzle learn to read the clues in the field, and in each other, to accomplish together the critical work neither could do alone and to unravel the mystery of the human-canine bond.

Reviews (2)


Written by michelle on May 5th, 2011

  • Book Rating: 5/5

what an amazing story! The author/narrator is interesting to listen to and has chosen a great collection of short "stories" to paint the picture of her life working search and rescue... and of course, the story of man's bast friend, her SAR dog! I love it. I was shocked to see when I putting the last cd in the player that I had listened to so many discs already, and would have been happy to listen to more! Im so glad that she did the narrating herself, and love how she puts emotional, almost human attributes, to her dog and the other dogs on the team's behaviors. I love my dog and see how they could seem to say certain things. Awesome book.

Scent of the Missing

Written by Margaret on June 12th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 4/5

This book has exactly the right balance of personal information about the author, details about how these dogs are trained and amusing dog stories. Informative and entertaining. I've never been a "dog lover" but since reading this book I'm more interested in making friends with them.

Author Details

Author Details

Charleson, Susannah

Susannah Charleson is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Scent of the Missing, as well asa 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 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.