The following email was received on August 23, 2010, from Skipperdee's person, a month and a half after he went missing:
In what I can only describe as a change of tides for us here in Moss Beach, Skipperdee was found along our driveway this morning by a friend. I can't believe it! He was covered in dirt, but seems healthy otherwise. We have an appointment with the vet tomorrow to be sure. Thanks so much for all of your help in the process of our losing and recovering two pets! We are thrilled to have Skipperdee back home."
So, somebody carried him away, probably thinking he was abandoned, and then eventually brought him back to the area, when they saw the flyers. They left him on the beach where they found him, and he crawled back home.
Skipperdee is a 35 year old box turtle, about 10 inches in diameter. Often times he has free roam of parts of the house or yard. This time, he wandered out of the yard, which is on the beach, sometime in the afternoon. He had been missing for about two days when I was called. A thorough search of the yard, driveway and nearby beach had not yielded Skipperdee. However, it was not unusual for him to disappear for a few hours and dig himself down somewhere in the dirt and earth around the house.
Skipperdee's people were out of the area when I came by, and I was assisted by a relative caring for the house.
Initially we found a track leading away from the deck and out to the yard and then to the beach. We did find his scent all the way down the beach and over rock. However, Neither one of us believed that he was capable of crossing the rock, so we figured that his scent from walking on the beach had been washed up and down on the beach and over the rock, which is what Dot was picking up. We checked the other end of the beach, but Dot said negative to that end. We did a thorough search of the whole yard and the perimeter of the house, which was quite extensive with a lot of very thick vegetation and bushes and trees and built alongside a very steep cliff, which was the road above. Dot said negative to all that area.
I took Dot back out to the yard which connects to the beach and had her search again, now that she had a full take on the yard to see if anything was different. This time, she indicated straight up the cliff, which leads to the street above. The house is on beach level. At that time, a set of stairs was being constructed from the road down to the beach, which was a public beach, but the stairs were not usable at that point. Alongside the stairs was a well worn area to climb up and down and that is where Dot went. Of course, I knew that Skiperdee had not climb up that cliff, but I guessed that he had been carried. I checked with her three times, and she still indicated that was the direction of the scent.
Once we got to the top, Dot indicated that the scent went to the right and through neighborhoods eventually out to Airport Blvd. This is where the map picks up.
They continued to search for Skipperdee and had flyers and posters and notices all over the coastal area.
View Skiperdee in a larger map
Total Distance: 19.53 km (12.1 mi)
Total Time: 5:01:31
Moving Time: 2:57:42
Average Pace: 15.37 min/km (24.7 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 9.10 min/km (14.6 min/mi)
Min Pace: 3.92 min/km (6.3 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -44 m (-144 ft)
Max Elevation: 12 m (38 ft)
Elevation Gain: 741 m (2431 ft)
Max Grade: 0 %
Min Grade: 0 %
Recorded: Tue Jun 08 10:49:01 PDT 2010
(entered into lost pet questionnaire 9/2/10)