A Dog's Devotion

True Adventures of a K9 Search and Rescue Team

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Pub Date 01 Oct 2022 | Archive Date 31 Oct 2022

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Keb has just been selected as the 2022 Search and Rescue Dog winner in the the American Humane Hero Competition! Keb will now join six other dogs competing for the overall title of American Humane Hero Dog.

Vote for Keb here: https://bit.ly/VoteforKeb

In late March of 2014, death descended upon the community of Oso, Washington in the form of a massive landslide. Ten million cubic yards of dirt and mud crashed through homes, sweeping a 20-foot-high wall of debris before it and scouring the valley floor. In the cold rain of that morning, an entire community disappeared in a sea of mud. In the desperate hours that followed, rescue crews were able to pull only eight survivors out of the wrecked landscape. And then all became quiet, with the stunned realization that many more people were missing, but none were still living.

This is the moment when the story of A Dog's Devotion begins. The emergency call from Oso went out, and was answered by K9 Search and Rescue (SAR) teams from across the Pacific Northwest. Suzanne, along with her 4-year-old Labrador Retriever, Keb, and her teammate Guy, was one of the SAR teams to respond to this disaster. In this book, readers immediately find themselves on the ground in the cold mud of the Oso Landslide Disaster on the desperate search for the remains of over forty lost souls. In subsequent chapters, readers will accompany Suzanne, Guy, and Keb as they are inserted by helicopter to search high snowfields on Mount Rainier, or as they traverse steep, forested slopes searching for the clandestine grave of murder victims. They’ll join K9 Keb, as her keen nose leads to human remains in the forests of Washington State and as far away as the woods of Scandinavia.

Keb’s story is of a dedicated K9 who can distinguish the scent of the dead from the scent of the living, and who can detect buried bones and even corpses underwater. Readers will follow this intrepid K9 and her teammates as they face the challenges of changeable weather, deep northwest forests, high mountain slopes, and menacing coyotes, to find dead bodies, missing hikers, and even the bones of murder victims from long ago. Among their successes: finding multiple victims buried by the 2014 Oso Landslide, solving the mysterious disappearance of women in wealthy suburbs, and finding human bones thought to be forever lost to time. It’s their story about evolving as search and rescue volunteers while overcoming harsh conditions, inner demons, a rust-bound bureaucracy, and back-stabbing teammates. While internal conflicts threaten their larger K9 team, Keb’s training, loyalty, and perseverance inspire them, and help them find the resolve to carry on their service to the community.

Suzanne Elshult has been active in Search and Rescue (SAR) since 2001. She has held leadership positions with both the Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue K9 Team and Everett Mountain Rescue. She and her K9 partners have deployed on hundreds of SAR missions, ranging from searches for missing and dead subjects in mountain and wilderness terrain, to avalanche and disaster searches, as well as urban searches. Suzanne has worked with K9 Keb since 2010. They have certified in Airscent, Human Remains Detection, Avalanche, and Disaster search techniques.

Guy Mansfield, PhD has been active in Search and Rescue since 2008, with experience as a member of Everett Mountain Rescue, Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue K9 Team, and Cascadia Search Dogs. He has deployed on SAR missions ranging from wilderness searches, to technical rope-rescues, to disaster searches, to urban searches for abducted children. Guy has served as Operations Section Chief and Planning Section Chief on some of the largest searches in northwest Washington State, has assisted in the Green River Killer Case, and other homicide-related searches. He is currently a Director of the Washington State SAR Planning Unit. 

Keb has just been selected as the 2022 Search and Rescue Dog winner in the the American Humane Hero Competition! Keb will now join six other dogs competing for the overall title of American Humane...

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ISBN 9781493068715
PRICE $28.95 (USD)

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