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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"Magic", DSH, Black, Novato

As of December 17, 2009, Magic is still missing.

Magic is a 12 pound, 16 year old solid black, microchipped DSH wearing a collar with ID tags. He has a regular routine of being indoors and outdoors. The last time he was seen was around 11 PM. He had been missing for a couple of days when I was called. We did two separate searches for Magic starting from his home and following him for many, many miles. To the best of my knowledge no official sightings were recorded. However, that would not be unusual for a common color of solid black.

My best guess was that since Magic had been so regular in his routine of coming and going that he was chased by another animal while outside and chased onto the air base.

Day #1:
We started the search in Novato on what is former Hamilton Air Force Base. Parts of the base still exist and are considered active. Magic's home is a very short distance from that border. We actually found Magic's scent going through a large hole in the chain link fence directly onto the base. From there it led around the edge of the base and way out to the far reaches of the former airstrip, that was being torn up and cleaned up. Literally, we did not see another human being for miles and miles while out in that area. Neither myself or Magic's person had seen something like that.

The only person we did run across was a security guard with a very thick Russian accent, who was sitting in his vehicle making sure that people did not go onto the former airstrip and sabotage all the equipment and clean up. I guess the whole operation was very controversial because of all the toxins that were being found in the area from decades of the air force in the area. We explained to him what we were doing and who were were looking for, and he was very helpful and let us pass through to follow Magic's scent, as long as we did not go to the forbidden areas. Luckily Magic's scent did not go there, but skirted it along the side. The man had a lot of stories to tell us about seeing packs of coyotes and single bobcats in the area during his watch, both night and day. He was very funny. Unfortunately, we had to keep going and gave him a flyer in case he saw Magic pass back through.

We followed the scent along a waterway and then jumped a barricade onto a public walkway that was several miles away from a public parking lot. Magic's scent led up all along this way, turning left and right to get back to parking lot. We saw several people along the way and posted flyers.

We got to the parking lot and decided to call it a day because it was very late and getting dark. Magic's person called a cab and we drove back to her place in Novato. I think we stopped the track in Corte Madera on the far east side of Smith Ranch Road. We decided to restart the search at that spot where we left off.

We restarted from the parking lot and found Magic's scent go through the power plant adjacent to the lot, then onto a gold course behind the plant and then onto the large open space with elevated paved paths and waterways. We found his track up and down on various paths and then to a fenced in area of multiple warehouses on the edge of the airport. The track then led in and around a large mobile home park. We were approached by a woman who swore that Magic was the cat that had been hanging around her back yard for the past couple of days, and visited regularly. I had the dogs scour the area, but we could not find any of Magic's scent there. The track still appeared to be out on the street and leading away from the park. Magic's person said she would double check the area later and see if she saw Magic just in case.

We continued out the mobile home park and across the street to a large set of apartments/condos under construction. The track led us up and around to the edge of the apartments, where Magic's person decided to call it a day. She said she would restart the search another day. I did not hear from her again.