A bestselling author tells the very personal story of how and why she became involved in lost animal search and rescue missions.
Charleson’s (The Possibility Dogs: What a Handful of "Unadoptables" Taught Me About Service, Hope, and Healing, 2013, etc.) dog Puzzle had long worked by her side searching for lost people or those who had been victims of catastrophe. Then the author brought home a Maltipoo rescue named Ace whose “dignified, shabby gentility” and last-minute rescue from euthanasia became a talking point for her and the parents she kept at arm's length. Despite a harrowing existence as a lost canine, Ace showed the marks of a dog who had once been loved; he also revealed a knack for locating lost pets. Charleson familiarized herself with the tactics of lost animal search and began training Ace and Puzzle in on-the-ground location strategies. As she helped reunite pets with their owners, the author began recalling the life she had led with the parents who had “made me a rescuer.” Though they were deeply troubled, both shared a common bond in their love for animals that was so strong that they often spent beyond their limited means to save strays. But the author’s own life with the pet-loving parents who “had rarely been wonderful together” was difficult. The family moved often, and when Charleson was a teenager, her mother left to start a life on her own; after that, the three of them slowly drifted apart. In a touching twist of irony, the Maltipoo stray was the one who ultimately came to Charleson's rescue. Not only did he help heal the relationship with her parents; he also became a source of comfort when Puzzle and her parents eventually died. Moving and profound, Charleson’s book affirms the special human-animal connection and fully celebrates the healing powers of forgiveness and love.
A warm and heartfelt memoir perfect for fans of the author’s first two dog-focused books.