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Thursday, September 30, 2010

"Kick", DSH, White with Tabby Patches, Richmond

Kick is a one year old DSH white with tabby patches. She is wearing a collar with a bell and an ID tag and she is microchipped. She was last seen on Labor Day, September 6. There were a couple of possible sightings of Kick, one as current as last Friday morning on the deck inside a yard. We went to the spot and Kick's scent was there and we followed the track. That spot was several blocks away in an area that Kick's person said she never posted flyers because she did not think that Kick could get that far in three weeks.

Kick's person was one of the top five most difficult clients I have had. The day before the search I had an extensive one hour phone conversation with her as she asked me all kinds of questions about that possibility and that option. She said, "I just want to know if Kick's scent is at these two sightings." When other people have said that it has meant that they don't believe that their pet is there since they don't believe their pet would travel that far. She asked to start at a sighting that was down at the end of her block but over a week before this past sighting. I said that it would make more sense to start at the most current one.

I explained on the phone about the fees and again I explained them in person prior to leaving.

I was 20 minutes late to the meeting because I got lost in the thick fog covered hills at 7 AM. The street signs are mostly worn with the lettering off, if there is a street sign at all. I eventually made it there with the combination of GPS and my printed map.

She was already in a bad mood because she had locked herself out of the house prior to me getting there.

I was getting the dogs ready when she insisting on sticking her head inside the side door and the dogs started to bark. I asked her to step out of their view and she asked me to get the dogs quiet since she felt her neighbors would complain.

I made several suggestions to improve her flyer which had a very small picture of Kick in a lower corner and the rest of the flyer was all text. She said her flyer was fine and she was asking me to hurry to get the search on its way, "because she just wanted to check the scent in the area". I tried to review the Finding Lost Pet Checklist, but she said she had already read it and wanted to get moving.

When I found Kick's scent in the yard of the latest siting, I could tell that Kick's person did not believe that her scent could be there. She said that she never knew of a cat that would walk on the sidewalk and in the street, where we were following a lot of Kick's scent. Then the track went into a smallish regional park and it went around and around. While we were in the park, she asked, "Jackie, do you think this is all a waste of time?" I asked her to clarify her thoughts, and she asked if I thought the dogs were on the correct trail. I said "yes, of course."

From here the track went down a street outside of the park past a lot of very loud road construction, and then jutted back into the park. She said that she didn't think that Kick would be here with all that loud noise. I reminded her that we were following a track that was a week old. From here I thought that she might really think we might come upon her cat at this point, even though the cat had been missing for three weeks, which I never once gave her the idea we would do that. In our conversation yesterday, she never gave the indication that she thought we could come upon her cat after being missing for three weeks, and only being on the search for less than an hour.

We followed the track down the street and then it made a right turn down another street. At this point, I thought that maybe Kick had been picked up and was being carried. I did not have a chance to tell her since she was a ways back.

At the next stop, as we approached an intersection, she asked me to stop and asked me if I thought we were still following Kick's track. I said "yes" and that I thought she might have been picked up. She asked me how we could track Kick's scent if she was picked up, and I said very easily, we do it all the time. At this point, she blew up at me. She insisted that everything I was doing was a "farce" in her own words and that I was "a kook" and "a fraud." She insisted her cat would never come this far and would never tolerate being carried. At this point, she turned on her heels and started walking back home. We had only been tracking her cat for an hour.

Luckily I had my GPS with me and was able to find my own way back to her home because she totally ditched me. Actually, I made it back before she did because she took the track we did to follow the cat and I took another suggested by GPS.

I started to put the dogs back inside my car and she stuck her head in, insisting that I tell her how much she owed me since she was late for work. At this point, the dogs started to bark and I asked her to step back so they couldn't see her. She said that my dogs were uncontrollable and that I was supposed to be a better trainer, and that their barking proved that the were not following her cat since, to her, it seemed like my dogs were not trained.

I told her the amount and she said that I never told her about the mileage being included and she called me a "farce" again. I asked her for the safety vest, and she went to her car and walked back to me, throwing it at me and calling me a "farce." I said that it appears she does not believe her cat would travel or be carried that far, and that I had seen that response before. On the subject line of the check she wrote "total farce."

View Kick in a larger map

Total Distance: 5.14 km (3.2 mi)
Total Time: 1:03:08
Moving Time: 45:25
Average Pace: 12.28 min/km (19.8 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 8.83 min/km (14.2 min/mi)
Min Pace: 6.54 min/km (10.5 min/mi)
Min Elevation: 5 m (17 ft)
Max Elevation: 113 m (371 ft)
Elevation Gain: 165 m (541 ft)
Max Grade: 0 %
Min Grade: 0 %
Recorded: Thu Sep 30 08:00:59 PDT 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Mooshka", Blue Point Tokinese, San Ramon

Mooshka is a spayed, indoor only 14 year old blue point Tokinese cat. She is not wearing a collar, and does not have a microchip. Her person was away for the weekend, and somehow got out after 1 AM Sunday morning and before 8 AM while the caretaker was at home, though it is still a mystery how she got out.

Since it is unknown how she escaped we circled the whole house first to find the scent and then started from the from of the house. The dogs picked up a track leading to the right and down to the end of the court, around the court and back down in front of her home and out to the main street.

Based on the track, it appears she was chased by a type of predator from her home, down the street, across the street and then straight to a large open space area that borders on a school and which also extends to a much larger open space and  hills and a creek that runs for miles in both directions. Her person said that all types of predators from coyotes, foxes, bobcats and even mountain lions are known to exist in the area and are sighted regularly. The last known mountain lion sighting was earlier this year. The way we could tell it was a predator that chased her is because where she was chased to we found a lot of carcasses and animal remains all over the area that borders on a large deep creek.

After escaping from that area, she found a small hole under a fence that leads to an elementary school. Here she went through the school and to a neighborhood park and then out to a main street, through another neighborhood and then made her way to a very large cattle ranch. Her person knows the property owner very well and said it was over 400 acres. He was reluctant to go onto the property to follow Mooshka's trail because he said that aggressive bulls are known to roam the property and would not hesitate to attack a human and dogs. He stopped the search at the four hours when we reached the cattle ranch and he said he would contact them to see if they had seen her. He said he would continue to search for Mooshka.

View Mooshka in a larger map

Total Distance: 8.92 km (5.5 mi)
Total Time: 2:07:25
Moving Time: 1:17:59
Average Pace: 14.29 min/km (23.0 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 8.74 min/km (14.1 min/mi)
Min Pace: 5.56 min/km (8.9 min/mi)
Min Elevation: 116 m (381 ft)
Max Elevation: 228 m (749 ft)
Elevation Gain: 389 m (1276 ft)
Max Grade: 0 %
Min Grade: 0 %
Recorded: Wed Sep 29 07:57:46 PDT 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Bogi", Toy Fox Terrier, Brentwood

Bogi is a seven year old Toy Fox Terrier. He is not wearing a collar, but he is microchipped. He lives on a large farm in Brentwood and is allowed loose on the property. One day he was gone from the property.  There are known predators like coyotes and foxes that live in the area. He had been missing for a few days when I was called. My guess is that he was chased from the property and ended up several miles away very lost.

There was a sighting of Bogi at 8 AM at a water channel over eight miles in Knightsen, an unincorporated part of East Contra Costa County. When I got to the spot nearby that afternoon to start the search, I was told that there was another sighting of Bogi about a mile away near a set of stores on highway. We went there and checked the area. We did find a track going up and down the main street and up and down a dead end street nearby and then back down the main street past stores and a bus stop. While we were there, we were told that Bogi was spotted  just back at one of the local stores just a minute or two behind us. I thought it was odd since we were right there, and we were confused how he could be there and we didn't see him, and that he would not respond to his people being right there calling him.

We went back there and looked all around the area, but could not find him. Another person in the store said she saw Bogi going past her store, past a truck and then that was the last she could see from inside the store. I had the dogs check the whole area again for scent, and they both went in the original direction before this current sighting. However, if the most recent sighting was Bogi, and he had been in the track that the dogs indicated, he would have run right past me and a man sitting at a bus stop. He acknowledged he was sitting there for 15 minutes and never saw a dog run past him. What this means, and I described all this in detail to Bogi's person, who was with me, that the most recent sighting was not Bogi, but, instead, a very good look-alike. However, since we did find Bogi's scent in the area, this means he was in the area, but we don't know a time frame. Bogi's person did receive a call from a man who thought he saw Bogi that morning and over the weekend. The dogs could have been following the scent from over the weekend, which was older than the sighting on Monday morning.

What we decided to do was to go back to the 8 AM sighting on the previous Monday and check that area to see if Bogi's scent was there, since we do have a specific timeframe from which to work from.

We went there and did find Bogi's scent on the canal and throughout several neighborhoods and then back out onto the canal. At this point, Bogi's person stopped the search at the four hour minimum, even though I suggested ways to check for scent on the canal by the use of a car. The temperature that day was over 95 degrees and it was certainly impeding our ability to search for long periods of time. However, if we were to go into a car and check spots along the canal we could see if Bogi's scent was along the canal and follow it from there. I told her I had used that technique many times successfully when we had certain things preventing us from walking the track straight. She decided to not continue the track and to keep looking.

I received an email from Bogi's person the next day and she said that they were able to find the dog that appeared to look like Bogi. She wanted to know why my dogs had indicated Bogi's scent when it was not him being seen. I explained that Bogi had been in those areas, which is why his scent was there. I said it was a coincidence that a look-alike was also there. It is not uncommon for similar looking dogs to appear in the same area. I told her I had seen it before on other searches. Besides, my dogs did not follow the track of the look-alike at the gas station, which indicated that they were not following that dog, but were following Bogi's scent. I told her that scent was as unique as a fingerprint, and that my dogs would not follow the look-alike since they were following Bogi's scent, which we got directly from his bed. It would be impossible for them to follow anything but Bogi's scent.

This track is when we were at the area of all the stores and when we got the sighting at the gas station, which proved to be a look-alike, even though we did find Bogi's scent in the area, but the timeframe was unknown.

Track #1:

View Bogi 1 in a larger map

Total Distance: 5.62 km (3.5 mi)
Total Time: 1:12:04
Moving Time: 41:03
Average Pace: 12.82 min/km (20.6 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 7.30 min/km (11.8 min/mi)
Min Pace: 1.00 min/km (1.6 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -24 m (-79 ft)
Max Elevation: 5 m (15 ft)
Elevation Gain: 182 m (598 ft)
Max Grade: 1 %
Min Grade: -1 %
Recorded: Tue Sep 28 12:01:58 PDT 2010

This track is back out on the canal, following a sighting from Monday at 8 AM. I had forgotten to turn off the tracking software at the end of the search, so it followed me all the way back to Livermore. The actual track of Bogi's is at the top of the track off of Delta Road, while still in the Knightsen/Brentwood area.

Track #2:

View Bogi 2 in a larger map

Total Distance: 51.98 km (32.3 mi)
Total Time: 3:52:25
Moving Time: 2:00:36
Average Pace: 4.47 min/km (7.2 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 2.32 min/km (3.7 min/mi)
Min Pace: 0.52 min/km (0.8 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -30 m (-98 ft)
Max Elevation: 275 m (901 ft)
Elevation Gain: 748 m (2453 ft)
Max Grade: 7 %
Min Grade: -7 %
Recorded: Tue Sep 28 13:33:26 PDT 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"Kira", Korean Jindo, White, Daly City/San Francisco -Found!

I received this email from Kira's people about one week after the last email with the attached photo:
"Thank you in advance for your time and assistance.  And please find attached a recent picture of Kira - she seems to be progressing well recovering from surgery."

I received this email from Kira's people about one week after she was missing:

"Date: Sep 25, 2010 7:51 AM
Subject: Re: Kira
To: "Jacqueline Phillips" <>

We found her! A guard from the olympic club golf course called us at 4 am. He'd heard coyotes barking and had walked out to try to find them. Saw kira, herded her away from the street and into the golf course. Called us within 5 minutes. We got there in 10, and we found her within 5 minutes of calling - she peeked out from a bush and ran to christine.
We're at the vet now. She's skinny, but weighs more than when we adopted her.  X-ray suggests no break, but likely full patella dislocation and ligament tears.
Thanks again,"

I received this email almost a week after Kira's search:

"Hi Jackie,
Thanks for sending these over. I fear we won't see Kira again -- no calls, no sightings in a week. I think someone kidnapped her. We appreciate your effort, tho. Your dogs are remarkable."

I received this email a day after our search for Kira:

"Hi Jackie,
Just wanted to say thank you for your help yesterday.  While we have not found Kira yet, I know we have better information that we could have ever had without you and your wonderful dogs.

At your suggestion, I passed out flyers today to some of the schools, churches, UPS, USPS and also activated the phone tree service through

We will definitely keep you posted and if we get another sighting of Kira someplace new, we will definitely let you know.

Thanks again"

Kira is a spayed two year old, all white Korean Jindo. She is wearing a collar with ID tags, but does not have a microchip. She was adopted about one year ago through Jindo rescue.

Kira was being walked by a dog walker at Fort Funston when she got away and took off. The dog walker and many others walked all over the area, but could not find her. Kira had been to Fort Funston with her people many times, and knows the area well. She was lost on a Thursday afternoon/evening and I was called on Friday. I already had a search the next day in Sacramento, so I said I could come by on Sunday. I was told that two of Kira's leashes were found out on Skyline Blvd, just south of the entrance to Fort Funston.

I met them at Fort Funston and then went to the spot where the leashes were found. We found the track leading south down Skyline and then right into the parking lot of the beach entrance just south of the horse stables.

There was a confirmed sighting of Kira the day before. See the first blue pin. We were there as we came up from the beach. From there she eventually made her way back down to the beach and went all along for several miles. We stopped back at the parking lot in FF and got some food.

I suggested trying further down the beach at the first beach access to see if Kira had gone that far. We did go all the way to the start of the Great Highway and did find her track leading back toward FF. See track three.

When we got back to the parking lot, and it was getting dark, Kira's people called off the search and said they would continue on their own and would let me know about anything they find.

Track #1:

View Kira 1 in a larger map

Total Distance: 17.10 km (10.6 mi)
Total Time: 4:13:04
Moving Time: 2:41:17
Average Pace: 14.80 min/km (23.8 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 9.43 min/km (15.2 min/mi)
Min Pace: 0.98 min/km (1.6 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -40 m (-131 ft)
Max Elevation: 177 m (580 ft)
Elevation Gain: 678 m (2224 ft)
Max Grade: 3 %
Min Grade: -1 %
Recorded: Sun Sep 19 10:46:53 PDT 2010

Track #2:

View Kira 2 in a larger map

Total Distance: 4.14 km (2.6 mi)
Total Time: 7:21
Moving Time: 6:30
Average Pace: 1.78 min/km (2.9 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 1.57 min/km (2.5 min/mi)
Min Pace: 0.66 min/km (1.1 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -35 m (-113 ft)
Max Elevation: 20 m (67 ft)
Elevation Gain: 10 m (32 ft)
Max Grade: 3 %
Min Grade: -7 %
Recorded: Sun Sep 19 17:11:55 PDT 2010

View Kira 3 in a larger map

Total Distance: 6.47 km (4.0 mi)
Total Time: 1:35:36
Moving Time: 54:58
Average Pace: 14.78 min/km (23.8 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 8.50 min/km (13.7 min/mi)
Min Pace: 5.96 min/km (9.6 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -44 m (-145 ft)
Max Elevation: 34 m (110 ft)
Elevation Gain: 270 m (886 ft)
Max Grade: 0 %
Min Grade: 0 %
Recorded: Sun Sep 19 17:24:01 PDT 2010

Saturday, September 18, 2010

"Denali", Grey/White, DSH, Sacramento

Denali is an indoor/outdoor 12 year old neutered male grey with white DSH. He is not wearing a collar, but he has a microchip. He was last seen sometime in the afternoon on Monday, and would typically hang out nearby and on the private road behind his home. There were no sightings or calls about Denali. When Denali did not return within 24 hours, they did start to look for him, but did not consider it to be an emergency. After missing for 48 they did feel that something was seriously wrong. I was called by Denali's person on Friday, and I arrived the next morning.

We found a track leading from the back private road straight out to the street and then made a left  down the street. This continued for many, many blocks straight down the street without any deviation left or right. At this point I mentioned to Denali's person that it looked like to me that Denali had been picked up. He did confirm that transient people were known in the area, especially more since the city shut down a nearby large tent city about six months prior.

Their trash is picked on Monday, but across the street, the trash is picked up on Tuesday, and Denali's person said she has seen transient people on the private road behind their home. I believe that Denali was picked up sometime late Monday night or early Tuesday morning. And we do believe that this person is on a bicycle, probably a mountain bike type of bike. We have also seen some transients using an attachments to their bikes similar to the "carts" used for adults to attach their bikes to haul children behind their bikes. The person we are looking for may have this attached to their bike, which would make it easier to carry Denali in a carrier. And we do believe it is a male because some of the place did not feel safe for a woman to be.

The track continued through parking garages, dumpsters and then made straight shots out of the downtown area to a far distant area of the city. After seeing the search by the end of the third day, it was very obvious to both of us that this person made a beeline out of the area because he knew he possibly had somebody's cat and did not want to be detected.

One of the most fascinating parts of the day was the deviation off of Stockton and into a neighborhood. Both of us could not figure out why this person was here. We asked somebody when the recycling was picked up and they said several days before. By the time we got back to Stockton Blvd, it was obvious to both of us that this person was a scavenger and just looking to pick up anything on the road, and maybe look into cans that might be close to the sidewalk, but not necessarily out on the curb waiting for pick up. This set the tone for the rest of the search because we were constantly trying to figure out how to find this person, and we were taken through their life. In doing this, we also saw other people doing the same things. We would see a person walking down the street with a cart of recycling loose in the basket and then we would see them later with more recycling in the cart and then going directly to dumpsters.

We also discovered why this person went to this far southern part of Sacramento and how easily this person could blend into the area without anybody bothering him. It is a very wide, flat and easy to move around. The economy is depressed with a lot of abandoned homes, empty stores and unemployed people. I saw an entire shopping center that only had a small handful of stores open. When following this person, he went to many of these areas, weaving back and forth, rather than going back to the downtown area where he would be much more visible and harassed. We initially thought he would go back to the downtown area, but found out after three days of tracking him, that he showed no intention of returning.

I have tracked many animals that were picked up by transient people, but I have never followed them for three days and up to eight to ten hours in a day. I truly got to see a small chunk of not only this person's life, but of many others like them. It appears that this person spends a lot of time alone, so it makes sense that they would enjoy the company of a nice cat like Denali.

So this first day is from their home near downtown Sacramento and then out of that area and then directly south to the far south end of Sacramento on the way to Elk Grove, where Denali's person said the economy is very poor and there are a lot of abandoned homes.

Day #1:

View Denali in a larger map

Total Distance: 31.44 km (19.5 mi)
Total Time: 6:24:35
Moving Time: 4:04:57
Average Pace: 12.23 min/km (19.7 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 7.79 min/km (12.5 min/mi)
Min Pace: 5.13 min/km (8.3 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -47 m (-154 ft)
Max Elevation: -5 m (-17 ft)
Elevation Gain: 1166 m (3824 ft)
Max Grade: 12 %
Min Grade: -1 %
Recorded: Sat Sep 18 12:52:39 PDT 2010

This map is a little unclear because  there is a big loop. We started at the top push pin and from there we went down Stockton to the push pin at the recycling center and then into the third push pin where we found a very obvious homeless camp. There were tents and bicycles and lots of trash, but we found no people or animals. These maps of Day #2 were very obvious to us that he had no intention of going back to the downtown area. The track was just wandering around to sleeping and resting areas and to food and recycling. There was no direction or purpose, just killing time and picking up recycling and/or garbage.

Day #2: (due to a battery switch, the day is split into two)
Track #1:

View Denali 2.1 in a larger map

Total Distance: 23.14 km (14.4 mi)
Total Time: 5:47:55
Moving Time: 3:24:50
Average Pace: 15.04 min/km (24.2 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 8.85 min/km (14.2 min/mi)
Min Pace: 4.76 min/km (7.7 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -34 m (-112 ft)
Max Elevation: -5 m (-16 ft)
Elevation Gain: 847 m (2778 ft)
Max Grade: 0 %
Min Grade: 0 %
Recorded: Mon Sep 20 09:47:02 PDT 2010

On this track we had a little hope that he might be heading back to the downtown area. This map contains the shopping center that was largely abandoned and vacant, which would be a great draw for a transient. This track also contains a very scary neighborhood near the end that was clearly a type of "project" area, but it was made worse because it was totally enclosed and fenced. There was a large rolling gate at the entrance that, per maintenance, broke down and removed just the previous night. 

Track #2:

View Denali 2.2 in a larger map

Total Distance: 12.05 km (7.5 mi)
Total Time: 2:10:10
Moving Time: 1:36:17
Average Pace: 10.80 min/km (17.4 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 7.99 min/km (12.9 min/mi)
Min Pace: 5.13 min/km (8.3 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -43 m (-141 ft)
Max Elevation: 6 m (20 ft)
Elevation Gain: 439 m (1441 ft)
Max Grade: 0 %
Min Grade: 0 %
Recorded: Mon Sep 20 15:47:04 PDT 2010

This is a photo I took with my Android that we found as we were following the track. It did fit the type of bike (with all the bags and mountain bike in good shape) that might have Denali. We did find the owner of the bike, a woman, but she said she had not seen Denali. The temperature was high that day, so a cat could not survive outside in those bags, but it was the same type of bike and/or person that we might be following. 

This day was very interesting. Take a look at the track on Power Inn Road where it goes in and out of several businesses on courts and streets. All of these businesses had totally fenced in yards and most were heavy construction. Somehow this person just walked onto the property either in the day or night (with closed gates and high fences) and walked around, sleeping and relaxing and picking up trash. It was totally amazing that this person had such full access even though the employees of these places swore up and down their yards were locked and secure at night and that they did not allow any "homeless" onto the property. How did this person get on and why did nobody care?

Day #3:
Track #1:

View Denali 3.1 in a larger map

Total Distance: 23.85 km (14.8 mi)
Total Time: 5:42:53
Moving Time: 3:27:49
Average Pace: 14.38 min/km (23.1 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 8.71 min/km (14.0 min/mi)
Min Pace: 5.52 min/km (8.9 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -38 m (-125 ft)
Max Elevation: 3 m (10 ft)
Elevation Gain: 857 m (2811 ft)
Max Grade: 0 %
Min Grade: 0 %
Recorded: Tue Sep 21 10:34:01 PDT 2010

This track just dashed hopes that this person might be returning to the downtown area. It was straight south back to the southern part of Sacramento where the past two days were. It was very difficult to follow. Denali's person said that in the beginning of the day he felt somewhat hopeful that this person might return to the downtown area, but by the end of the day, he decided to stop the search and continue on his own. It was almost 5:30 PM, and it was getting cold and dark and overcast. 

Track #2:

View Denali 3.2 in a larger map

Total Distance: 4.75 km (2.9 mi)
Total Time: 1:00:54
Moving Time: 46:02
Average Pace: 12.83 min/km (20.6 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 9.70 min/km (15.6 min/mi)
Min Pace: 6.67 min/km (10.7 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -30 m (-100 ft)
Max Elevation: -8 m (-27 ft)
Elevation Gain: 164 m (537 ft)
Max Grade: 0 %
Min Grade: 0 %
Recorded: Tue Sep 21 16:20:52 PDT 2010

There was another strange twist to this case. After the search of the second day, I received a text message from Denali's person that a neighbor of his came to this door that evening and swore that Denali had died on her doorstep the same night that he disappeared, about a week prior. The story I got from Denali's person, which he admitted was kind of sketchy from this elderly woman (in her 70's), was that a cat who she thought was Denali was found alive on her doorstep late a night (she only remembers that it was already dark). She had heard a noise outside and went to check and found this injured cat on her doorstep. She did not know that Denali was missing at this time, so she didn't think it was him at that point. Even though the cat was still alive, but severely injured, she went to bed and came out the next morning to find a dead cat on her doorstep. She told her husband and her gardener, who happen to be there. 

She told Denali's person that she thought she called Animal Control to pick it up, but nobody came all day. By the end of the day, it was still there. By the next morning it was gone, so she thought that they picked it up. Denali's person called AC, but there was no record of them picking up a cat at that address or even receiving a call to come out. My guess is that her husband or the gardener, in their effort to prevent further stress to her, removed the body and put it in a dumpster. 

Denali's person questioned me whether we were actually following Denali's track if this neighbor saw Denali dead on her doorstep. I said that the neighbor was mistaken, even though the cat she saw she honestly thought was Denali, but it was a cat that looked similar. Denali's person said to me that their neighborhood had a lot of loose roaming cats. And they had already received possible sightings of Denali, all which proved to be not him. I said that this woman, in her honest distress and lack of light and confusion, saw another cat that looked similar to Denali. I said that we were following Denali's track 100%. I am not sure whether he believed me, since he continued to question me on this subject on the third day of the search. 

Honestly, I believe this is a possible attempt to find closure to the loss of their cat. This is a very common response to deal with their grief. I think it is easier to think he is deceased instead of thinking he is being held beyond his choice with a transient traveling all over the place. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Chica", Chihuahua mix, Black/Tan, San Rafael

Chica is a one year old, unspayed black and tan Chihuahua mix. She is not microchipped and not wearing her collar. She escaped the back yard by accident at approximately 10 AM. She had been missing for two days when I was called.

Just as I arrived to their home, they received a call from a neighbor that he had seen Chica at a nearby park that evening, Tuesday, at approximately 6 PM, but he did not know that Chica belonged to them. He had seen one of their posted flyers and then called to tell them where he saw her. He said that she was hanging out at the park, and he thought she belonged to somebody else there at the park. When he left, she was still there.

We started the search from there and then went back up onto the levee and around it and out past an abandoned school and out to San Pedro and then it made a left and went all the way out to China Camp State Park. She pingponged all over the park. After three hours we eventually met  up with a ranger who told us that dogs were not allowed and that we had to leave.

We discovered that there were only two ways out of that park. One was to go up and over the hill, which leads into another part of San Rafael, or back out San Pedro Road. Since we had seen that she did not try to make it over the hill, I decided to try an intersection back on San Pedro to see if we could pick up a scent of her leading back out. We did and it went down San Pedro, and to a bar, through that property and onto a road, which led back to their neighborhood and past the abandoned school. Here it went back toward San Pedro and then made a right, instead of their previous left and continued down San Pedro, where I was told to stop the search. They said they would keep looking for her.

View Chica in a larger map

Total Distance: 22.15 km (13.8 mi)
Total Time: 4:22:34
Moving Time: 3:02:25
Average Pace: 11.85 min/km (19.1 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 8.23 min/km (13.3 min/mi)
Min Pace: 4.76 min/km (7.7 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -55 m (-180 ft)
Max Elevation: 18 m (60 ft)
Elevation Gain: 877 m (2878 ft)
Max Grade: 0 %
Min Grade: 0 %
Recorded: Thu Sep 16 14:45:58 PDT 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

"Jackson", Brown Tabby, DSH, Los Altos

Jackson is a 13 year old brown tabby DSH. He does not have a collar, but he does have a microchip. His people had just moved into their new home that day. Jackson and his housemate were put out in one of the side yards and then the people left for a couple of hours. When they got back only the other cat was there and Jackson was gone. They looked all over the place, but could not find him. He was missing for about a week when I was called.

The day I got there, their second cat did not come back the previous night. They did hear a type of cat scuffle in their yard the previous night, but all they saw was a large black cat with a collar on it. I asked if they knew of a territorial cat in the neighborhood that might have come into the yard. They thought they knew of the cat in question who lived across the street. I thought that that cat might have established their yard previously as part of his territory, and when they moved in, he chased away their cats.

We followed Jackson's track out of the neighborhood and around a nearby court and then out of the area again. From here it went straight into a neighborhood creek and then up some stairs and through a yard. It was here that a woman said she recognized Jackson as a cat she saw on her street just two days prior on that Tuesday evening around 9 PM. We were doing the search on Thursday afternoon. We went to that spot and Jackson's track was there.

From here the track went for several miles all around the area including a shopping center and a school and then down a busy street. Once we got to the busy street, it click in my head that we might be following Jackson's track with him being picked up and walking with a human. Suddenly the track jutted off to the left, across some grass and down some stairs to a below ground area just outside the YMCA. This was not a public entrance. From here the track went up again another set of stairs and back into the park following along the paved paths. We thought that a person may have rested there at the bottom of the stairs since nobody would see them. After resting they went into the park and at this point Jackson's person stopped the track, and we walked back. They said they would continue to look for him and his housemate.

View Jackson in a larger map

Total Distance: 11.57 km (7.2 mi)
Total Time: 3:02:41
Moving Time: 1:40:52
Average Pace: 15.79 min/km (25.4 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 8.72 min/km (14.0 min/mi)
Min Pace: 6.06 min/km (9.8 min/mi)
Min Elevation: 3 m (10 ft)
Max Elevation: 64 m (209 ft)
Elevation Gain: 477 m (1566 ft)
Max Grade: 0 %
Min Grade: 0 %
Recorded: Thu Sep 09 13:59:26 PDT 2010

"Carter", Standard Dachshund, Red, San Ramon

Carter is an eleven year old, red, smooth coat, standard dachshund. He does not have a microchip and is not wearing a collar. He dug out of the yard where he was staying with a friend. He was missing for over one week when I was called.

There were several sightings of Carter in different areas, but not near where he was lost from. There were several sightings of Carter in one area at one time in the intersection of Nantucket and Marblehead in San Ramon on the Wednesday after he was missing. There was another possible sighting nearby in a field, but several days later, and that was, apparently, only by one person from their home. Carter's person was not able to confirm that sighting directly with that person, so we decided to start at the area of the sightings on that Wednesday.

The scent was definitely Carter's and went down to Alcosta Blvd and continued for several miles. There was another sighting of Carter on Alcosta following the previous sightings. The track went down Alcosta and then suddenly turned onto the Iron Horse Trail and continued for another several miles, all the way into Dublin. At this point, Carter's person stopped the search because she had to get back to work. She said she would continue her search for Carter.

View Carter in a larger map

Total Distance: 8.00 km (5.0 mi)
Total Time: 1:22:51
Moving Time: 1:03:06
Average Pace: 10.35 min/km (16.7 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 7.88 min/km (12.7 min/mi)
Min Pace: 6.06 min/km (9.8 min/mi)
Min Elevation: 59 m (192 ft)
Max Elevation: 114 m (374 ft)
Elevation Gain: 262 m (859 ft)
Max Grade: 0 %
Min Grade: 0 %
Recorded: Fri Sep 10 10:20:42 PDT 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"Sedna", English Pointer, San Ramon-Found!

I received a phone call the day after the search that Sedna had been found in the parking lot of where we started the search the day before. A ranger recognized her and called her person. It appears that Sedna backtracked all the way from where we were the day before.

Sedna is a seven year old English Pointer. She is not wearing a collar, but she is microchipped. She and her person went to the Las Trampas Wilderness and were there for several hours. Near 5 PM on that Sunday, the two got separated from each other. Her person went all over the place looking for her until dark, but could not find her.

I was called on that following Tuesday, and we went out that next morning. We had to hike for about a half hour to the last known place where Sedna was seen. Once there, we checked all the different directions and found her direction.

The track went out of the park and onto private property and all the way down to the end of Bollinger Canyon Road. We followed the track for over ten miles all the way into the Moraga area, near St. Mary's College, where Sedna's person stopped the track. He said he would continue to look for her.

View Sedna in a larger map

Total Distance: 16.93 km (10.5 mi)
Total Time: 3:41:12
Moving Time: 2:36:18
Average Pace: 13.07 min/km (21.0 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 9.23 min/km (14.9 min/mi)
Min Pace: 5.13 min/km (8.3 min/mi)
Min Elevation: 136 m (445 ft)
Max Elevation: 519 m (1704 ft)
Elevation Gain: 666 m (2186 ft)
Max Grade: 0 %
Min Grade: 0 %
Recorded: Wed Sep 08 09:56:02 PDT 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

"Riley", Lab/Pit Bull mix, Black, San Rafael-Found!

Riley is a three year old Lab/Pit Bull mix with a white chest and white paws. She is wearing a collar, but has no tags, but she is microchipped.

Riley jumped out of her person's car somewhere between getting onto a freeway on ramp in downtown San Rafeal and going north to the next off ramp of Civic Center/San Pedro and to the McDonalds on the west side of the freeway under the freeway. It was unknown exactly where she jumped out.

I had talked on the phone with her person and she was going to get back with me about doing a search. The next morning I received a phone call that Riley had been returned home. Here is the email I received from her following up the phone call:

"We got a call from the Humane Society.   A woman had been feeding her at work, but was going to be off the next two nights.  The Humane Society had our information and contacted us.  We went to where the woman worked and it took all of about 3 minutes to find her.  She jumped in (her person's) arms.  I was crying, the woman was crying, (her person) was crying, people walking by started crying.  Apparently she and 3 security guards/ janitors had been feeding her. She wouldn’t come to them so they weren’t sure if she was a girl or a boy.  They nicknamed her Smokey Joe.  Once she saw we were ok with the people she was loving all over everyone.  The woman that had been taking care of her the most told the humane society if she didn’t belong to someone that she wanted to adopt her.  I told her that she is my own personal angel, and she has a lot of good karma coming her way.  Riley is ok.  She has lost some weight, and is VERY dirty.  We looked her over and didn’t see any marks so we decided to just take her home, and take her to the vet tomorrow or Friday.   She was less than a mile away from the McDonalds. She was actually hiding beside the courts house."

(entered into lost pet questionnaire 9/3/10)