Ghosts of the High Uintas by Joe Jennings

If you like stories that include treasure maps, Native American lore, canine search and rescue, Marine Corps ingenuity, and firefighting skills, this is the book for you. Joe Jennings has crafted book five in his Sam and Gunny K9 Adventure Series and it is as great as the previous books.

When two people go missing, the team has to search the high mountains to find them. They are faced with a fanatical religious cult, the weather, and a brush fire purposely set to kill them, but they are helped by a medicine man, Edward See’s Wolf, a Northern Arapaho, his spirit wolf hooxei and his pack.

The events in this book take place in real locations, such as The Buffalo Wheel which is in the Wyoming Bighorn Mountains. A topographical map at the beginning of the book shows the locations in the story. Because Joe Jennings is a real K9 SAR handler and has been on many searches, the story is technically accurate. I can vouch for that as a retired K9 SAR handler and trainer with years of experience.

The book is well written and the mystery makes it a page turner. The action moves at a good pace. I highly recommend this book as well as the previous books in the series.  

A Dog’s Devotion: True Adventures of a K9 SAR Team

A Dog’s Devotion: True Adventures of a K9 Search and Rescue Team by Suzanne Elshult and James Guy Mansfield, 286 pgs., ISBN: 978-1-4930-6871-5, Published by Lyons Press, $28.95.

As a K9 SAR person with over 20 years in the field, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. What I found refreshing was that Ms. Elshult and Mr. Mansfield included the struggles that they encountered which seem to permeate the SAR community, such as personality differences, leadership conflicts, and gaining acceptance by non-SAR agencies.

The authors share with us some of the search missions that were especially meaningful to them including those for human remains. Ms. Elshult’s dog Keb, a yellow Labrador Retriever was successfully cross trained in both live detection and human remains. Unfortunately, many SAR people feel that a cross trained dog cannot perform reliably. I personally successfully cross trained all of my search dogs so I understand the struggles that she had.

The book is written in a non-emotional, almost report like manner where we are told the facts. The authors reactions to the situations that they faced are covered but not dramatized. However, we are told of all of the hardships and challenges that they faced and how they worked through them. Even though some of the searches involve looking for human remains, the writing style makes it safe for even the squeamish to read and enjoy.

The beauty of this book is that it clearly gives the reader a factual picture of what search and rescue involves, how searches are managed and decisions are made. Ms. Elshult’s love and admiration for her dog Keb is evident throughout the book and Keb is a good representation of what many search dogs are capable of and do throughout the world. While the searches take place in the Pacific Northwest forests, the dynamics apply to all searches.

The Tools to XEL: Poetry for Prosperity by Lex Sloot

The Tools to XEL: Poetry for Prosperity by Lex Sloot, ISBN: 9-780975267912, 415 pgs. Hardcover, $29.95

This is an unusual book because through poetry and prose, this book is a guide for successful living. For example, in chapter 9 he states, “You are the Author of your own life story; All failings are yours, But so is the Glory.” There are 17 chapters that cover all aspects of life. Another example is: “Victory is not intended for him to tried and then surrendered.” The book has an index of Trucepts that allows the reader to find the topic that he needs advice about. What makes this book very unique is that although it has truisms, they are easy and fun to read. Some of the topics are: Your ally is adversity; Your magic mind contains the key; Your potential; There’s lesson to be learned; and Persevere while others fear. Sloot has mastered the advice genre in a fun and easy to read book.

Viability: The Essence of Existence, a book review

Viability: The Essence of Existence by Lex Sloot, ISBN: 13-978-0-9864287-6-0,

433 pgs. $29.95, hardcover.

This is an amazing book filled with practical advice, and philosophy. Viability deals with all of life’s challenges and concerns that everyone faces at one time or another. For example, in the section of his book titled Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Sloot states in his book that today, this is the historical present. What an interesting thought and a new way to look at today. The book includes an Index of Trucepts that covers every situation that a person might face. There is so much in this book that it is hard to write a comprehensive book review. Some of the topics in the book are: People deceive; Our customers tell us; My inner truth; Life is not always fair; I made a mistake; All individuals; Do not lose ground; and If you are driven, are just examples of the topics he covers.

I especially liked the section about government which in an unemotional way, explains the true dynamics of how the government works. Not only is this a worthy book to have, but it would be a wonderful gift for anyone from a teen to an adult. This is one of the most unusual books, with sage advice that I have not seen in a long time. There are three basic chapters with about 25 topics in each chapter.

You can purchase this book on Amazon

The Animals In Our Lives

I had the honor of contributing to this book. Please spread the word.

Stories of Companionship and Awe

by Catherine Lawton (with Cladach Authors and Friends)

The wonderfully varied stories recount experiences with dogs and cats, sheep and horses, backyard birds and woodland deer, and other surprising creatures. The encounters and adventures of people and animals include childhood memories, individual and family experiences, and wilderness adventures. They all celebrate the companionship we have with animals both domestic and wild, in good times and bad, in times of celebration and times of challenge.

As fellow creatures, we give animals attention and care, and they give us so much in return. If we listen and observe, they teach us about God and about ourselves. This inspirational volume will evoke laughter, tears, and the experience of awe.

Animals entertain us, help us, teach us, play with us, mourn with us, even work with us. They help us experience God’s presence in our lives.

Publication date: August 20, 2021

ISBN: 9781945099274, 5.5″ x 8.5″, 15 Black/White Photos

$17.99 Pre-order Now: https://cladach.com/the-animals-in-our-lives/

Animals in the Bible

As we approach Passover and Easter, it is a good time to reflect on the impact and role that animals have in God’s plan. From the very beginning, in the Garden of Eden, God used an innocent animal to represent His saving Grace.

When Adam and Eve sinned, they tried to fix their sin themselves by making aprons of fig leaves to cover their nakedness or sin. But God showed them that only God can forgive or fix sin. To do this He killed an animal and made them clothes of the animal’s skin. From that point on the Jewish people had to sacrifice an animal on the Day of Atonement to cover their sins for a year. This animal sacrifice represented the coming of the Messiah.

When the Angel of Death visited Egypt, those people who had the blood of the lamb on their door posts were passed over. Did you realize that their animals were also spared?

Scientists have long pondered the mental abilities of animals. Recently they have designed tests to determine just how smart and how aware animals are. If they had carefully read the book of Numbers, they would have had their questions answered.

The Bible teaches us kindness to animals, how they think, which animals were created to be domesticated and which ones were not. It also talks about miracles that involve animals.

Jesus is referred to as the Lamb of God. When he died and was raised from the dead, there was no longer a need to sacrifice animals, the debt had been paid. Have you ever thought of the fact that only an animal is innocent and pure enough to represent the Messiah?

If you want to read more about the role of Animals in the Bible, you can do so in my book, God’s Creatures: A Biblical View of Animals. There is so much the Bible teaches us about them. You will be amazed. You can order a signed copy at http://www.sbulanda.com

Detector Dogs and Scent Movement

Detector Dogs and Scent Movement: How Weather, Terrain, and Vegetation Influence Search Strategies by Tom Osterkamp, published by CRC Press: Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

ISBN:13: 978-0-367-07429-6, 236 pgs. $64.95 USA, £47.99 (GBP), $101.00 (AUS), $113.00 (NZD)

When Mr. Osterkamp asked me to review his book, based on the title I thought it would be just another run-of-the-mill book about scent for SAR dog handlers. I was very wrong. This book is by far the most meticulously researched book that I have read in a long time. It is a collection of scientific material that covers in depth, all search situations regarding scent detection dogs. Each chapter has sub chapters making it easy to find the exact information you need. There is a detailed index, and three appendices, Abbreviations, Acronyms and Questions and Needs for SD (Scent Detection) Training and Deployment.

In his Preface, Mr. Osterkamp says, “This book reviews the scientific literature on scent and scent movement with emphasis on scent movement in outdoor environments. . . . Throughout the book, comments and suggestions are made to show how handlers can use the information in training and deploying search dogs. Several new hypotheses are made about scent and scent movement.”

Although no book can explain how to handle every situation that a SAR dog handler will encounter, Detector Dogs and Scent Movement gives the handler in-depth details that will help the handler make decisions in the field. Mr. Osterkamp has lived up to his statements in the Preface.   

I liked the fact that he included cause and effect situations, for example: “When a dog or handler works harder and longer during a search than during training, the dog is more likely to give a false alert and the handler is more likely to make mistakes.” (pg.46)

Mr. Osterkamp’s writing style is direct and unbiased, presenting scientific studies in a manner that is easy to read and understand. However, this book is not a how to train your dog guide. The material in this book will help the handler understand how scent affects his dog on a search, in training and how to better utilize his dog for the maximum results. The chapters outline potential problems and a summary of the chapter.

There are seven major chapters:

1. Introduction

2. The Dog’s Nose and Scent

3. Scent and Wind

4. Above Ground Searches

5. Buried Sources

6. Water Searches

7. Trails and Trailing

I have to strongly recommend that every scent dog handler and trainer, SAR or other working scent detection K9’s as well as those who use dogs in sports that involve scent work, study this book.

A fantastic book!

Glimpsing Glory: Poems of Living & Dying, Praying & Playing, Belonging and Longing, by Catherine Lawton, Published by Cladach Publishing, www.cladach.com ISBN: 978-1-9450991-5-1, 111 pgs.

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My first reaction after reading this book was “What a Book!” This collection of poems, which is not my regular choice for reading, brought me back to my childhood and other events in my life in a gentle way. I felt as though a loving hand was caressing my cheek, reminding me of things I had long forgotten. Ms. Lawton’s descriptions were vivid and accurate. She captured the world around her in many of her poems. Even her poems about death were gentle, for a lack of any other word. The book reflects God’s love for us and the world he created without being preachy. There are seven sections: Relating, Communing, Trusting, Living, Dying, Praying, and Word-Playing.

Although this is not a children’s book, I feel as though many of the poems would benefit children, exposing them to different aspects of life in a loving way. The book has beautiful illustrations by Breanna Slike. They are colorful yet soft in nature and appear to be done in watercolor. They fit perfectly with the overall tone of the book. Even if you are not a reader of poetry, I heartily recommend this book.

Shining Hope: The Sparkly Silver Travel Trailer by Libby Trostle

This is a delightful children’s book series that will help children explore North America. The main characters are Gracie and her dog Marshmallow. Shining Hope is the travel trailer that they bring across the country with them.

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The series not only introduces magical places in the US but also teaches children about valuable camping and life lessons. The first book in the series visits Niagara Falls. The book is based on the experiences of the author as they travel throughout the country.

You can order a copy from: shininghopeadventures.com

Susan Bulanda’s Books

Hi loyal followers. Earlier this month I posted about the books I have written. However, I did not realize that my website (www.sbulanda.com) was not working. It is fixed, so if you tried to order any of my books and could not, you should be able to do so now. Sorry for any inconvenience. Please note that you cannot order my WWI book, Soldiers in Fur and Feathers from my website. This is because I only have a few copies left. If you would like a copy of that book email me at sbulanda@gmail.com to see if I still have some. It is a collectible since it is a signed first edition. Also note that Scenting on the Wind and Ready to Serve, Ready to Save are on sale for $6.00 each. These area also signed first editions that are now out of print. Go to my previous blog to see my books.

Thanks, Sue

K9 OBEDIENCE TRAINING COVER PRINT