Pocket and I just returned from cadaver training at Western Carolina University in North Carolina. WCU is one of only 6 universities in the country with a forensic anthropology facility, called the FOREST, dedicated to the study of human decomposition. Under the leadership of Dr. Cheryl Johnston and Paul Martin, the WCU program includes a cadaver dog program which provides dogs with unique exposure to human remains not available anywhere else.
I must admit I was a little apprehensive about going into the FOREST. But that quickly dissipated, as I focused my energy on Pocket's reaction, training and creating a positive experience for her. Pocket, like many of the dogs, did very well. She has now had an exposure that will be invaluable on real searches. Thank you WCU!!!
For those of you who have or might consider donating your body to science, the FOREST is a unique option where your body will not only help forensic anthropologists but also search dogs.
Out of respect to the donors and their families, we did not take photos of the facility. In that sense the FOREST felt at once sacred and scientific. We did take few photos outside of the FOREST where we were privileged to train under the tutelage of trainers Lisa Higgins and Brad Dennis.