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Saturday, November 14, 2009

"Khloe", Black Pomeranian, Sparks, NV

Khloe is a 10 month old black unspayed Pomeranian who was also in heat at the time she disappeared. She was not wearing a collar, nor was she microchipped. She had been missing for 10 days at the time I was called. There is one additional dog in the house.

I made the four hour drive to Sparks, and I hit a freak snow storm on my way up. Since I don't have four wheel drive or chains, just a large heavy van, I decided to go back a couple of exits to wait for a clearing in the snow report. After about 45 minutes, I lost the snow report on the radio. I guessed it was because the conditions where no longer existing. I decided to get back on the road and proceed slowly. Before hitting the summit, the ground and everything around me was covered in snow, but the snow had stopped and chains were no longer required. There were stranded vehicles on both sides of the roads that were covered in snow. It was very eerie. The sun was out and shining. I am not a snow person in any way, born and raised in San Francisco, however, when I lived in Trinity County in 2008 I developed a very deep respect for snow and ice and I have not forgotten those memories.

I made it to Sparks by about 11 AM. We quickly went over some paperwork, got a scent article from Khloe's things. There had not been a single sighting of Khloe since she went missing. The last time she was seen was around 11 PM in her backyard, which had wrought iron bars in the fence wide enough for her to get through, and in the past she had gotten through, and ran around behind the apartment complex, but then always came back. Directly behind the complex is another complex and a golf course that is not unfenced. In fact, when we were standing there reviewing and discussing the options, a man walked by on the golf course walking his dogs off leash without a care in the world. I asked if that was common, and neither said they had seen that before.

While Khloe and the other dog were outside "doing their duty" their person quickly walked inside to answer a phone call. When she came back outside, Khloe was no where to be seen. The other dog had come back. An extensive search of the immediate area was initiated, including police officers. No body saw a sign of her.

I had a 50/50 shot at which way to go since she could have gone either left or right. Since she had been known to go to the right, and the was part of the extensive search (the left had not been search as extensively or at all, I don't remember), I decided to start the search going to the left and see if a track existed. I found a track leading away from the apartment, along a water drainage pipe and out to the street, and then it went down the street, made a left into another neighborhood and then to the end of a court (which is open to the busy street behind it)and out along the street where road work was being done. Her track went down to the next intersection, across it, made a left over the blvd and then down into another apartment complex. From there is where the search took a permanent long range turn.

Khloe turned down a very, very, very long walking path (several miles) that literally took her and us to the other side of Sparks. The walkway had a waterway on the left, and houses all along on the right. There were multiple ways where she could have gone into these house but she never did. Her people were totally stunned that she would have gone down here and gone this far. They were confused what her motivation would be.

This path literally dead ended at another street and then led right into a pasture with several horses. Since we could not go into the pasture, I decided to check the other sides of the pasture to see where she came out.

The track came out near the street we were just on and then head down the street again. I never had been to Sparks before, but I had no idea how wide and flat it could be.

The track went down to a small neighborhood park, where Khloe circled it a couple of times (probably looking for food). The the track crossed over a very busy street (remember she was doing this crossing sometime in the night, so the traffic would be a lot less.) Then it went through a small shopping center (food!) and then back out to the street. Then it turned into a neighborhood, went around that and then out to an open space area.

Then it came back out and went up the busy street for a long distances before it went into another neighborhood. Then the track went around and around and up and down and back and forth in this neighborhood. There were many backtracks and then out into an open space that was even scary to me. It was wide open on the base of a mountain. It all low scrubs and was definitely jack rabbit and coyote country, and it was getting dark. I wasn't interested in being there at dark. However, Khloe didn't seem to mind. She walk alongside it, which also borders on a school. The track went around the school and back out to the neighborhood and then back around to another court where we had been two additional times. We talked to several people and nobody had seen her, probably because she was still traveling at night.

Since it was almost dark and getting very cold and I still had a long drive home, we decided to stop the search at this point. Khloe's people said they would continue the search on their own.