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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"Sofronio", Bichon Frise, Redwood City - Found!

Hi Marta & Jackie, I just wanted to let you know that I got a message from Sifronio's owner that they got him back! Someone had found him on the other side of Marsh road near flood and first, in Menlo park, and given him to someone in San Jose. Then the story becomes unclear - either that person saw the flyer or yet another person did and somehow the new people found out that he was being looked for and contacted the owners and they said he was well cared for and really happy to see them - great happy ending!
I'm a little bit puzzled by the fact that Jackie's dogs tracked him in the totally opposite direction for so far, but I guess we'll never know ...
thanks for all your help and I'm glad the whole thing had a happy ending.


(This is my response to the email.)

Great to hear that he is found and safe.

When was he found? He made it back all the way to Menlo Park! Since we know he can travel quite a distance, I am not surprised.

Thanks for letting me know.

Details of Search:
Sofronio is a 14 year old Bichon Frise. He was not wearing his collar at the time of his disappearance because he was at the groomer's  home for several days of boarding, and she had recently given him a bath, and had not put it back on yet. He does not have a microchip. His people are out of the country for the holidays and normally have Sofronio living outside in their yard.

While at the groomer, one night the front door blew open in a storm and Sofronio walked out. Luckily none of the other dogs there for boarding left with Sofronio. I was called out the next day by the groomer. I used his collar as the scent article.

First day:
The track led down the street and then down another busy blvd, up through downtown Redwood City and then eventually straight up into the hills. We followed Sofronio's track for several hours and went miles and miles. The majority of his track was not in well populated areas so most people would not see him, plus this was in the middle of the night. They wanted to continue to the next day. The initial guess was that Sofronio was trying to make it back to his home, which was in the direction of his track.

Second day:
We started at the end of the first day and once again went miles and miles along very remote areas along freeways and isolated walking paths, all the way down to San Mateo to where highway 92 starts. The track went through Woodside. Based on this track, very few people would see him. Also we don't know the time frame, or what his reaction would be to somebody trying to help him. My guess is that he was pretty independent since he lived alone outside.

The first part of the track in Woodside did go past his current home, but then the track kept going. We don't know if he missed the turn off or if it was just coincidence that he was going in the direction of his home.

We stopped the second day at the intersection of Highway 92 and Ralston, up at a public parking lot for commuters. We had tracked several more hours that day and several more miles.

Third Day:
The groomer was finally able to walk with me since she had been swamped with customer dogs the first two days. This day was December 24, Christmas Eve.

We followed Sofronio's track for several hours that day and several more miles all around several communities, neighborhoods, schools, juvenile centers, etc.

The groomer stopped the track around 2 PM because she had to go to a family event.

My suggestion was that Sofronio was a traveler and obviously had the ability to travel long distance. I suggested that she expand her search for him in several miles in many directions or further.

She said she had finally told Sofronio's people that he was missing, and he said they were not overly concerned. She mentioned that they said some times he would get loose from their yard and would be gone for a few hours and always came back.

I received the letter at the top of this post after several weeks from our search. There was a lot of unclear information like when was he found? How did they know to contact Sofronio's people to notify him?

The ability to get to San Mateo to Menlo Park is actually quite easy. There are direct roads for him to travel, just like how he got from Redwood City, where the groomer lived, to San Mateo, and he did that in three days. I am not surprised at all that he was found in Menlo Park, especially for a dog that has proven to travel quite comfortably.