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Thursday, December 16, 2010

"Benny", Chihuahua mix, Black with white, Salinas

Benny is a nine pound black with white Chihuahua mix. He has long legs, unlike a lot of short legged Chi mixed we saw running loose in Salinas. He is not wearing a collar and does not have a microchip. He was let out into his fenced yard early Monday morning, but managed to push aside several blocks that prevent him from crawling under the large rolling gate. There were no sightings of him. I was called out about one week after he went missing. 

I forgot to start the mapping/tracking software for about one half hour after we started. 

The track we found led away from his home and all the way to a 101 North highway entrance. Here the track was kind of erratic as it went onto the entrance, then backed away, then turned left and then right back over the entrance and continued up the road and away. It appears Benny was by himself at this point.

The track continued all the way to the other side of Salinas, through a massive lettuce farm and all the way out to Old Stage Road, which, as it turns out, isn't to Old Stage. We discovered it was a very busy commuter road. However, there was very little shoulder along the way. We went as far as possible until it got dark at 5 PM and got too unsafe to walk on the road.

They asked me to come back the next day. 

There were definite overlapping signs that Benny may either still be by himself or with someone. The signs are very similar. 

Day One:

View Benny in a larger map

Total Distance: 16.97 km (10.5 mi)
Total Time: 2:38:02
Moving Time: 2:12:13
Average Pace: 9.31 min/km (15.0 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 7.79 min/km (12.5 min/mi)
Min Pace: 0.78 min/km (1.3 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -25 m (-83 ft)
Max Elevation: 35 m (114 ft)
Elevation Gain: 385 m (1264 ft)
Max Grade: 5 %
Min Grade: -1 %
Recorded: Mon Dec 13 14:22:45 PST 201

Day #2:

We continued along the track the next day. 

The roads were very similar to the previous day. Farms and fields for miles and miles in every direction, but we were still in Salinas. I had no idea how massive and spread out Salinas was. 

Once we got off of the main farms road and went directly into the shopping center via foot paths and not driveways, and straight toward a recycling center, I was convinced that Benny had been picked up and was with somebody. I told this to Benny's people. I said I was not sure where the pick up had occurred, but it could have been anywhere along the road or fields that day or the previous.

After we left the shopping center, we were along roads that led directly to remote neighborhoods and trash cans were all along the sides of the roads. Since the search we were currently on was Tuesday, and they would have been passing in that same area about last Tuesday.

The track led all the way down to Highway One, where it crossed over the freeway and up a steep road to an area that was all fields and farms for miles without a human in sight. Honestly, that place was very spooky and eeriey. There was trash tucked on the edges of the weeds and bushes and the area had a lot of activity by people just sitting around. Benny's scent was all over the place. It took me and Dot about three rounds of checking all the ways out until we found the most current scent, which led back down the same road. This tells me they spent several hours in this one spot, probably in the middle of the night where they couldn't be detected. However, that is a one way road for vehicles. So that confirmed that we were not following somebody in a vehicle. 

After making a u turn on One and got back to that road, we picked up the track again and it continued back up the previous road down. Here Benny's person stopped the search. She was frustrated that she didn't feel we would catch up to these people, especially since we were a week behind. She said they would keep looking for Benny. 

View Benny 2 in a larger map

Total Distance: 23.33 km (14.5 mi)
Total Time: 3:52:31
Moving Time: 2:45:11
Average Pace: 9.97 min/km (16.0 min/mi)
Average Moving Pace: 7.08 min/km (11.4 min/mi)
Min Pace: 0.67 min/km (1.1 min/mi)
Min Elevation: -30 m (-98 ft)
Max Elevation: 28 m (91 ft)
Elevation Gain: 575 m (1888 ft)
Max Grade: 10 %
Min Grade: -7 %
Recorded: Tue Dec 14 08:48:48 PST 2010