A book full of heart-pounding adventure, bravery, thrills and heroics

You never wanted to get caught.

Wasn’t that the point of playing Hide & Seek? To sneak out, lay low, and sneak back to safety? Yep, and never get found — unless, of course, you’re in a situation like those in “Go Find” by Susan Purvis, and you’re 10 feet below snowline.

The geography bug bit Susan Purvis early.

When she was 10, her father taught her to use a compass while the two were on a fishing trip in the Great Lakes area. At 15, Purvis learned to read a U.S. Geological Survey map and topographical maps. Even so, she knew what it was like to be lost, having had it happen not long afterward. She never forgot that.

Years later, married, and working with her husband as a gold miner in the Dominican Republic but based in Colorado, Purvis decided she wanted a dog. Specifically, she wanted a dog she could train to search for avalanche survivors and victims near her home of Crested Butte. It didn’t take long for her to settle on a Black Lab, which she named Tasha.

Initially, training seemed like a daunting task: Purvis hired locals to lie in the snow in a local park until Tasha’s shiny black nose appeared. There was much to learn on both ends of the leash: they had to figure out how to communicate — Tasha, by learning commands; and Purvis, by understanding her dog’s find-signals. Purvis discovered, too, that it would not be easy to get her dog certified, or to get on a team, or to lead local officials to call on a search dog when someone was missing or lost.

Branching out to summertime search and rescue, and then to cadaver retrieval, Purvis also learned that it wasn’t easy to keep one foot in her obsession and one in a relationship.

It is a fact that “Go Find” is full of heart-pounding adventure, bravery, thrills and heroics that will make you smile. It’s a fact that there’s love of a dog shining through it, too, and a few tears.

And yet, this book is an overall no.

For some reason as of late, ill-behaved dogs have become sources of humor in books and movies and people love it. It’s not funny, though, when the miscreant is a working dog, despite the sometimes-jocular tone in “Go Find.” This may lead readers to notice that author Susan Purvis is very harshly critical of amateur search dogs, although she, herself, worked her dog in situations for which Tasha was unready.

Sadly, this convenient and quite outraged criticism is joined by juvenile nicknames for people and dog toys, both which further degrade what should be a grown-up story. Worst of all: an ill-placed, unnecessary sex scene; and several extremely graphic, overly-long passages about Tasha’s gluttonous habits with human waste, and… No.

Though a physical book might be less exceptionable, you can try this audiobook but think twice about doing so while eating, or entertaining young children. Really, though, the best advice for “Go Find” is: don’t.

More in Life

Auburn Symphony presents Uncommon Voices: Music for Woodwind Quintet

Performances set for Kent, Auburn churches on March 6, 8

Top cowboys will compete in the ProRodeo Tour Playoffs at the Washington State Fair, Sept. 10-13. COURTESY PHOTO
Rodeo action, country stars coming to the state fair Sept. 10-13

Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry, Jimmie Allen and 38 Special to join the country party

Indigo Urgent Care at Point Ruston. COURTESY PHOTO, MultiCare
5 tips to prevent norovirus in your home

By MultiCare Health System If you or a family member has had… Continue reading

Actress, storyteller comes as Eleanor Roosevelt at group’s monthly meeting

Part of Renton/South King Retired School Employees Association regular gathering

Auburn Adventure Film Festival returns Feb. 21-23

Tickets available for weekend lineup

Auburn-area community calendar | Feb. 13

Events, benefits and entertainment listings

State Fair welcomes Macklemore to stage Sept. 25

Country artist Cole Swindell performs Sept. 24; tickets for both concerts go on sale this week

Sherry visits Poetry at Rainbow Café on Monday, Feb. 3

The Poetry at the Rainbow Café welcomes Tim Sherry on Monday, Feb.… Continue reading

Tribute to Beauty and Duty visits Neely Mansion

Community celebrates two anniversaries on Saturday

COURTESY PHOTO, MultiCare
It’s not too late to get your flu shot

Avoid the nasty bug as flu season begins to peak