Michelle and Me: The Incredible True Stories of a K-9 Search and Rescue Team
by Lori MacKay
Take one Doberman pinscher with a glow-in-the-dark necklace and a dog lover-turned-trainer and what do you have? The remarkable canine search and rescue team of Tom Shelby and his dog, Michelle.
Michelle and Me: The Incredible True Stories of a K-9 Search and Rescue Team, by Tom Shelby with Victoria Houston, is a charming book filled with a variety of stories about different searches in which they participated.
The book has an informal style and is an easy read which makes it all
the more compelling. The writing is vivid and the reader can easily picture
him or herself at the scene, following Shelby and Michelle on the search.
Throughout each chapter, there are explanations of techniques and procedures that would be interesting for both those involved in search and rescue (SAR) and those who just love a good story.
For example, for those not familiar with canine SAR the explanation about the difference between air scenting and tracking as well as the benefits and disadvantages of both gives more insight into the complexity of the task at hand.
Not only does Shelby describe the successful searches, but he details the frustrating searches when the person is not found.
For example, Shelby and Michelle search for a young man who has run away from a detention centre. Michelle picks up the scent of a fugitive and tracks him through a barn, a cemetery, woods, past an encounter with a mountain lion only to lose the scent abruptly in the middle of the road. Shelby later found out the fugitive had gotten into a car at the very point Michelle had lost the scent.
Each chapter is a new story, but not always about SAR. Some chapters are engaging anecdotes about dog behaviour and training tips Shelby uses to help owners with their dogs.
Throughout the 175 pages, you gain a deeper appreciation for SAR volunteers and how hard they work, no matter what time of day or year.
Whether you're a dog fan, dog trainer or part of a SAR team, you don't want this book to end.