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 ( 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.