Many people laugh when they hear the term “pet detective” probably because it conjures images of Ace Ventura, Pet Detective (a film series that starred funny man Jim Carrey). Actually, pet detection is a specialized investigative field. Like other investigators, pet detectives use a mix of profiling, search-and-rescue, surveillance, even grief counseling techniques.
At our investigations agency, we don’t specialize in pet detection…but one day we got a call from a man we knew, begging us to please help him find his four Norwegian Elkhounds. He didn’t know where to turn, he knew we were private investigators he could trust, could we please help?
We reminded him this wasn’t one of our skills, but we’d do what we could.
The first thing we did was contact animal shelters in the immediate vicinity where the man lived. No luck.
We contacted animal hospitals and clinics. No luck.
We made flyers with pictures of Norwegian Elkhounds (I’ll be honest — I had no clue what these dogs looked like, figured others might not either). As the elderly man didn’t have any good photos of the dogs, we selected pictures from the Internet.
Flyer stated date the dogs went missing, our contact number. We posted these flyers in the region where the man lived.
Then, as we would in a missing persons case, we strategized the dogs’ personalities, behaviors, etc. Those of you who are pet owners probably understand the significance of this; after all, animals have their quirks and traits and routines just like people. We learned some interesting facts about these Norwegian Elkhounds:
- They’re one of the most ancient dog breeds. Bones similar to the Norwegian Elkhound have been found,
dating back to 5000 BC.
- They worked as hunting and guard dogs for the Vikings, tracking animals such as moose, elk and bear. These dogs can smell game over a mile away.
- This breed likes to roam (which the owner had definitely learned!).
- They loved being outdoors, especially in cold weather. They have a tendency to be more active at night then during the day.
We decided to start driving around the town and outer regions where the man lived, looking for locales that fit the type of terrain a Norwegian Elkhound might gravitate to. We picked early evening, when they were more likely to be active. We stopped people, asked questions. Guess what? We found the four dogs in a local park, similar to the terrain they were accustomed to, merrily living in the wild.
Gosh, we love happy endings.
In the course of working this case, we also learned that experienced, well-qualified pet detectives can earn between $300 – $1,000 a day. Maybe Ace Ventura isn’t such a joke after all!
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5 Stars for The Zen Man
"A fantastic read from start to finish. Reminded me a great deal of the works of Robert Crais and Robert B Parker." ~MacKenzie Brown
2011 – 2012 Book Blog Tour Articles
January 14, 2012: Interview w/ Colleen at Chatterrific
February 3, 2012: Coffee Time Romance: The Zen Man-Read It, Wear It
February 14, 2012 Terry's Place: Lust, Ethics, and the Private Eye
February 17, 2012 Savvy Authors: Tips from a PI-Tracking the Bad Guys in Stories
February 27, 2012 Elizabeth A White blog: Do Private Eyes Solve Murders?
February 28, 2012 Book Reviews by Elizabeth A White: The Zen Man
March 10, 2012 StoreyBook Reviews: Interview and Review
March 22, 2012 Minding Spot: Book Review
April 17, 2012 Fresh Fiction: 5 Hot Private Eye Heroes