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Saturday, October 3, 2009

"Mandy", Papillon, San Leandro

Mandy is a three year old spayed Papillon. She is wearing a collar with ID and is microchipped. Her people described her as shy and wary of strangers.

Mandy had been missing for at least a couple of week when I was called.

She was at a groomers on E. 14th Street, and was loose in the room. When the door open Mandy ran out. She was spotted by a neighbor running down the street a couple of blocks away from the shop. That is where we started the track.

Search #1:
We followed her around that neighborhood, through a school and then back around to E. 14th Street, past the groomer shop and down E. 14th Street. She ran down the street to a set of stairs that goes down to a creek. She went through the creek, under the bridge and back up another set of stairs to the other side of the street. Here there is a small park that borders on a small neighborhood. On this neighborhood is multiple accesses back down to the same creek.

I found her track around and around that neighborhood and then over and back a couple of bridges. One of the tracks went directly into a property that borders on the creek, and Mandy's track went around and around that property a couple of times before heading back out.

Here Mandy's person decided to stop the track at the three hour minimum due to other commitments he had to attend to. He said he would continue the search by putting up flyers in that area.

Search #2:
I got a call from Mandy's people that they wanted to restart the search for Mandy back at the last spot near the creek. By this time, Mandy had been missing for almost a month.

We restarted at that spot a block from the creek. We found a track that led back down the creek through ivy and a steep drop. The scent went down the creek which had some water and downed trees. We got to a point where we could not go further because of deep water. It had rained in the last couple of days, so we don't know if this water was here when Mandy tried to get through. I asked the dogs if there was any scent going back and both said "no." That means that Mandy had gotten through somehow, but we needed to know where she came up.

What I decided to do was to go back up to the street and see if we could find another way down to see if the scent was still down there or if she came back up another way.

We went back up the side of the creek and out to the street. There was a small park and we found a gate in the wrought iron fencing further down. I thought is was locked but Mandy's person pointed out that it was not locked. We went down there, which appeared to be a well used area. I checked the area for scent going down the creek and both dogs said "No." So that means that Mandy did come up somewhere out of the creek.

I decided to try something and see what happens. I asked the dogs if the track went up the trail that we had just come down, and they both said "yes." So that means that no only did Mandy make it over a huge pile of downed trees that we were looking at in the creek, but that she climbed that steep dirt trail up the creek side, through all the ivy and under or through that gate and back out onto the street. Mandy is only about six pounds!

We followed the track down the street, around some neighborhoods, across railroad tracks, through parks, down more streets, across freeways, through shopping centers, through business parks, through more neighborhoods and then they decided to stop down at a shoreline park after several hours. They said they would contine the search for Mandy from there.

There was one thing I noticed about this track. We found that Mandy was finding a lot of bowls of cat food and water all along the way that people typically leave out to feed stray and feral animals. There did not seem to be a problem with her finding food, which was a concern of her people. When I pointed that out to her people along the way, they were surprised that first: people were doing that, and, second, that Mandy was finding these and having enough to eat.

I have done a lot of searches where we find the animal is going directly to these feeding stations and filling up and then probably sleeping nearby for a nap.