The Very First Dog: Book Three in the Sam and Gunny K9 Adventure Series by Joe Jennings, ISBN: 9781791950033, $11.50, Self- published.
This book is a novel and an easy read. It is suitable for young adults. The story blends Native American lore, archaeology and fiction into a very easy read story about a young boy and a search dog who have dreams or “memories” of the past. The story takes you back 15,000 years ago with a dream or vision quest by a young boy. He is called to find the wolves that his people have not seen in many years. A modern boy, Clay, has the dreams and tells them to his family as well as a paleontologist and an Arapaho medicine man who help him understand what he was dreaming. The key to the dreams is Gunny, the search dog.
The book is well written and flows nicely between the dreams and modern day. The interaction of the family is very realistic and relaxed. The main point of the book is to give the reader an idea about the theory of how wolves and humans co-existed and eventually became dogs. What I liked about this book is that Mr. Jennings does not try to claim that the events in his book are fact, but only a theory.
This is a great book to sit down with on a sunny day on the beach or in an easy chair on a rainy day. While it is an adventure, it isn’t a nail biting one.
Mr. Jennings is an excellent writer and having read his two other books, Ghosts of Iwo Jima and Ghosts of the Buffalo Wheel, I can honestly say I was not disappointed. You will enjoy this book.
Secrets of the Snout by Frank Rosell, University of Chicago Press, ISBN: 13: 978-0-226-53636-1, 265 pgs., $23.40.
Professor Rosell has done a wonderful job explaining how a dog’s nose works. He gives us accounts of different types of detection dogs which is a delight to read. The book is easy to read and understand because written for the average pet owner.
While other books have covered a dog’s scenting abilities, Professor Rosell has included the latest research along with keen insight to dog behavior. He explains what makes up scent and what a dog detects.
Each chapter features a specific dog’s scenting experience which helps the reader gain useful insight as to how dogs do their jobs. He explores topics such as, can a dog tell identical twins apart and other interesting experiments.
There are extensive notes for each chapter as well as a thorough index which makes it easy to locate specific material. I highly recommend this book for all working dog and pet owners who would like to understand their dog’s world of scent. This book was first published in Norway and was so popular that it was translated into English and published in the United States.
The Chapters include:
- Dogs at Work
- A Dog’s Sense of Smell
- A Good Judge of Character
- Pet Finder
- Search and Rescue
- On the Hunt
- Police Work
- Customs and Border Control
- Medical Detection
- Field Assistant
- Pest Detector and Building Inspector
- Other Work Tasks for Sniffer Dogs.
K9 Teams: Beyond the Basics of Search and Rescue and Recovery
By Vi Hummel Shaffer, ISBN:978-1-55059-762-2, Brush Education, 386 pgs.
This book was years in the making. Ms. Shaffer has compiled notes, interviews and her personal experience spanning over 26 years. Ms. Shaffer is a SAR/R dog trainer and handler specializing in forensic human remains detection. Her resume is too extensive to list here, trust me she has tons of experience.
The material in her book is well documented with notes, bibliography and additional sources. She also includes a list of suggested reading.
There are six major sections with multiple chapters in each section. All in all there are 38 sections.
The major headings are:
The Making of a TEAM: Building a Strong Foundation
Canine Abilities and Scent Detection
Instructors, Training and Certifications
Cadaver and Human Remains Detection
Disasters and Disaster Teams
Ms. Shaffer has been part of a number of high-profile cases such as the Madalyn Murray O’Hair murder and the Pentagon bombing.
K9 Teams: Beyond the Basics of Search and Rescue and Recovery is a must have for anyone who is interested in K9 SAR and forensic detective work using dogs.
Ghosts of the Buffalo Wheel by Joe Jennings, 273 pgs., ISBN: 9781980726098, $11.50, self-published
This is the second book about Sam Webber and Gunny the SAR dog, The Ghosts of Iwo Jima was the first in the series. This adventure takes Sam, Gunny and the team to the Buffalo Wheel, also known as the Medicine Wheel which is a real life National Historical Landmark in Wyoming. Based on clues, the team was assigned to find the remains of Butch Cassidy.
Mr. Jennings did quite a bit of research about the Medicine Wheel and what really happened to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. He mentions historical data about the pair and theories about their fate in his book.
The story weaves in native American traditions and lore as well as forensic research techniques that are used to determine if the remains that are found are those of Butch Cassidy. There is also the drama of the search and an attempt to steal the supposed gold that Butch hid from an old robbery.
This book is as entertaining as Mr. Jennings first book and it is especially fun for SAR people to read. I highly recommend it.
This is an awesome book for SAR dog people and anyone who is interested in SAR. I had the honor of editing the rough draft of this book. Here is a blurb:
This is the nitty gritty of what K9 Search and Rescue and Recovery Teams are and are not. It includes new research and 27 years of complied information from around the world on training, questions and problems. It also explains what credible handlers go through to become a competent resource in Search and Rescue/Recovery, and discusses sensitive subjects not mentioned in other publications. K9 Teams: Beyond the Basics in Search and Rescue and Recovery also provides information for law enforcement, fire department and emergency management agencies in communities of all sizes to help understand about those they call to assist. It could be the difference between life – or death; effectiveness of searches in homicide investigations or proficiency in disaster situations.
K9 Search and Rescue Troubleshooting: Practical Solutions to Common Search Dog Training Problems by Susan Bulanda, publisher, Brush Education, ISBN: 978-1-55059-736-3 Autographed copies available at www.sbulanda.com also available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
My new book is now available! This book will help both the seasoned and inexperienced K9 handler. Many SAR units use a one-size-fits-all training method. When it does not work, they often do not know how to solve the training problem. This book explains how to fix those problems. Every dog is unique and what works for one dog may not work for another. Sometimes a small change in technique is all that is needed. Other times the handler is sending the wrong signal to the dog.
Getting the right dog or puppy is critical to the dog’s success. The book explains how to find the right breeder and puppy for SAR work. The way the puppy is handled during its stages of development can influence how the adult dog will react to training. If a handler is training an older dog, its early experiences can explain some of the training issues that a handler may have.
The book also explains the intelligence of dogs including the latest research about how they perceive life, their emotions and how they react to their owners. This knowledge will help a handler relate to their dog and recognize the message that they send to their dog. Although this book is written for SAR dogs, the information in it applies to all types of dog training, especially for working dogs.
The chapters include:
Finding a good SAR dog; Why dogs have training problems; What is scent; The uncontaminated scent article; Cross train a dog; SAR dog training methods; SAR dog training problems; and an appendix about the nature of scent.
Please Spread the Word!
Jewel of Persia, by Roseanna M. White, White Fire Publishing, ISBN: 978-0976544470 available on Amazon, 346 pgs.
Jewel of Persia is an amazing book. It is a Christian based historical fiction that I could not put down. The main character is a woman named Kasia, who is friends with Esther from the book of Esther in the Bible.
The story tells how Kasia is chosen by King Xerxes to be one of his wives, and becomes his favorite. She is the only person who can calm his temper. As a Jewess, Kasia can never be queen but she has a strong influence over the king. This makes her a target by Jewish hating members of the royal household as well as the wives that are jealous because she is the king’s favorite. The tension and drama in this book make it a real page turner.
Ms. White did a great deal of research about the time of Esther which gives the reader a fascinating, clear view of what life was like in Biblical times. The loyalty of the Jewish people to Jehovah, the Biblical character’s and the real events from the book of Esther make it hard to believe that this book is fiction.
On Kitten Creek: Searching for the Sacred, A Memoir by Nancy Swihart, Cladach Publishing, 185 pgs., $13.49, ISBN: 978-1-945099-02-1.
On Kitten Creek was a very pleasant and surprising read for me. I found that I could relate to many of the author’s feelings and experiences. Ms. Swihart tells us how she had visions and plans about what she wanted to do, her job, ministry, and even the house she wanted as she and her family moved from California to Kansas. But God had other plans for her and her family, and of course God’s plans turned out to be much better. Her experiences are a testimony to all young people to have faith through life.
As Ms. Swihart shows us, it is hard to see the vision while you are young and traveling down the path of life. But the lesson is clear as one looks back, have faith and trust. On Kitten Creek is a good book for all ages, and an inspiration for those who might be struggling with life’s situations. Although it is a Christian book, it is not preachy and I found it a delight to read, more like a novel then a memoir. Ms. Swihart is a gifted writer and the book is easy to read.