Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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A fascinating article that is not likely to be helpful in fantasy worldbuilding …

Here’s an article that would probably be of much more practical use if you were writing a mystery or police procedural rather than a secondary-world fantasy: Cadaver Dogs – The Nose Knows

Twenty-three-years ago, Susan had a goal to train her black Lab puppy Tasha as an avalanche dog to save lives. But reality intervened. Susan recalls, “I didn’t plan to make a career out of finding the dead but that’s how it happened. Missions may start as rescues but most often wind up recoveries. At that point, I just wanted to bring missing family members back home.”

In 2001, Susan and Stacie met at a cadaver dog boot camp led by legendary trainer Andy Rebmann. There, dogs learned to find remains on the ground, hanging aboveground, buried, and hidden in objects. They practiced with samples as small as a tablespoon because, in real-life situations, remains can be scattered and tiny: bone fragments, teeth, blood, and adipocere (the post-mortem waxy tissue formed by anaerobic bacteria).

Really interesting. If I were going to include a search-and-rescue team, cadaver search or otherwise, I’d probably pick up a copy of Susan Purvis’ memoir Go Find, mentioned at the end of the linked article.

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