Thursday, June 18, 2020

Pet Tracker - Book Review

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Wouldn't it be surreal to be the police bloodhound handler who needed a search and rescue mission for her very own tracker dog—for a dog so gifted in finding others?  What are the astronomical odds against that dog going missing and needing to be found?

For Kat Albrecht, a professional law enforcement finder of missing people, the panic of needing to find her much-loved dog, A.J., would be one of the real turning points of her life.  To read Pet Tracker, is to become immersed in Albrecht's transformative journey toward finding her true purpose in life by way of revolutionizing how lost animals are returned to their families.  

When Albrecht went out to her back yard on that fateful day and discovered, much to her shock, that A.J. was gone, she initially reacted like those of us who have had that happen.  She frantically, and tearfully, called for A.J. and ran around the area looking for signs of him.  Then, Kat did something that made all of the difference for A.J.: she paused, calmed down, and instinctively let her training take over.

Albrecht needed direction on where to start searching and this required help in the form of another dog.  If dogs could track missing people, why not give them a chance to use that skill to find another dog?  This wasn't being done at the time, but, having no other leads, Kat felt it was worth a try.  Even though Kea, the dog brought in to search for A.J. had not been specifically trained for this purpose, she was known to be a gifted tracker.  The mission was successful.  A.J. was found and brought safely home.

While reflecting on what had worked, Albrecht began to imagine the possibilities of using refined training techniques, and the tools of her trade, to take animal search and rescue to a whole new level.  It would be her retired service dog, Rachel, who would prove to be the key to this whole enterprise.  Rachel, a Weimaraner, taught her human everything she needed to know to ensure there were far more happy endings to the missing pet stories.

Pet Tracker is everything I love in a book.  It combines intrigue with amazing animals, inspiring people, surprising behavior, spy gadgets, forensics, sleuthing, and heart-warming rescue stories.  I picked up this book in the midst of a very personal rescue operation.  In grappling with the most challenging search of my life, I needed more understanding, more insight, more direction, more of everything that would take me to a higher plane, where I could be more of what the lost need.

Like Albrecht, my life has been changed forever, all because of one lost dog.  My lost dog.  I encourage everyone who cares about animals, or their humans, to read this book.  You never know when you might be called into action to help save a life.  And who knows?  Maybe the life you save just might be your own.











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17 comments:

  1. I've known people and rescue dogs who participate in search & rescue operations, but didn't know that dogs could be trained to locate missing pets. As you have sadly discovered in recent weeks, this is as important to pet owners as the rescue of people. This book will most definitely be put on my 'To Read' list. Thanks, Diana.

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    1. Yes. I attempted to locate a tracker dog to assist with Blessing's search and rescue mission. Unfortunately, there were no dogs available in my region. I feel certain a tracker dog would have quickly found my dog. I am now working on a project to offer the kinds of critical services that Kat Albrecht has provided to save the lives of so many missing dogs and cats. A missing fur baby is no less a loss than that of any other family member (to the one who truly loves their four-legged "kids").

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  2. This really sounds like an amazing book. I will put it on my "to read" list.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Mary Beth. It is a very worthy read.

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  3. Diana dear, how I wish with all my heart that a tracker dog had been available to help you search for your dear, sweet Blessing. I imagine that reading this in the midst of your own search for her must have stirred a powerful mix of emotions. I feel sure it has also been inspirational in your own journey for even greater purpose. Thank you for sharing this book with us. ❤️

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    1. Yes... a very emotional read and impact. I hope what I have learned, and continue to learn, will help others who are experiencing the same panic, pain, and torment that I have known throughout this whole ordeal. It is my desire to help families avoid the trauma of a lost pet that is not found.

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  4. That first realization that your pet is missing is truly gut-wrenching and frightening and tons of other emotions all wrapped into one. For me, the hysterical whistling was enough to bring my pup around to see what was going on. Crazy thing had no idea "he" was what was going on. I was fortunate that day though because I noted the open gate before he got to far away. Since our gate stays locked, I knew immediately something was off, which, of course, was Merlin on an adventure.

    I've never thought about using another dog to find a missing dog! What a wonderful idea that makes sense. It seems so reasonable yet no something most of us think of. I have no doubt this is a wonderful, insightful book.

    Big hugs to you! I am sorry that you have experienced this awful experience. I wish I had known some way to help. I can't help but believe there was someone else involved in your Blessing's disappearance. I hope someday you know, and get her back.

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    1. I just read through the other comments and see where you said "A missing fur baby is no less a loss than that of any other family member". I agree. Our pups are at our side all day, everyday. When they are gone, a huge part of our everyday life is gone. Every place in our home, cars, yards, etc., is a place we are accustomed to seeing them. It is most difficult to see those empty places. I don't think we ever truly "get over" that. We just learn to live with their absence.

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    2. Yes. Everything reminds me of Blessing and makes me cry. There is a huge hole in my heart. I miss her more than words can express and I am so broken over this. I'm so thankful your Merlin was quickly found. He is so precious and loved.

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  5. This is such a hard thing to cope with,a missing loved pet tears at your heart like they were your own! I can understand why you were drawn to that book, and I think it would be something that almost everyone could relate to.....I’m still praying for Blessing and you. I will read this book with you and her in mind!

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  6. Sounds like an amazing read. This is the first I've heard of using other dogs to find missing pets. I'm so sorry that you never found Blessing. Years ago we lost our dog, never to be found. I suspect somebody let her loose while in our back yard. Thanks for a great review!

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    1. I am so sorry you also experienced the loss of a pet. We are seeing an epidemic of unsavory individuals going around opening up gates to yards and either allowing pets to escape, or stealing those animals. It makes me sick that this is happening to good people and their beloved pets. Thank you for stopping by and sharing my review.

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  7. This book sounds like a must read, and I can think of a few people who would enjoy this as gift - I'll be saving this one. I think about you and Blessing every single day. I'm still praying for a miracle - one of those miracles that are so rare that they make the news - Blessing is in our hearts.

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    1. This book would make a great gift. Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. We need that sustaining power and grace. Blessing owns my heart... is my heart.

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  8. Thank you for alerting me to this book - I can't wait to read it and I know you will be turning your heartbreak with Blessing into a way to help others in the same situation.

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    1. Something good must come out of this tragedy. It is the only way to begin to heal. I hope this book will equip you to help others, also.

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