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Friday, January 4, 2013

"Snickers," Miniature Australian Shepherd, TriColor, Sunnyvale - Found!


January 21, 2013

Hi Jackie,

We are so thankful to Jackie Phillips and Dino for helping us find our teacup sized Australian Shepherd, Snickers, after being lost for six days.  

Our family was on vacation and our house sitter brought Snickers to her house in Sunnyvale (more than 20 minutes away from our home).  A door was left open and Snickers, being shy and timid, wandered out of the busy house and so began our adventure.  I immediately flew home from our vacation to start looking for Snickers.  

After two days of unsuccessful searching on my own, I was able to connect with Jackie and we started at the place of the last sighting.  Dino was able to pick up Snicker's scent and we followed her trail.  She travelled from Sunnyvale, to Santa Clara, to San Jose and ultimately back to Sunnyvale.  She is a very tiny, timid and in this case extremely frightened dog who was on the move but didn’t want to be seen or caught.  It made the job of finding her very difficult.  Jackie advised us to post flyers as we followed her trail.  Dino took us through areas that I would never have thought to look, nor would have I posted flyers in those areas. 

On the sixth day, I received a phone call from an apartment complex in Sunnyvale – they had found a dog that matched the description on the flyer.  We were all so relieved.  If we had not enlisted Jackie’s help, I don’t believe the outcome would have been the same.  We had twice passed the complex with Dino so he was definitely following her trail.  

Without Jackie and Dino’s help, we wouldn’t have been searching in the area where she was ultimately found.  Losing a beloved dog is such an awful experience, but we are so thankful to Jackie and Dino for helping us bring Snickers home!

Michelle and Snicker’s Family
Menlo Park


After tracking Snickers for three days with large groups of people, I had to go out of town to Fresno for some pre-arranged business, and I remained in contact with Snickers mom throughout the day. Here are some emails I received that day, Monday, January 7, 2013. 

January 7, 2013 7:54:28 AM PST

I got a call this morning from a guy who said he saw her around Tasman and Birchwood around 5:30am yesterday morning. That would make sense with the track we were following yesterday because after you left we followed that path to the end (at Tasman). Looks like the flyers are working and I am praying for some more sightings. ........perhaps we can stay in touch to continue at some point in time (and perhaps a fresh sighting).

January 7, 2013 2:14:13 PM PST

Got a call from Sunnyvale Animal Control - I have been speaking with te woman frequently. Apparently someone tries to pick her up Saturday around noon at the same spot.........Looking at the timing (Saturday around noon an Sunday around 5:30am) maybe she is slowing down. It is right by a huge nice mobile home park. I spent a ton of time talking to people in there today and making sure the entire area is covered with flyers. 

January 7, 2013 3:53:09 PM PST

Just got a third call with a sighting yesterday at 11:15 am.  That makes it Saturday at noon, Sunday at 5:30am and Sunday at 11:15am – she is definitely slowing down.  The last woman to call said she looked extremely tired and scared and is going to put some food out tonight.  

January 7, 2013 5:33:39 PM PST
I just picked her up!!!!!

January 7, 2013 5:48:38 PM PST

She was on Lawrence Station Road – in those nice new apartments by the taco truck that we left the sign (chevron gas station on the corner)...I cant thank you enough for you help


Snickers is a three year old, tri-color, spayed, twelve pound, Miniature Australian Shepherd. She is wearing a pink collar without ID tags and she is microchipped. 

Her people were out of town on vacation and a friend was coming by the house to care for the two dogs. On a Tuesday, the friend decided to bring Snickers to her own house in Sunnyvale, but Snickers got scared and took off from the house through an open door. 

There was a sighting of Snickers two days later at a very large shopping center, in front of a Starbucks. We started the search from there. 

On the first day, the track clearly went around and around the shopping center and surrounding area. We ended the day entering the back employee entrance for Great America. Snickers person did get permission from the head of Security to come back the next day and follow the track to see if she entered the actual park. 

On the second day, we did follow the track all around Great America, crisscrossing the same areas over and over and over until the track finally went into another part of the park, where the track continued to go around and around and eventually leave out the same gate she entered. On the first part of the search, Snickers entered a part of the park that was opened at night for holiday guests, so we know she entered the area long after the guests left at 11 PM. The second part of the search was in an area of the park that is not open in the winter time, only in the Spring and Summer. This told us that Snickers spent Thursday night inside the park. Per Security the gates open every morning at 5:45 AM and remain open until closing at 11 PM, and no Security personnel is in the park during closing time, so nobody would have seen her in the park. 

On the third day, Snickers roamed around various industrial and business park sections, getting onto active railroad tracks and eventually onto a popular hiking/walking/biking trail, Coyote Creek Trail. 

Above are the emails describing the sightings throughout the day and on the final day, Monday, when she was found running loose by her mom. 


Day One:

View Snickers Sunnyvale in a larger map

Created by My Tracks on Android.
Name: Snickers Sunnyvale
Activity type: -
Description: -
Total distance: 11.62 km (7.2 mi)
Total time: 3:53:01
Moving time: 2:42:26
Average speed: 2.99 km/h (1.9 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 4.29 km/h (2.7 mi/h)
Max speed: 11.67 km/h (7.2 mi/h)
Average pace: 20.05 min/km (32.3 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 13.98 min/km (22.5 min/mi)
Fastest pace: 5.14 min/km (8.3 min/mi)
Max elevation: 24 m (79 ft)
Min elevation: -32 m (-104 ft)
Elevation gain: 332 m (1090 ft)
Max grade: 4 %
Min grade: 2 %
Recorded: 1/4/2013 12:31pm

Day Two:

View Snickers Sunnyvale Day 2 in a larger map

Created by My Tracks on Android.
Name: Snickers Sunnyvale Day 2
Activity type: -
Description: -
Total distance: 11.78 km (7.3 mi)
Total time: 3:30:07
Moving time: 2:43:14
Average speed: 3.36 km/h (2.1 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 4.33 km/h (2.7 mi/h)
Max speed: 8.70 km/h (5.4 mi/h)
Average pace: 17.84 min/km (28.7 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 13.86 min/km (22.3 min/mi)
Fastest pace: 6.89 min/km (11.1 min/mi)
Max elevation: 30 m (97 ft)
Min elevation: -18 m (-59 ft)
Elevation gain: 309 m (1015 ft)
Max grade: 18 %
Min grade: 15 %
Recorded: 1/5/2013 12:33pm

Day Three:

View Snickers Sunnyvale Day 3 in a larger map

Created by My Tracks on Android.
Name: Snickers Sunnyvale Day 3
Activity type: -
Description: -
Total distance: 21.17 km (13.2 mi)
Total time: 5:11:56
Moving time: 3:54:11
Average speed: 4.07 km/h (2.5 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 5.42 km/h (3.4 mi/h)
Max speed: 77.97 km/h (48.4 mi/h)
Average pace: 14.74 min/km (23.7 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 11.06 min/km (17.8 min/mi)
Fastest pace: 0.77 min/km (1.2 min/mi)
Max elevation: 31 m (103 ft)
Min elevation: -19 m (-62 ft)
Elevation gain: 351 m (1153 ft)
Max grade: 5 %
Min grade: -6 %
Recorded: 1/6/2013 9:18am