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Monday, April 16, 2012

"Axl," Terrier, Black and Tan, San Francisco - Found!

Here is the photo I snapped immediately after Axl ran out of the bushes into his dad's arms!

Axl is a one year old black and tan terrier mix. He is wearing a collar, but does not have any ID tags on. He got loose from the dog walker Monday afternoon. There had been a couple of sightings of Axl, but he would not come to anybody. 

I received a voicemail at 9 AM on Wednesday from Wild Bill Peacock, a dog walker at the Fort Funston dog walking area. I was unable to respond immediately, but he did reach me by text message about an hour later. He told me about Axl being missing at the Fort Funston dog walking area two days earlier. He asked me if I could come out that day to help look for Axl. I said I could be there by 3 PM. I was occupied in the Oakland hills until before that.

At that time, Axl's last known location was on the beach as seen by one of Wild Bill's dog walkers. Heidi was to meet me and show me the location. 

At 2 PM, as I was driving to meet them at Fort Funston, I got a text message that Axl had been seen about an hour ago at the Olympic Club by some maintenance people doing work on the course. I was now to meet Will Bill at the Skyline entrance to the Olympic Club. 

As I pulled into the Olympic Club at about 3:15, Wild Bill was waiting at the entrance. We drove down together to the parking lot. He said that Axl's dad was somewhere on the course, since Axl had been spotted at the 11th hole. Wild Bill said that I was to meet Axl's dad on the 11th hole. 

We got the scent article, I put on Dino's cooling jacket and harness, we got into a golf cart driven by one of the employees, and he drove me to the 11th hole. When we got there, we could not find Axl's dad. I called him on his cell phone, but could not reach him, and I left a message. We drove around more trying to find him. Finally, I got a phone call when we were back up at the top of the driving range. He said he was on the other side of the driving range. We drove there to pick him up, and then we went to the 11th hole and spoke to the maintenance worker who had seen Axl, who, luckily, was still there. I spoke directly to him and confirmed where he saw Axl. 

I showed Dino the whole area of where Axl was spotted, and then gave him the word, "Search." Dino turned and went up the hill, along a pathway, across a couple of greens and straight toward one of the open gates leading out to Skyline Blvd. I showed Dino all the directions, and Dino picked the direction to the right, which had the driving range on our right. On our left was the wall along Skyline Blvd and several feet of bushes, trees and weeds. At this point, I knew that Axl could still be on the course and hiding somewhere. I had Axl's dad start calling Axl's name and saying his favorite words.

We continued for about another 100 feet with the bushes on our left and the driving range on the right. I was about 25 feet ahead of Axl's dad when I saw a hose in an open shed to my right. I stepped in quickly to give Dino a drink of water and put water on his cooling jacket, which had started to dry. I have learned to always take advantage of water since we have been stuck where water was not available for long stretches. 

I was in the shed for less than 20 seconds, when I stepped out and Axl was in his dad's arms and his dad was saying that Axl came out of the set of bushes we had just passed! I was so happy! I ran over to them and took a quick photo, which is the photo above. At this point, I texted Wild Bill to tell him that we had found Axl, which was at 4:19 PM, an hour after I drove into the Olympic Club. 

This is a photo of Axl at home with his buddy. 


(My notes: I received the following email from a friend who belongs to this Yahoo! group. This is a letter that Bill Peacock, the dog walker who was walking Axl the day he went missing, sent it to the Yahoo! group. I was forwarded the post by another person who belongs to this group. I did make some notes along the way where Bill’s information is not 100% correct, but it is still a good account of what happened that day. Bill was not with us on the search. I was with Brian, Axl’s dad, and he had his other little dog.)
From: Bill Peacock
Date: April 14, 2012 8:25:55 AM PDT
To: Prodog
Subject: Axl found!
“I got a lot of follow up questions to the Axl saga.
Forgive me for the delayed response.
The groundskeepers at the Olympic Club spotted Axl about 2:30 on Wednesday.  
The entire grounds crew got involved in tracking him.  I tried to explain to the manager that being pursued by golf carts would just further spook the already frightened dog.
He said he had tried to say that, "but the guys are pretty into the chase".
So the owner and I arrive. We are each given a chauffer and are driven around like mad while the guys shout into their walkie talkies.
I nearly fell out of the cart repeatedly during frantic u turns.  Axl has gone back into hiding.
Now Jackie Phillips from arrives.
She wants $65 per hour of searching with a 4 hour minimum.  My pleasure!
She gets her tracking dog, Dino, out of the van.  Dino appears to be a mix of just about every hunting breed you van think of.
She doesn’t have Dino smell Axl's harness & jacket like they do on TV.  Instead she sprays a solution on a paper towel, wipes down the harness, and has Dino smell that.
(My notes: I didn’t spray any solution on the paper towels. I only use clean paper towels with nothing on it.)
Then she takes Dino's dog vest, soaks it in icewater, & straps it and a harness to Dino's back.
(My notes: I don’t use icewater on Dino’s cooling jacket. It is plain water stored in a hand-carried cooler, which is stored in my car at room temperature.)
She and Axl’s owner go to the last place Axl had been seen.  Dino identifies a stretch of bushes as containing Axl.
(My notes: The place we started was not near the place where Axl was eventually found. We were tracking for over 15 minutes on the golf course when the track led past where Axl was eventually found.)
Jackie points to the bushes, tells Axl's owner to call his dog, and takes Dino into the bathroom to get him some water.
(My notes: We did walk past the bushes where I thought Axl could be hiding, and I tell Axl’s dad to start calling for Axl since he could be hiding nearby. We did not go to a bathroom. I was about 25 feet ahead of Axl’s dad. We went to a small storage shed that was about six feet deep. I saw a hose and jumped in quickly to fill up the water bottles, given Dino a quick drink and replenish his cooling jacket, which had started to dry.)
While she is in the bathroom (My notes: storage shed) Axl runs out of the bushes and jumps into his owners arms!
All this took about 30 minutes.
(My notes: Actually the time was an hour from the time I got to the Olympic Club to the time we found Axl.)
Completely amazing!
Other than calling Jackie, getting a flyer to the staff of the Olympic Club was the most important step in the recovery of Axl.
This was Axl's first walk back after staying home a month after surgery.  The little bugger wasnt ready to go home after an hour on monday.  He was ready after 48 hours in the rain. 
Fwd: Axl found!
Posted by: "Jean Kind”
Date: Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:20 am ((PDT))
 On Apr 11, 2012, at 9:55 PM, (My notes: email deleted for privacy) wrote:
This is a good reminder too that if you can foster, you may be changing LOTS of lives as Dino was an ex Grateful Dogs Rescue dog!  You never know who you are giving a second chance and therefore having a ripple effect, saving lots of other lives!
What amazing work!  So happy for you all. 
From: Janet Slissman
To: Jean Kind
Cc: Bill Peacock
Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 7:54:12 PM
Subject: Axl found!
Hi ya all!
Yes, I sent a message to ProDog several months ago regarding my client's praise of Jackie.  The important thing to know, is that it is super important to contact her "IMMEDIATELY".  Seconds count.  She found my client's dog, but it had been hit by a car and it was too late.  But it did bring closure, knowing what happened to her dog.  She definitely is awesome!  and should be part of your contacts.
Doggie Business

View Axl San Franciso in a larger map

Created by My Tracks on Android.
Total distance: 6.37 km (4.0 mi)
Total time: 55:17
Moving time: 33:58
Average speed: 6.91 km/h (4.3 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 11.24 km/h (7.0 mi/h)
Max speed: 31.67 km/h (19.7 mi/h)
Average pace: 8.69 min/km (14.0 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 5.34 min/km (8.6 min/mi)
Min pace: 1.89 min/km (3.0 min/mi)
Max elevation: 80 m (262 ft)
Min elevation: 21 m (67 ft)
Elevation gain: 135 m (443 ft)
Max grade: 9 %
Min grade: -9 %
Recorded: 4/11/2012 3:24 PM
Activity type: -