Filmmaker's Blog

I am a passionate filmmaker, and am inspired by those persons (and dogs!) who give selflessly, courageously.  I am also a professor, and learn as much from my students as I do from my books.

Search & Rescue K9 Work: Tough Questions that K9 Handlers Face on Thier Own

The most haunting questions I ever heard came from from Sgt. Matt Zarrella - the featured subject in SEARCHDOG.  These questions helped me to frame the documentary:   “You worry. That person's out there.  What if I missed that person? They’re still out there, are they still alive? Are they down, are they injured?  Are they moving around or waiting to be found, there’s all sorts of scenarios that go through your mind.”   

I came to understand that K9 Search & Rescue/Recovery is the work of the most strong-minded individuals who respond to failure with humility and to success with modesty.   I find this ethos incredibly inspring.  Matt Zarrella's mantra is that of many K9 handlers "You are only as good as your next search".  My filmmaking challenge was to bring these questions and his mantra to the viewer so that they feel they are stepping into that first search along with Matt & his dogs.  Rather than being an outside observer, I wanted the viewer to walk with these teams on searches and trainings and know this experience from the inside

For me, there has been no richer experience than witnessing these dog-human teams train for thousands of hours and then go on to find lost and missing persons.     Check out our official trailer:

– Mary Healey JamielProducer + Director, SEARCHDOG 

SEARCHDOG is Coming Soon in 2016!   You can follow our progress, photos and updates on our social media.  

Facebook: on twitter #K9SAR #K9 #SEARCHDOG #MISSING