Coke is a five year old fawn boxer with a black mask and four white paws. He is wearing a thick black leather collar with silver spikes. He was last seen in his back yard when his people went out to dinner. Somehow he left this yard while they were gone. He had been missing for about three days when I was called.
When saw the photo of Coke I mentioned to his person that I had seen a dog with the similar description inside of a white van/truck on the front seat on Estabrook near my home that morning when I was walking my dogs. I thought this dog had the thick black collar, but I was not 100% because the inside of the vehicle was dark. There was a hispanic man on the phone in the front seat, also. The dog I saw had the same description and the same large cropped ears, which is unusual, since many pet Boxers today don't have cropped ears. Many people decide to leave them natural unless they will be shown in the ring.
We tracked him from his yard and then across the street to a maintenance and parking yard owned by the Sheriff's department. His track went the perimeter of the yard and then back out. The track went back out to the street and then down the street and across the highway. Dino did indicate some scent down the very busy on ramp which led to highway 580. We went down as far as we could (about 50 feet) to where it was no longer safe and the shoulder ended. There was a chance that Coke went down the ramp and then came back up or that he had gone down there. I thought that if we did not find any track leading away from the on ramp that we could take a closer look down that on ramp.
We did find a track leading away from the freeway down 150. This went for a couple more block and then crossed over and went into a parking lot behind a medical building. When we came out, the track went to the right and back up 150th. The track continued up the street and then through a small park at the top of the street and then out onto Redwood Road (?).
The track went down a street for several blocks and headed right for E 14th Street. The track continued all the way down E 14th for several miles (or it felt that way). The track led all the way to Estabrook and then made a left down the street. It did not go further than the next block, which was after where I saw the dog in the van earlier that morning. The track than led right on Estabrook, out to E 14th, crossed the street to the other side and made a right back down E 14th, back in the direction of Coke's home.
About three blocks later Coke's person decided to stop the track because we were at the three hour minimum and she had to attend a class that evening.
I got a voicemail the next day that Coke's body had been found that day on the 580 highway near their home. She was upset that we (me and Dino) had missed his body in the original track and she felt the track on E 14th Street was a "wild goose chase." I called her back to talk to her and express my condolences and explain what I thought had happened. I left voicemail messages on both her work and cell phone numbers. I never received a call back.
What I think happened was that Coke had explored the highway off ramp originally when he was first loose. He then did the track down E 14th Street and ended up on Estabrook. If Coke was the dog I saw that morning (or if it was a coincidence the track also led there), then, since Coke's track led back down E 14th back in the direction of his home, somehow Coke made it back in the area of his home and then went down to the freeway again and, unfortunately, this time he got hit. She did not say the rate of decomposition of Coke's body when it was found, and I was curious to find out since that would give us a better idea as to when he was hit.
(entered into lost pet questionnaire 4/7/11)