Quite some action last night, with our incredible turnout of searchers! And some key lessons. We are on for tonight Tuesday May 30 at 6pm. Please always text or call first, so we can plan and manage accordingly!
Let me also say this, with confidence, from many experts: This is not an exact science. Dogs are different. Situations are different. So, what works for one animal may not work for Mocha. We are balancing many suggestions, lots of research and we attempt to make the right decisions each time, knowing what we know about Mocha and the area we’re searching. Thank you for all of the resources, I can’t believe what we’ve learned in a short time!
Highlights from last night:
Searchers! It was incredible to see the cars rolling in and faces there to help. Seriously, I almost cried (there are witnesses to that.) We had 15 people, more than I’d anticipated, but all awesome and ready to help. THANK YOU! So cool, and every night we learn a little more and get a little closer.
I saw Mocha, as did Patty, Jeannine, Ian, Cassie and possibly a few others. We believe my sighting was at the end of all this, which may explain why she continued her bolt and didn’t slow down for her name or my voice. The good news is that we were in the right place at the right time. Mocha was were we thought she’d be, but she was not slowing down for anyone.
There were drones! And also, the apparently common threats and apologies re drones. And more drone planning. They maybe a little loud? But we’ll see. Learning how to use all these resources.
We have two traps out and set appropriately – planning to add a third per expert advice. They are being monitored, baited and closed in the wee hours. One is set as a “natural” trap…one has (had) more comforts of home, clothing, etc in.
Foxes bark! The late night trap check turned up a Very Pissed Off Fox in the trap, who barked at us in a way we didn’t expect. He was also rather adorable, as he’d gotten wrapped up in Mocha’s blanket. I’ll get some game cam footage up. We opened the door (carefully!) and let him out. Mocha, you better get to the rest of your stuff fast, before foxes mess it all up…
But yeah…I saw Mocha!
I hadn’t actually seen Mocha in this entire search until yesterday. The day had started with advice and trap placement from a local expert, Kathy. She was so kind. Near the end she warned me, “Mocha may be in wild mode. She might not recognize you. Try to resist the urge to call her name and lunge for her when you see her.” <obvious foreshadowing>
About seven hours later, I saw Mocha, about 30 yards away. And no, she’s not sitting here next to me. 😦 Here’s how it went down from my perspective:
I was sitting near a quiet wooded trail (easement) area trying to be magnetic and smell like chicken (Patty’s deemed it “chickening up”.) Suddenly, Steve was on the walkie talkie. Mocha sighting!!! from the intrepid ridge hikers. Or rather, in hurried text language, I think it was something like “Movha down rige ahain!”
Mocha was on the move! She passed two of her most committed would-be rescuers, running down the ridge. After 3+ weeks of searching, there she was, yet there she wasn’t.
Apparently, she then evaded more kind volunteer searchers…who, in the pursuit, unfortunately ended in the yard of the one house that’s been a” little more challenging” to work with in this whole endeavor. An encounter occurred (details on NextDoor) and Mocha disappeared into the greenbelt. We will be very clear on the property lines with searchers. And to be clear, there haven’t been many of these – most people have been INCREDIBLY generous with access, and we are grateful.
Meanwhile, in my quiet trail, I did hear a distant “Mocha” but was staying put as planned, awaiting directional information. I could hear a backyard with some little girls playing. It was very sweet and natural, lovely day.
Then I heard something like “Hello Doggie! Look at the doggie!” I jumped up, and swiftly rounded the corner, looking into a backyard just in time to hear “There’s your dog! She’s running away!” and there was Mocha herself, running away. “MOCHA!” I called, and started down the hill, just like I wasn’t going to do. But she had already started her bolt, and had disappeared into the ridge. Like disappeared. Fast. I searched, more people searched, we had spotters…we didn’t find her. We hurriedly tried to rearrange searchers, I searched that ridge over and over. Sat. Listened. Sang a little. Cried a little. Tried to “keep my positive vibrations high.” Watched stars come out. Played flashlight tag with a few deer.
It’s not like, Mocha *truly* saw me and then ran away…I keep telling myself. There was a lot going on, and a lot had preceded it by all accounts. But still.
Today was mostly about you know, my actual job. But some great trap-rategy (trap strategy) ideas and resources pouring in from all over. Cause it’s trap time. Trap Queen!