Author of the Sierra the Search Dog series of books.

School Visits

Contact: Robert Calkins at Callout Press.  (844) 344-4374 or Robert (at) calloutpress (dot) com.

Ruger and I very much enjoy visiting schools or other community organizations. Because our books are for all ages, we can offer a meaningful experience for every grade level.

Most presentations run 40 to 50 minutes. However, we tailor each presentation to the age and attention span of the audience. The general agenda is:

  • Introduce Ruger and explain how search dogs work. For older students this includes STEM material. Dog handlers must be “mini-meteorologists” to predict how human scent will move through the woods. I have an exercise I give the kids to reinforce this concept.
  • Talk about wilderness safety. Mainly the concept of “hug a tree,” the idea of staying in one place if you get lost.
  • Show and Tell. I bring my equipment harness and show students the tools of my trade (compass, map, GPS, radio.) We conclude by showing them Ruger’s “paycheck,” the toy we use to reward a successful find.
  • Optional: Reading. Usually for younger students I’ll read from my children’s books.
  • Q&A: The students usually have great questions.
  • Doggie Demo!: Everyone’s favorite part. We do a live demonstration of how Ruger finds things, and the students are expected to help make his reward a special one. Here’s a link to how the demo works: K9 Search Demonstration


I prefer to schedule visits to avoid rush hour traffic, but the priority is meeting the needs of your school and students. Please contact me at the phone or e-mail listed below to begin the discussion.

Space Requirements:

The Doggie Demo requires a minimum of 20’x20′ for Ruger to work. Larger is better. We can use a large classroom, gym, auditorium, or even go outside if weather permits. No A/V equipment is necessary.

Appearance Fees:

I do not charge appearance fees in Kitsap County, WA. I do ask for the usual author consideration of sending order forms home with the students about a week before the visit. I autograph every book sold with a message to the young reader.

Outside Kitsap County there is a $200 charge to cover fuel, ferry costs, etc. (Longer travel distances may require a higher charge.) I likewise ask for the opportunity to send order forms home with the students.


Teachers, librarians or principals are welcome to contact for scheduling or if there are questions. I can be reached at:

(844) 344-4374 or Robert (at) calloutpress (dot) com.

We hope to visit your school very soon!