If you’ve been a regular reader of the blog, you know I’m a big fan of the dog memoir. Part treacle, part drama, part romance, the format is always the same, ending of course with the tearful goodbye to a faithful pup.
Susannah Charleson’s new book Scent of the Missing breaks that mold in all the right ways.
Of course, the requisite components are there: an adorable dog, the initial bumps in the road adjusting to a new puppy, and the gradual coming together of owner and pet. Here’s the difference:
Puzzle is a trained search and rescue dog.
This is not only a story of the human/animal bond as it pertains to Susannah and Puzzle, it’s a bigger story of how we harness that relationship and funnel it into something greater.
The backdrop of the book is less Marley and Me and more CSI: the gritty reality of the rough job is a strong counterpoint to the kind nature of the dog/human bond, dogs and humans alike struggling with the disappointment of the unhappy ending (the chapter on the Columbia disaster is heart-wrenching) while rejoicing in the happy ones.
I would have read this even without the prominent dog component, because I love true crime stories and getting a glimpse into the dramatic world of police work. Susannah is made of much tougher stuff than I, and this memoir pretty much solidifies my belief that yep, no way would I ever cut it in this field. But oh, how I’m glad they are there.
I was fortunate enough to have been provided 5 copies of this fantastic book by the publisher, and I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate the spirit of Be the Change than to share this story with you all.
Each day this week, Monday through Friday, I will pick one commenter at random to receive a hot off the presses copy of this book- no late night wilderness hikes required.
ETA: Day one winner is Commenter #40, Pikachu! Congratulations! If you didn’t win you still have FOUR more chances!