Lost Poodle San Jose

Friday, December 4, 2009

Raven is still lost -- $1,500 reward for her safe return

Well, with a heavy heart, I have to report that there is basically no news. Raven was spotted last on November 2nd near the Lexington Elementary School in Los Gatos.

It has been over a month now and we have not had any sightings or verifiable information about her. She may have traveled a long distance by now, or she may be in the Los Gatos/Santa Cruz/San Jose area still.

We have been in contact with an animal communicator, who reports that Raven is with a family that picked her up and drove her some distance to their home. This could mean that she is some distance away, but then again there is just no way to know if this is true. Mark and I both hope it is true, in a way, because this would be better than her being out there on her own still, possibly injured, hungry and/or cold.

We miss our dog terribly. She is a real member of the family. We still hope that somehow we will be able to get her back. She is chipped and, at the time of her loss, was wearing a pink collar with tags bearing both of our cell phone numbers. We would greatly appreciate anything that you could do to help us find her, and we would like nothing more than to pay someone the reward money and be reunited with our sweet baby dog.

Monica and Mark

Monday, November 23, 2009

Update on search activities

Hello everyone, this is Monica with a long-overdue update. We are not giving up and continue to do whatever we can in our search for Raven. Raven has not been seen since November 2nd, when she was spotted near the Lexington Reservoir and Lexington Elementary School in Los Gatos. This has been the longest time without a sighting since Raven was lost nearly two months ago. We are sad and worried -- it will not the best of Thanksgiving holidays for us with our baby dog still lost. . . .

Given that Raven was last seen in the area of Los Gatos that is closest to the Santa Cruz mountains, it is very possible that she has gone into the more woodsy, less-populated area and that would explain why no one has seen her. We maintained a feeding station near the Lexington Elementary School for many days, but unfortunately Raven never returned there. We had a remote, motion-detector camera to take photos of any activity, but it was only some neighborhood cats eating the food that we left out.

Given that there are many less residents in the Santa Cruz mountains, we have gotten creative in our efforts to get out the word about Raven. We are thankful that Raven's flyer and info were posted on the Mountain News Network website (www.mnn.net). We are also getting Raven included in the email newsletters to parents sent out by Loma Prieta School, CT English School and Lexington Elementary.

The folks at Summit Market were kind enough to post Raven's flyer prominently at their store. Our friend Maryann (the "poster queen"), continues to help with flyers and large posters in the area. Mark and Elaine searched one weekend day, while Monica and baby Sofia drove over the mountains and went to the Santa Cruz shelter to put in a lost dog report with them personally. Our friend Cari continues to be a big help with local contacts and suggestions, and well as new people that have contacted us as as result of our craigslist postings, such as Luann.

We had a false alarm last week when we received a call from a very nice man who thought that he might have seen Raven near Soda Springs Road. To make a long story short, we learned through the grapevine that a family who lives right nearby happens to have a male black poodle who looks a lot like Raven. His name is Shadow, and he is a bit of an escape artist. We were able to contact these folks, and they were kind enough to take the time to get photos of their dogs to us. When we emailed the photos to our caller, he confirmed that it probably was Shadow that he had seen, and not Raven. So, while this was not an updated location for us, at least it is good that people are aware of Raven and trying to help out.

On another front, Elaine has contacted an animal communicator again in an attempt to contact Raven. The communicator told us that she saw Raven being taken somewhere in a truck and being allowed to eat and rest in someone's home. To be honest, Mark and I are not really sure what to make of this. We remain somewhat cynical, but on the other hand, we hope that Raven is OK. Of course we want to find her and bring her back home with us. However, until that happens, being cared for by someone else would be the next best thing. At least she is not cold, hungry and possibly injured and vulnerable on her own. . . .

So, we would like to believe that the animal communicator is correct, but nevertheless will keep searching and trying to get the word out about Raven. In the upcoming week, we will revisit our efforts to contact veterinary offices and dog groomers. If Raven has been found by anyone, they might take her in to a vet or groomer for care. There is no way to know if she is still wearing her pink collar -- but if she is, then she would presumably still have the tags with both of our current cell phone numbers and her Alameda dog license. It would be super quick and easy for someone to contact us if they found the collar. Even if she does not have it anymore, she is micro-chipped too, so there is always the chance that the chip would be scanned and she could get back to us in that way.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Please give your dogs a big hug and tell them how thankful you are to have such loyal, devoted members of your family.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The possibility of Lake Elsman

Yesterday, while Mary Ann stopped by Elaine's house to pick up posters and supplies we talked about where Raven might be now. Mary Ann's theory was that she may have gone further south down towards Lake Elsman which is the first reservoir on Los Gatos creek, Lexington being the second. This made some sense to us, as Raven has to our knowledge not really left the creek system for very long and has generally made her way south in the six weeks she has been missing. We have no sightings for two weeks now, the last being over at the Lexington Elementary school, and while it is still perfectly possible that our girl is in the basin there or nearby, it is also possible she has migrated again. and if she was to migrate, south seems like the most likely possibility given that it is consistent with what she has done in the past. So we set out to look for Lake Elsman.

Basically we learned this - you can't get to Lake Elsman. The whole thing is on San Jose Water Company land and the only entrance is gated. We put posters on the gate hoping to alert the Water Company employees that Raven may be in the area.

We also learned that there are roads that you can take from Lexington Reservoir over to the Lake Elsman area if you are a dog. If you are a person you take Aldercroft Heights south from the southern base of Lexington Reservoir and it gets narrower and narrower and ultimately dead ends along the creek a few miles south. At the dead end is San Jose Water Company land and there is a gate and a dirt road that continues south behind the gate. So we cannot go there, but a dog certainly could. We figure the dirt road opens up again at the base of Wright Station road (off Morill, off Summit Rd) and then more or less dumps you back into Water Company land again. So it would not necessarily be bushwacking for Raven to go further south. Food might be a problem, but if she is hunting, maybe not.

If she has gone south via this route, there's hardly anyone there at all so there would be even fewer people available to see her and let us know. Nothing we can do about that if that is the case, except try to reach those few people who frequent that direction.

On Monday I will call the Water Company and try to alert them to the fact that my dog may be on their land. It would be good for their field crews to be aware of the possibility anyway.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Back to searching again

Hello all,
Still no news, but we are hard at work. It is a Saturday afternoon, and we have three things going simultaneously. We are thinking that we cannot pinpoint Raven's location as it has been a while between sightings. There is a possibility that she has gone further South into the mountains or even into the Santa Cruz area.

To that end, Mark and Elaine are spending today driving around the area and putting up more lost dog flyers in a broader territory. They will also check the feeding station again, in the hopes that Raven may have gone back to the Lexington School area again....

In the meantime, as soon as our little girl Sofia wakes up from her nap, she and I are going to do yet another shelter run. In addition to the San Jose shelters, we are also going to the animal shelter in Santa Cruz this time. We have called them in the past to let them know about Raven, but I do not think that we have actually gone there in person yet to make a lost dog report and give them the flyer with photos.

Our new friend Maryann has been helping a lot with flyers and awareness in the Los Gatos/Lexington Reservoir area as well. She just stopped by today to get more flyers and materials to make the large posters. Posting flyers is really a constant task, and frustrating because they get taken down (or sometimes rained on) pretty quickly....

We continue to maintain our craigslist ad and have raised the reward amount to $1,500. We always get responses to the craigslist post, but usually it is just well-meaning advice or expressions of support. Not everyone is nice-- last week someone responded that Raven looks like a dirty mop-- I really do not understand folks like that. However, it is also very clear that there are overwhelmingly more people who are kind and helpful compared to the very few who are just mean.

Anyway, as always, we are marching forward and continuing the search for our lost Raven!!

Written by Monica

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Animal Communicator and Request for Consistency of Messages Sent To Raven

While making a dog-related purchase via phone the other day, Elaine learned that Raven's fame has spread to the east coast - the merchant she was dealing with had heard of Raven and wanted to do something to help bring her home. This merchant recommended and paid for (thank you!) sessions with an animal communicator who did several sessions with Raven (however that gets done) and then communicated with Elaine as follows:
  • Raven is alive and would like to return home (when she thinks about home)

  • She finds the idea of returning to the Lexington School overwhelming

  • She is picking up on many people worrying about her and pointing her in different directions and this is confusing her.

If Raven won't/can't return to a location we know how to get to, then the only other good solution to suggest to her is that we urge her to go to go up to someone who can help get her home to us.

To this effect, may we make a public appeal please? Can everyone coordinate and focus on one or two thoughts with regard to Raven?
  • Send mental pictures to Raven that she can be back home with us - her family

  • Encourage her to find a safe person to approach and then calmly siting down in front of that person, so that that person can help get her home to us.

I don't know what to make of this animal communication stuff - I'm mostly skeptical frankly - but doing this cannot hurt, and maybe will help. So - skeptic or not, if you are reading this, please send Raven some consistent messages about how best to get home.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Thank you

We wanted to take a moment to thank everybody who has called or emailed with good wishes, and those of you who are silently sending good thoughts our way. We are still actively looking for Raven with a group of incredible, dedicated volunteers, and after over 5 weeks of looking it is often your well-wishes that help keep us going.

We really appreciate your support.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Hello All. I wanted to let everyone know that unfortunately the craigslist listing was not Raven.

Hopefully something else will turn up soon. We are still maintaining the feeding station. The folks at the fire department have been extremely kind and cooperative. Mary Ann has been busy walking the trails in the Lexington reservoir area and also posting flyers in the new area where Raven was spotted. Gilda checked the animal shelters yesterday -- again -- if only they gave frequent flyer points!! ;) Other friends and volunteers are also continuing to help as well, and we are extremely grateful.

Monday, November 2, 2009


A few developments happened today. We got a call from the Lexington School to the effect that a few of their children reported seeing Raven just south of the school. They were not able to provide a concrete location as to how far south, however. Elaine went out there to look around, but no Raven.

Last night on Craigslist someone posted the following:

Found Female fluffy black dog with extremely long matted fur.Has stickers and leaves stuck in coat. No collar. Have been out of town on vacation for 3 weeks and it appears the dog had taken up residence in our garage (using doggy door) Very nervous/anxious and is hard to approach. We have shut the doggy door via the outside and will hold her there until morning. Looks to be a sheepdog or similar breed. All black with a few specks of silver. She was EXTREMELY hungry and is being fed and taken care of here.

Please contact if you think this is your dog. Please be able to show proof of ownership

We have written them via craigslist anon email - the only option possible, but they have not responded yet. Finding that Raven was up north in West San Jose - where she started her ordeal - would be at odds with our tracking data which suggests that she was recently far to the south (e.g., by Lexington Reservoir). It's certainly possible that she is the dog in question, and hopefully these people will contact us and we will be able to find out - but we don't know until they do.

The one solid thing to acknowledge is the ongoing support of the wonderful people on our find_raven list. Randi has been checking shelters; Mary Ann has been putting up posters, and that's just what I can think of off the top of my head. Thank you sincerely all for your help, time, attention and compassion.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Movement within the Lexington Reservoir area

We did a second day of tracking based on Monday's sighting at Lexington Elementary School, mostly to see if Raven stayed in the area. We know it is very rare to be tracking and to come across the object of your search. Mostly, we are tracking to know where to do promotion and feeding stations at this point. Here is the track:

R7 at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail: GPS Trip Sharing with Google Maps

We started at the CDF alma station where we had left off the previous day. Raven went south back towards the school but veered off towards the shore of the reservoir. She basically went south from there until she could not go south anymore. If you look on the google map, the reservoir appears full but the reality of the situation at this point in time is that the thing is maybe 1/4 full. The south end, where the creek comes into it from the mountains is pretty much just a mud flat with a creek running through it. There are some houses along Oakmont Drive and she basically headed for them and skirted their backyards which look out over the expanse of reservoir to the north. We passed an old bridge which normally would be under water. Because of the low water levels, it was walkable and covered with grass. This is some road remnant of the old town of Alma we later learned which was submerged to form the reservoir.

Passed the Oakmont area homes, raven actually got into the creek and then went north for a short while on the eastern side before doubling back south in the creek bed itself. She progressed into increasingly muddy and reedy areas until we encountered what appeared to be a beaver dam with an actual small but rather deep pond behind it. We were not sure if Raven had gone further south at this point, but we knew that we could not go further south. Cursing under our breath and hungry for lunch, we backtracked ourselves towards the Oakmont area and came out onto that street only to find that Dino had the scent again - Raven had not gotten past the pond but we don't know how she got herself from there to Oakmont. Elaine brought lunch at the intersection of Oakmont and Old Santa Cruz highway and then we were walking north again on Old Santa Cruz.

The Lexington Elementary school is not far, and Raven must have realized this, because she basically made a bee-line there. We stopped at the entry gate after realizing that Raven had gone into their campus to check with the office to see if it was okay that we be there. It was, so we proceeded. Raven had gotten in through the main gate and proceeded to do about three or four loops around the entire campus. At first she was exploring and looking for food, but the later loops started to be more about checking out the fence for a way out. Somewhere in the middle of the campus track segment, Raven had actually walked into their cafeteria building through door 1 and then across the length of that room and out the door 2. No one noticed her - this might have been early morning or late in the afternoon when few people were around. We saw various food items on the ground here and there so it was apparent that this was a decent place for her to get a meal.

From the school she walked north on Old Santa Cruz until she got back to the CDF station, which she entered again and did another loop around, leaving there by picking up the trail that runs through their backyard - an extension of the Los Gatos Creek trail. She took this trail (which she knew well from the previous day) straight north to the Dam and then walked across the dam due east until finding the boat ramp parking lot. She explored the area there and then went down to the water where we stopped for the day.

The last thing we did was significant. While on the dam we took the dogs down the north side to the actual Los Gatos Creek Trail terminus from where you can get to Los Gatos or Campbell and asked Dino and Dot to tell us whether Raven had headed North. The answer was no.

So - we see here more of the same behavior that she's been engaging in - continuous movement - searching for food and new movement opportunites. One of the things we noticed today is that with the exception of her visit to the Lexington school, she was not near garbage cans. We are thinking that maybe she has been hunting and this accounts for her ability to maintain such an energy level in an area where she has much less human food opportunities. Not sure. If this is the case, it's a bad thing because that makes her less likely to stay near people -- and there are a lot of opportunities to go into places where no one lives (so she becomes invisible completely) and where we cannot track her. all she needs to do is to go south or east and she disappears.

I was debating whether it made sense to continue tracking after today and have decided (with the assistance of Monica and Elaine) that for the moment, further tracking won't help. The reasoning is this. If she is merely staying in the Reservoir area, more tracking won't help us. If she goes further south or east, tracking won't help us because there really aren't many people in those directions (if any in some directions!). She didn't go north. West is cut off by 17 and we saw no signs of crossing 17 (although she could do that). If she did go west, it's pretty much the same as if she went east - few people and roads and difficult to track her there. We have a very poor understanding of the area and the prospects for where people live and where she might be seen if she goes east south or west, so if you live in the area and/or have an intimate knowledge of the terrain there, can you please comment and tell us if we're missing something? That could be helpful.

We've kept the feeding station at the CDF in place so maybe she will make the rounds again and find the food and we'll get her to come back there on that basis. Or maybe she won't. This is not a situation which can be forced, unfortunately.

Tired now. More as we have it, but at this moment I'm not expecting more for a bit unless something pops at the feeding station. Would be that this was an easier task.

Thursday Mid-day Update

Mark, Jackie and the tracking dogs are back out on Raven's trail again right now. I checked in with Mark when they broke for lunch, and he said that the trail went through some very marshy areas so that they spent a lot of the morning wading through the muck. Now she has gotten away from that and back onto solid ground.

Unfortunately the dog food that we left at the fire station was untouched overnight, so Raven did not return there. Her movements seem kid of frantic and random now, so we think that she is just desperately hungry and searching for food. I really wish that she would stay in one place -- it would be so much easier to find her and help her.

We are also really hoping that she heads back to the more populated and developed areas of Los Gatos. I don't know about all of you, but seeing that photo that Mark posted of the large animal prints in the area has made me even more scared for Raven's safety. I hope that she will go back towards town where she will be away from large, predatory animals....

Posted by Monica

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Raven tracked to the west side of the Lexington Reservoir by Lexington Elementary

This morning (Wednesday) we received an email from a woman saying that she had seen raven on monday morning just as she was pulling out of the Lexington Elementary School in the area by Lexington Reservoir south of Los Gatos. She described a large black poodle, moving fast, crossing the street several times and then running away. She saw a collar and thought it was odd that this dog would be alone. She was not aware then that Raven was missing but did figure it out based on some sort of electronic networking we as a group have done - perhaps through facebook or similar.

Since the report seemed very credible; since my father is in town helping us with child care (Monica is away on business); and since Jackie was available to do tracking (originally she was scheduled to be out of town this week), I arranged for Jackie to meet me at the Lexington school with Elaine. Jackie got there about 1:30 and we were quickly able to determine that the sighting was Raven (as Dino and Dot easily picked up the scent heading down Old Santa Cruz Highway south from the school driveway. I recorded the days track which appears below:

R6 at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail: Share and Plan your Trips

Starting at the elementary school (which by the way google locates inaccurately on the map) about 10:20am this past monday , raven quickly crossed over onto a spit of land adjacent to the reservoir where roads were being constructed for houses. She tried to go down to the water but didn't seem to make it. A layer of burr-covered dried out plants by the water's edge was sticking to Dino and Dot and our shoelaces and it seems likely that Raven - to whom these sharp burrs would easily adhere - would have picked up a couple thousand of them in a matter of minutes. The presence of these burrs may have made the short distance impassible.

She doubled back and went along a little inlet and then back onto the roads that were being build for houses. She moved through the woods from these houses and came across a graphiti covered concrete holding basin the size of a swimming pool adjacent to the road but down the slope so as to be impossible to see from the road. She moved past the basin up a driveway and came out by the CDF Alma Station Helibase into which she went exploring. She moved along the periphery of some of the buildings. As we moved into the station we spoke with some firefighters there all of whom were very nice but no one had seen her.

She moved down the slope behind the base and picked up a trail there. Several times she did loops from the trail towards the water and then ended up doubling back to the trail. As she came into a large dirt parking lot directly to the north of the CDF station she did several of these loops. We think the narrow trails there, the upslope portions of which were covered with people's garbage may have attracted her attention as they would have smelled of food. But several times she looped and came back to the parking lot not finding anything satisfying there.

She continued to move north from there and ultimately made her way into a marshy area where the remains of an old concrete boat ramp or similar were located. We spoke with some fishermen there who had not seen her. Near the water (which was easily accessible here) we saw some very large animal tracks none of which looked terribly friendly. The largest of these was made by a pad-footed animal with claws and was easily 4-5 inches across in width (see the photo of the print with my shoe for comparison - also notice the burrs on my shoelaces). Perhaps a mountain lion? Hard to say, but nothing I'd like myself or my dog to meet at night or during the day either.

Raven pressed forward through a very marshy section before turning back around, heading south again and ending back up at the CDF station again. This time she found their living quarters and mess hall and did a few loops around there, going up the porches.

It was starting to get dark about then and neither Jackie nor myself had any desire to be out in the woods at dusk. We continued to track just a bit from the CDF station - passed several houses under construction and then found that concrete basin again - went up the hill towards the road and came out by the CDF station for a third time. This is where we ended for the day.

The last time we saw this sort of crossing paths we tried to set up a feeding station. It did not work, but it seemed like it was still a good idea so that is what we did again tonight with the kind permission of several of the men and women and one of the captains manning the station. With any luck she will find it and have a decent meal.

Though raven is now expending a lot of energy to move about, she isn't moving anywhere in particular. Her movements seem very random (more than before), with lots of loops and with a frenetic character as though she cannot rest. Jackie says she is probably very hungry and this is why (combined with her general tendency to move quickly anyway) she keeps going on like this. It's all about finding the next bit of garbage she can eat now. No time for anything else.

Since we now have a pretty recent sighting we also have a basis for doing another findtoto.com robocall in that area, so Monica scheduled one which apparently went out this afternoon while I was out tracking. Perhaps our elementary school mom is not the only person who has seen Raven.

By going south into the Lexington Reservoir area, raven has left the relatively safe confines of the Los Gatos to Campbell trail and entered open and far less populated territory. There are real wild animals there and much less food. This is not a good move for her to have made, but on the other side of the coin, at least we have some sense of where she is recently. before this we had no sightings for two full weeks and were really feeling that there was nothing to do to advance the search but post flyers semi-randomly in areas that seemed logical. Now we know to focus our efforts near the reservoir.

We know that Raven moves quickly and does not seem to stay in any place. So tomorrow we will track again and perhaps see if she has moved on from Lexington. I hope not. I hope she finds our food and the nice firefighters at the CDF station. but anything could happen.

BREAKING NEWS: Raven spotted Monday in Los Gatos!

We're hot on Raven's tail... er trail again!

Mark heard from a nice woman named Vilma who said that she saw Raven Monday morning at the Lexington Elementary School which is at 19700 Santa Cruz Hwy in Los Gatos. Mark has rushed there and met up with our tracker, Jackie and her dogs. A few minutes ago the tracking dogs have picked up Raven's scent and so now they are back on her trail.

This is a wonderful development because we were about 2 weeks behind her on the trail and now we are only two days behind!

We also checked with the Poodle Rescue Volunteer who provided the photo of "what Raven might look like now" and I am happy to report that this dog has been in a new home for well over a year now.

This post was written jointly by Monica and Elaine.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A nice comment

Lots of folks have told us that they are checking this blog every day and hoping for good news. We would love nothing more than to actually have the best news and share it with everyone... but unfortunately, at least for today, we still have not found our Raven.

We are working on the ideas previously mentioned, and also trying to get some newspaper coverage for Raven's story.

I thought that I would share with everyone this very nice comment sent in by Leisha. It is messages like this one that keep us going in this darkest of times:

You guys have done a great job of getting the word out there. I have been following your blog since I first saw people putting up posters in Los Gatos many mornings ago. We have a black standard poodle too. And, everytime, and I do mean EVERYtime we take him out with us, we get stopped by people asking if it is Raven. I took our dog, Cooper to my daughters' school and so many kids were asking too. I had several tell me that they look for Raven when the walk to and from school. I am sharing this with you so in these tough times, you know all you have been doing is working. So many are looking, and hoping for Raven's safe return home. No matter what my girls and I are doing, we are always looking for her. You guys are really doing an amazing job! I am sending you good thoughts and prayers.

Thank you so much, Leisha. We really need all of the help that we can get!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

What Raven might look like now

We are coming up on a month that Raven is missing now. We have no new sightings since two weekends ago at the Campbell Farmer's Market. It's depressing and we are dealing with the sort of coming out of shock and coming to terms with the idea that we may never see Raven again. Then again, just today, on the mailing list, someone posted a story about a dog who was lost for three months and then got reconnected with its people. So there is hope, but it's impossible to know what will happen.

What we do know is that if and when Raven is found, she will not look like the nice photographs we've got posted at right, but instead like the rescue poodle pictured at left. Poodles have hair - not fur and they do not shed. Instead, their hair keeps growing and growing and they get shaggier and shaggier. The only way their coat stays a reasonable length is through grooming and cuting/shaving. Raven's coat was already at the long side of the spectrum when she was lost - that was about three months of growth (from the shaved-to-velvet baseline) and she will now be at four months and counting. The hair is also very fine, so it tends to get matted when it gets wet, which is also likely.

The poodle in this photograph is not Raven. I'm not sure who this dog is, actually, but the photo was contributed by Susan Wilson who does volunteer work with Bay Area Poodle Rescue as an example of what lost poodles look like upon being claimed at a shelter. They look like sheepdogs or something similar; so different in fact that people may not realize they are poodles unless they have a photo like this for reference.

So - if you see a female dog that looks like this one down in the Los Gatos Creek, or in a shelter, please give us a call. We miss our baby very much.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

More searching, no luck

Hello all. Mark and I have gone back to our day jobs. Had to go back to ensure that there would be something to go back to...!! Anyway, we were out this weekend with Sofia and Elaine and walked the Los Gatos Creek Trail once again looking for Raven. Still no luck.

We are coming up with strategies for what to do next, and have the following ideas:

1. raise the reward amount

2. advertise in more local newspapers and publications

3. do a direct mail campaign in the targeted area of Campbell and Los Gatos

4. contact an animal communicator again

We are pursuing all of these things, and are eternally grateful to our team of friends and volunteers that are helping us with them.

We have not had a sighting of Raven in 2 weeks now, which is depressing and scary. We are still hoping that Raven will be found and that she can return home to our family soon.

I think the most important thing that we can do is keep talking to people, posting flyers and generally trying to raise awareness about Raven in the Campbell and Los Gatos areas. This will increase the chances that someone might see her and give us a call -- which could also be the basis for re-starting tracking from a new and updated location.

Thank you so much for your interest and your help.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Top of the list

All, this is Monica. Mark is on a business trip and I am doing what I can to keep things going while also taking care of the baby. No real developments yesterday on the search. We are planning to go to Campbell this weekend and pass out flyers/talk to people. We really need another sighting and the best way to facilitate that is to raise awareness as much as possible.

Anyway, Mark told me something that really was a surprise. If you go to Google and search for "lost poodle" this little website is actually the number one hit! So hopefully that means that we are getting some good exposure from the blog.... I tried the search myself and also noticed that a few down the list is the blog of our friend, and photographer, Mark Rogers in which he mentions Raven's story.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Raven featured on TV!

We have been trying on so many different fronts to find Raven, and I realized that we never mentioned on this blog that our Raven was featured on television last Thursday!

Craig Herrera, a meteorologist at KNTV (which is NBC channel 11 for the Bay Area), was kind enough to show Raven's photo and talk about her for about 15 seconds during the early morning broadcast.

We are so thankful and feel very fortunate that we were able to get this coverage for Raven. I don't know how to get a clip of the video, but will try to post some photos...

Craig is a very nice guy -- I think that he is a dog lover himself -- and we are very grateful to him. We used Elaine's phone number (with her permission) for the broadcast, since she has the 408 area code. Elaine reports that she has gotten something like 200 calls since, but mostly it is people wishing us well or asking if Raven is found yet.

Anyway, we figure that the more people we have who know about Raven, the better!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday-- stakeout doldrums...

All, this is Monica. I started Day 4 of our dog food stakeout at about 5am this morning. Our wonderful friend Michelle came to relieve me at 7:30am (enabling me to make an appearance at work -- hooray!), and my mom took over at 1:30pm today.

So far we have still had no sign of Raven, and we are thinking that if she doesn't come by tonight, we will probably stop sitting in this one spot. It was a great idea, and the tracking showed that Raven had been by our stakeout location multiple times just recently before we started. So I guess it is just another stroke of bad luck that she may have moved on to another location just when we started our feeding station with the hopes of luring her back.

Anyway, we are at a very difficult and depressing point now. The tracking dogs are not available for three weeks, and by that time we would be so far behind Raven on the trail that it would be extremely difficult, or maybe even not possible, to catch up with her current location. We really don't know what to do next. It is pretty likely that she is in or near the Los Gatos Creek Trail, but neither our stakeout nor many, many hours of walking the area looking for Raven, calling her name etc. seems to be working. If anyone has suggestions for us, we are all ears! It is hard to know what to do at this time, that might have a chance of being successful. . . .

To end on an up note, I am attaching a photo of Raven dressed up as Tigger, which we did last year for Halloween. Raven is such a ham, she just loved being in costume and getting extra attention as we walked around the neighborhood while all of the kids were trick-or-treating. I still have this costume, and I also was given a Tigger costume that is the right size for our 18-month old daughter Sofia. I am hoping that we will find Raven in time, and this year we can have *two* Tiggers in our family for Halloween.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday evening - stakeout night 3

About now is the third evening of our dogfood stakeout. No luck so far regarding Raven. We have been urged to be at the site 24 hours, but we are finding that this is just physically impossible to comply with. I (Mark) was physically shaking with fatigue the other day so much so that people sent me home to rest. I'm not used to feeling that way. Others are not too far behind me, I don't think. Our thought is that the Octoberfest and 5k events of the weekend may possibly have made Raven more skittish than normal and now as the weekend ends and things quiet down more we maybe will see her. But quite possibly this is just wishful thinking too. At any rate, we will keep the stakeout going for a while longer as we're able and see what happens. We don't have any better ideas.

This is a photo of our stake-out set up. After we took it we added in the scent items, our worn clothing, directly underneath the plates of dog food. Monica bought a whole case of canned food and we have been putting out new plates (with that fresh from the can smell!) a few times a day.

I'm not personally shocked that the City of Campbell doesn't want our posters around. Cities like this are run by their respective Chamber of Commerce groups, and those chambers are all about the money. Lost dog posters maybe distract people from buying things or disturb the city's charm or are too depressing or something along those lines. It's of a piece with my earlier experience with Safeway, where the supermarket would not let me post a poster. I wonder what a Campbell city manager would do if s/he lost a dog in the area and needed to recruit the help of local people in order to secure the return of the dog?

I want to recognize again, all of the folks who were not on the stake out but were helping in other ways. Wendy and her kids, Veronica and her family and also Randi and Gary of Poodle Rescue all came out to walk the trail, talk to people and hand out flyers etc. Campbell did not have a farmer's market this weekend, but we did have a presence at the alternate event, their Octoberfest, so that many of the vendors there knew to be on the look out for Raven.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday-- Day 2 of the dog food stake out

Hi all, Monica again, and again I am going to keep it brief.

We've had some combination of Mark, Elaine or me at our "feeding station" continuously from 3pm Friday until 11pm tonight (Saturday) -- watching several plates of dog food in the hopes that Raven will show up and eat. Even if she is too scared to let us catch her, she would hopefully learn to come back to the same location repeatedly for food and we can work with her over time. We also put out several "scent items" (i.e. our pre-worn clothing), and tucked our baseball caps into the fence above the dog food. Maybe our smells will attract Raven, or be reassuring to her somehow. Anyway, unforunately, we have not seen her yet. Elaine stayed there until 11pm tonight, and we will take an overnight break and resume at 5am on Sunday morning.

The City of Campbell called and asked us to stop putting up our lost dog flyers. They told us they're tearing them all down. It makes me so sad to hear that. We are not trying to sell anything, just desperate for the return of our lost family member. We can continue to talk to people on the trails, though, so that is what we will do.

Thanks so much to all of the friends who helped today. Lynore and Gilda went to the Campbell October Fest to hand out flyers and get the word out. Veronia, Geeta (and probably others too) were out on the Los Gatos Creek Trail looking for Raven. The photo above is of the creek, for those who have not seen it. Randi and others put up posters and had flyers at the all-breed dog show.

Mark and I took a break in the evening, which I think will be really helpful. It is emotionally so hard to keep trying everything that you can, but nothing seems to work. Anyway, hopefully we will have another sighting soon or she will find the feeding station. We really need some luck here, but at least we are doing what we can.

Oh, one last thing: while our feeding station has not worked so far to attract Raven, I am very happy to report that we have actually found and returned TWO other dogs to their families! They were both Labrador Retrievers who showed up to eat the food in the late morning on Saturday. Neither had been lost for very long, and one of the families gave Elaine a nice bottle of wine in appreciation. Maybe this will be some good karma for us going forward...!