Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Raven tracked to Los Gatos residential neighborhood (near Bean Ave and Bayview Ave). Los Gatos and Monte Sereno (sic?) residents, please look out for our black (poodle) dog!
Please call 510-325-6979 even if all that has happened is that you've seen her a while ago. Knowing exactly where and when she was at a place may help us jump ahead in the scent track and get closer to her.
The nice GPS track that I was able to post yesterday is not available today, for several reasons. I will try to draw it up later when I have a better internet connection, but for now I will have to describe it.
We started the day at the perk-ponds where we left off yesterday. Dino picked up the scent heading south, but I, not really understanding the way this all works still at this point in time, went off to the north calling her name, thinking she might have doubled back. waste of time. The first lesson is this: In matters of tracking a dog, do not try to outsmart Dino. Only Dino knows what is going on in any real fashion. And the second lesson is this. Raven moves. She doesn't seem to stay in one place very long. So if there is Dino evidence that she is moving south, don't go to the north. She just isn't there anymore.
Minus myself, Dino and company continued south along the creek and then went out into a neighborhood. I can't describe where exactly as I was not there, but while I was walking north, I encountered our friend Sally and her friend Mary who were jogging, and they were calling out to Raven without success and asking people about her, etc.
ultimately, Raven's track had gone all the way down the creek - through vascona lake - all the way to Los Gatos, CA. As she approached town, she left the creekside and went along the frontage road that leaves town to the south and heads into a ramp into 17. She went down the ramp some and then doubled back towards town.
After leaving the ramp to 17, raven walked some ways up Wood road. She walked across a swanky assisted living facilty driveway and exited on Broadway and then headed northwest to the end of that road. At the very end is an old victorian era home that is not lived in (but there is a renter in the outbuilding). The steep driveway there consists of several switchbacks, and at the first switchback there are three abandoned raised garden beds. Behind this is woods. Raven walked up the driveway, passed the raised beds and directly into the woods.
This frustrated us to no end, as we could not follow her. Jackie is very professional, and there are rules about what roads you can go down and where you have to stop. You can go down a private road if the gate is open (which it was) but you cannot trespass. So we required permission to go forward, but no one was home to give it. We left signs and requests to call us at the terminal driveway and turned around back into town. By this time it was something like 1pm. we had started at 8.
Fortuitously, my brother Glenn called at this time. He looked up the area on Google Maps and reported that there was a fire road that traversed the area raven had gone into. He thought we might have some luck picking up the track again at the entry points to that fire road. Accessing that fire road proved to be a challenge. We tried a few different roads that appeared to provide entry, but these all terminated in far-too-expensive houses. My brother had suggested we try Sheldon Ct. and so we did, and that ended up being one of the ends of the firetrail. You cannot park there, so I stayed with the van while Jackie and Dino and Dot went in along the trail seeing if they could pick up the scent. Meanwhile, Glenn was able to come down and help us search.
At this point I was feeling quite low. There is an intense emotional side to this sort of search process that parallels the physical journey you are experiencing. We were feeling so hopeless on Saturday, and then the rapid progress we made with Jackie and Dino and Dot on Sunday really lifted our spirits. it seemed like Raven would be just around the corner. And then to find that she had gone into a place we could not go was a glass of cold water on our hopes. Jackie had warned us that it was unlikely that we'd be able to track to a place where Raven would be so we knew this intellectually, but emotionally, you hope.
about this time, I started thinking about what we looked like to others, moving through these cities like some traveling carnival of drama, "excuse me sir, have you seen my dog?!". "Help save my dog!" The evening before in Campbell, I had asked a table full of men if they had seen raven and one of them pointed to a tiny stuffed dog shaped toy he happened to have on the table, "could it be this dog you mean?". He grinned the grin of a guy who was content to take cruel pleasure in my loss. Asshole, I thought. This is not the typical experience. The typical experience is sympathy. A person sees your aggitation and urgency and feels bad for you. Dog owners expecially so. But the line between "this is happening to you" and "this is happening to me" is not broken. Real empathy doesn't much happen (not that I expect it to). Your pain is a reminder of why they are glad this is not happening to them right now. We move around this life thinking we are in control and this shit won't happen to us. And then, out of the blue, sometimes it does, and other people have a hard time breaking their own denial to understand you at those times.
Maybe 4pm or so Jackie Dino and Dot arrive back at Sheldon Ct. Good news. Dino picked up the track about 1.5 or 2 miles in and followed it out. It seems that Raven had entered the woods and not liked it - maybe smelled the scents of hikers and bikers on the fire trail and moved that way until she found herself on it and then she moved down the hill back towards Sheldon Ct. Apparently Dino is trained to only follow the track from older to newer, so as he was entering, from newer to older, he did not think to alert Jackie to that fact.
At that point, basically Dino tracked Raven moving down the hill back towards the Los Gatos downtown. We hooked up with Glenn who had been talking to people around town. We stopped for the night at Bean and Bayview.
So - again, I find myself amazed by the good judgment of my dog, and also dismayed by her lack of insight into her predicament. If only she would stay in one place, we could reach her. But she can't know this. Being a dog, she deals with what is in front of her directly only.
This is a sensitive time right now. Strategically, the purpose of this tracking is not to stumble upon raven, although that would be highly desirable. the purpose is to be able to target postering efforts so that people throughout town can know to look for her and that she is lost so that the lucky person she reveals herself to can help. We are prety confident she is in Los Gatos in the last 12 hours and maybe is there right now. So we need a break - someone to see her - someone to catch her.
One thing seems to be predictable. She will move again. She could go towards Saratoga, or towards Blossom Hill or back towards Campbell. Who knows? The only way to know is if we track her, and the expense in cash and time and energy is very large. Not sustainable for too long. And the dogs are tired. Dino and Dot were balled up like donuts at the end of the day. This mode of search cannot go on indefinitely. We are weighing our options.
We love raven - we are bonded to her and she to us - this is why the drama parade is happening. Because something real is happening for us - a real loss. It looks odd from the outside only because the bonds that drive it are invisible from the outside. Just like Dino appears to be doing magic by following the track because we cannot perceive the scents. It's perfectly obvious to him why he goes where he goes. What's wrong with those humans who don't get it?