After many months of finding a qualified breeder, Susannah finally gets a Golden Retriever who she names Puzzle. Puzzle is a puppy, of course, and both dog and owner still have many more months before they can become a certified SAR team. The book continues on with the difficulties and successes that she and Puzzle go through. And finishes with Puzzle getting her certification and going on her first search.
Overall, I think the book is very well written. Some of the chapters are about her personal life struggles and only marginally related to Puzzle and the search and rescue. But Susannah keeps the overall story relatable and interesting. I often find myself unable to put the book down and look forward to the next night when I can read more chapters.
As Susannah tells the true story of her experience, she doesn’t sugar-coat it or embellish the facts. As much as I’d love to hear a miraculous story where Puzzle or some other search and rescue dog is directly involved with saving a life, I love how Susannah doesn’t glorify the truth. Most of the time, the SAR dog doesn’t find the missing person themselves so much as they direct the proper authorities on where the missing person might be. Nevertheless, the SAR dog provides a great contribution in helping authorities to narrow down what might otherwise be an endless futile search.
I am intrigued with all that one has to go through in order to train for and own a SAR dog. And I find myself being proud of Puzzle when she succeeds. I learn that not all dogs are cut out for this job, even with all the training, and that some dogs lose heart in the search and rescue and end up retiring early. Susannah and Puzzle’s success is an effort to be greatly admired and I thank her for sharing her journey.
This book can be purchased at your local book store or online at Amazon.com affiliate page titled Dog Lover’s Book Store.