The Lost Mocha Map

Direct link

This is a customized map showing recent Sightings of lost Mocha, mouse over locations for more details.

If you click over to Google you can play with the map and look at different layers to see: Search Areas, Poster Locations, Friendly Houses / Helpers, Points of Interest, Classified Ad Coverage and more.

For searchers or potential tracker dogs, also try changing the “base map” which gives you satellite and topographic options.

More sightings off Amesti Road (+spreading the word at Corralitos Brewing!)

We had another late night security cam sighting off Amesti Road Wednesday night/Thurs early AM, so continuing to strategize how to turn this into a dog in hand. (A dog in hand is worth two on the cam?) The last few times I “staked out” the driveway she’s been visiting, there was no canine appearance. When no one is close, that’s when she makes her move. Argh. Smart dog.

How to help: Share and alert neighbors around Amesti Road to Eureka Canyon (along Corralitos Creek, where she may be traveling.)

In other awareness raising news: I also know how to properly pronounce the name of Amesti Road now, thanks to the kind folks hanging at Corralitos Brewing Co, a fantastic dog-friendly brewery on Freedom Blvd. Many locals visit there, and it’s in the zone where we’ve had some sightings.  Great beer, awesome dogs, kind people, super nice owners and now a Lost Mocha sign on the wall. And “crowlers” of their beer to go (great host gift alternative to wine, just sayin’.)

We may need to go there every night now to be sure all the locals know about Mocha, and you know, drink some beer to be supportive. My outlook and hopefulness notably improved after a couple of their Saisons and conversations on the sunny outdoor porch.

Wish us luck tonight!

 

 

 

Monday eve, Mocha still on the run – Eureka Canyon sighting

Mocha remains at large. We set the live trap multiple times at the house where she had been sighted on the security cam, but were unsuccessful in getting Mocha. The family strategized an awesome alternate side yard plan (nice work!) but then…no return to Amesti Road for the last two nights. Meanwhile, we had a potential Mocha sighting last night, Sunday 10:15pm, around Eureka Canyon and Rider Road…which is right up Corralitos Creek from the previous sighting location. They could both be Mocha, especially if she’s traveling the creek during these hot days.

When we got the call last night, we went up with some KFC (reportedly smelly food of choice, thank you for the tip!)….did some quiet staking out, some gentle looking around with flashlights. I could swear I saw a familiar tail disappearing into the woods at one spot, but no Mocha turned up.  Then the neighborhood dogs were on to us and it was getting rather late. And dark. So very dark without streetlights. Today I talked with people in that area, put up some more posters and asked locals to spread the word.

How to help: Please spread the word to people you know along Eureka Canyon, up Rider Road and around Corralitos Creek. Continue to keep a lookout if you’re anywhere in the area. Please stay hopeful with us!

I’ve also consulted a few Animal Communicators, including a lovely local (though east coast born!) — Jane of Talks with Pets (.com) Jane and another intuitive I consulted both picked up quickly that Mocha is an independent dog, almost uniquely so for a domestic pet.

Jane felt strongly that Mocha is having an adventure, and does not feel scared by her situation, which also explains why she’s been challenging to bring home. Jane also felt something about Eureka Canyon and redwoods early on, which is interesting, given recent sightings.

There was much (much) more too it than that. Somehow sharing all of it doesn’t feel entirely comfortable, but there are interesting little details that continue to reveal themselves to me, even after our session. It’s been a helpful source of insight, along with all of our other awareness efforts.

Some days it’s easier than others, but overall — I remain optimistic that all of these threads will come together and Mocha will be safely home soon!

TGIF with a POSITIVE MOCHA SIGHTINGS! Amesti Road… Cross everything!

Hello Lost Mochans (Lost of the Moho-cans?) Anyway. It’s been a  busy week. While I had a deep session with an amazing animal communicator (more on that coming) — there hadn’t been any sightings or any notable action. Until yesterday.

A couple called from the Amesti Road area and let us know that their motion-sensored security camera had been setoff by a dog a few nights in a row, then they left food out, dog came back…and now they had footage that looked a lot like Mocha — and would we be interested in seeing it?! There was Mocha on their security cam from Wednesday night, a bit dark and blurry. According to the cam, she’s been coming by at the wee hours – between 2 and 4am.

So Steve swung into action, with our game cams and trap — thank you PAM, this one is yours! We brought roast chicken, Mocha’s food, smelly cat food (trap lure) and a fresh bowl of water…and waited. We debated (hard) and decided not to stay and watch the trap all night for fear that either we wouldn’t be able to control our urge to jump out and tackle Mocha (GET IN THE CAR RIGHT NOW!), or our presence would be evident via smell and scare her off….also that Hannah wouldn’t get any quality work done Friday with an all-nighter.

That approach sorta worked. Mocha came back twice last night (Thursday)!!! She was curious about the trap, happy for the water and tidbits outside, but not ready to go in the trap just yet. The security camera is motion sensored AND texts the owner. So, the amazing trap host family let us know right away, at 3:45a, when Mocha wandered up their drive way. Then they monitored from inside the home. Mocha came back another time for a sniff and wandered off.

Patience. We’ve been advised that this is key at this point.  Casual, no sudden movements or big changes, keep the tasty morsels out, try to stay calm. Yesterday’s call was also continued validation that our efforts make some difference. This is in area where Catherine and I had put new signs up last Saturday, all the while saying “well, it’s kinda far away, but…” and the craigslist ad and website helped the family find us an identify Mocha. Points for perseverance!

How you can help: Keep an eye out in the Varni Road, Amesti Road, Corralitos Road & Freedom Road area (see map update). Alert any local business owners and workers you know in that area. Send good thoughts!

There’s not much else to “do” at this point, we’re keeping this new location quiet and calm, and will let people know if we need a group event or more help. Thank you, thank you for all of your offers! And please consider giving any available volunteer time to Peace of Mind Dog Rescue or another local animal shelter. These folks work tirelessly, and have been so kind, patient and helpful with us.

See how much your good thoughts and prayers are working? Mocha has no idea how much support she has to bring her home. Please keep up your positive thoughts for Mocha’s safe return, we feel so close!

Still at Large. Awareness is the Strategy: Perro Perdido!

Another weekend missing Mocha. She sure picked a lovely area to go missing in, though. It was a sunny, melancholy weekend of checking her route, updating posters and not getting phone calls. But some very nice people, scenary and interactions along the way! It would appear that NOT everybody knows about the missing Mocha dog, despite the incredible amount of people that do. We meet many people every day who are just learning the Saga of Lost Mocha.

We haven’t had enough recent sightings, which yes, is worrisome. But we’re not giving up. We’ll only get sightings if people know to look. Remember Shawnee! has become a bit of a mantra. On the run for 3 months, eventually found and trapped thanks to people reporting sightings! So hope is alive.

How to help: If you’re in the Day Valley, Aptos and Corralitos area, please keep looking for Lost Mocha. Please keep checking outbuildings. Please make sure your local businesses and neighbors know.

We’ve changed and expanded our poster radius. On Saturday, a small team of Mocha Ladies & I switched out rained-on posters with new blue laminated ones with a new headline “Still Missing.” (We might A/B test some other headlines. PR, sweetie.)

We’ve also  been talking with local businesses that might have outbuildings where Mocha could be staying, or possibly trapped. I made a sign with Spanish on one side: Perro Perdido! and a request to check “barns and work fields” in hopefully not-too-broken Spanish below. We’ve taken those around, and they can be helpful when we roll up to vineyards and agriculture fields with very sweet workers that want to help. Gracias!

And we continue all the rest, classifieds, game-cams, shelter-checking…we’ve operationalized it a little too well. I wish I didn’t have this routine down.

Personally? The poison oak is improving, about off the crazy-prednisone, though “trying not to itch” is a new fun way of life. Another workweek coming up.

Solo music show at Rosie’s Country Store next Saturday, June 17, 7:30. Also will be streamed on Facebook and will certainly feature a Lost Mocha story and segment with some key songs. Hopefully no crying. Music heals!

I continue to have so much gratitude at the depth of human kindness. I’ve met so many people, had so many nice conversations, learned things, heard stories…it’s an experience, with a running theme of kindness and support. Thank you.

LostMochaDogMochaPerroPerdido

Thursday – Potential Mocha Sighting last night! (& check buildings, she hates rain.)

I’m not saying that the timing proves that it was Mocha. But she was well-aware of what was happening. Last night around 7:30, Mocha mighta showed a sneak peek of her face on the ridge around Quail Run. She was either trying to watch the Warriors OR she was trying to make sure we didn’t. Just when we were settling in…Potential Mocha Sighting. But score one for the DVR, we hit pause and dashed out hoping that we could swoop her up in time for the fourth quarter. I swear, we still leave the house hopeful every time.

Thank you very much to the caller, who’s been hearing about this since the beginning. We have a few reasons to believe she’s in the greenbelt area, and that potential sighting last night makes sense with it’s timing and proximity to the greenbelt and Forest & Meadows. We gently went through the area, being quiet, observant, listening… It was foggy and almost eerily quiet except for the glow from living room televisions. We found some deer who weren’t talking (once the Bucks are out, they don’t care) and some mini-horses, who also weren’t Mocha, but proved an adorable respite.

Please keep watching out, Day Valley and Pleasant Valley. Mocha is out there. We are monitoring different paths that we believe she travels, and strategizing with growing set of traps and resources. Please check barns and outbuildings – see if you can trap her sleeping or hiding out from the rain. She’s not a fan. At all.

(That said, I wouldn’t mention the “doggie raincoat” incident if you see her. Once and only once, I promised. She looked like Christopher Robin from Winnie the Pooh, and it sorta kept her dry, but it was awkward to pee in and I couldn’t take the glare. I think I carried it home. I like to think of it as a $32 donation to our local pet store. And no, this had nothing to do with the escape 😉 Just saying, Mocha dislikes walks in the rain.)

We are sending out positive hopeful vibes and counting on your timely tips to help us find the wandering adventurer. The poison oak rash is slowly improving. Your good thoughts make a difference. Please help us bring Mocha home! 

 

Tuesday – Hope IS a Viable Strategy and the Shawnee Story

I’ll cut to the chase: no news on Mocha. It’s hard not to get agitated at that fact, especially when it’s backed up with a very specific number of days or casual references to wild animals. I got it. My dog has been off the radar for awhile. I don’t feel good about it either.

But I am hopeful when I think about Shawnee, a yellow lab with a pretty incredible story. Shawnee keeps coming to mind, especially because her adopter has been helping greatly in the Mocha search. I remember when the Peace of Mind Dog Rescue updates went out about the yellow lab, who had escaped from a car on the way to a new home.

Shawnee was on the lam for over Three Months. She was regularly sighted for the first month, then nothing. Months after her escape, Shawnee was spotted again. By all indications, she hadn’t been taken in and had apparently learned to live off the land, near a cattle ranch. Keeping awareness alive — for months — was critical. Sightings from neighbors months after the escape helped the team find and trap Shawnee.

The image below from my gmail inbox probably isn’t even all of the emails that the good people at POMDR sent out in support of Shawnee. It’s a beautiful reminder of how they never gave up on her.

Shawnee

Shawnee lives a quiet domestic life today, though she’ll probably never be totally normal, according to her owner. Hopefully she and Mocha can bond at future support group meetings in the kennel basement…just chewing over old rawhides, and sharing stories of life on the run…

I gotta laugh. We maybe into the “long game” now. We’ve tried many things, we’ve learned things…and Mocha could still show up at any moment! (Let’s face it, she’s going to want to see at least a bit of this Golden State Warriors playoff. Right?)  I’ve now consulted multiple intuitives (eg. animal communicators, doggie psychics) who believe that Mocha is alive and well…just not quite ready to come home. I’ll take it.

So, we continue to act strategically with our tracking, trapping and awareness. We practice patience, non-attachment and trust in the universe. And we amuse ourselves with fantastical, humorous stories of Lost Mocha’s probable adventures — the more outlandish the better.

Saturday 6/3 – Still Quiet, Still Focusing on outbuildings…no Mocha yet.

It’s Saturday evening. Spent most of the day attempting to be tactical, figuring out whether and where to move traps, talking with people and dealing with my lovely poison oak face. More on that in a minute.

The plan continues to be ensuring that neighbors around the greenbelt area know, and are keeping an eye out — and are checking outbuildings, garages, barns…. The traps, with food and game cams, are out in strategic locations. We really need to respect the privacy of neighbors (some more than others!), so please call us if you want to help, the usual numbers: 916-996-2124 or 603-502-3248 or email me. Then we can use your energy most effectively and not ‘wear out our welcome’ anywhere. And remember, please don’t call Mocha’s name!

Thank you, thank you for all of your poison oak suggestions! I got in the ocean (thank you, C!), applied manzanita tincture and will try more (thank you, P!) and yogi detox tea (thank you, B!) I’m also on prednisone, benedryl and other CVS stuff, but the natural remedies make a lot of sense to me. Especially the ocean – I’m an ocean swimmer, but this Lost Mocha situation has kept me out of the saltwater. Spending time in the ocean last night was cooling, calming and equalizing. The prednisone also maybe making my face swell (“moonface” they call it, somewhat common side effect)…I’m wearing a big hat and avoiding mirrors. I’m told Mocha will still recognize me, despite the puffy face. 🙂

I’ve gotten a lot of affirmations about NOT calling Mocha’s name and tips about how to gently lure her in if you see here. People with animal experience (especially rescues) emphasize how much your own energy and stance makes a difference. A good friend once called the leash a “wire” or antenna — you can project your energy down the leash, whether it’s fear or calmness.

This also came in a very kind email: “A dog can sense anxiety and fear. It helps to think in a way that calms you and her. Deep breathing, picturing happy times with her doing a favorite activity and what it will be like at the reunion might help spur a memory for her of good things. Animals communicate by way of pictures and in doing so can build trust.”

Again, there’s no easy answer and all dogs are different. Thank you for your thoughts, advice, energy, prayers and positive visualizations! 

More great advice below about making Mocha, or any nervous dog, come to you.

  • Stop, drop and lie down – It might sound silly, but dogs find the behavior odd. When you don’t give chase and instead lie down and lie still, a dog will get curious and will often come back to see if you are okay or to see what you are doing.
  • Stop, drop, and curl into a ball – This is also a curious behavior for a dog. Because you are not moving and your hands are closely wrapped around your head, they see you as less of a threat and will come to check you out. This gives them a chance to sniff you and realize it’s you, their owner, or to allow you to pet them and grab their collar. But you might want to do this in a very slow manner as well. No sudden movements.
  • Run in the opposite direction – What? Run away from the dog? That’s right. Some dogs love a good chase. Instead of you chasing them, let them chase you. Even if the dog is not up for a good chase, he may be curious about your odd behavior and follow along until you can get to an area that has been set up to corral her.
  • Sit down with your back  or side to the dog and wait – Again, dogs are thrown off by this odd behavior and will become curious and approach. The other advantage is that by sitting down with your side or back to them, you appear less threatening and they are more likely to approach. If you have good treats, place a few around you to draw them near.
Chasing a lost dog should be avoided at this point. It only reaffirms to the dog that people should be avoided. She is confused and disoriented and, being on the lam, has adapted her own survival skills.

So what should you do when you encounter a lost dog or your own lost dog?

  • Sit down.
  • Turn your body so your back or side is to the dog.
  • Keep your eyes averted and bow your head so as to look non-threatening.
  • Have a crinkly bag of  treats and  make a little noise with the bags (hot dogs, chicken, smelly cheese, etc.) behind you or to the side of you.
  • Don’t talk.
  • Wait patiently for the dog to approach you. Don’t make any sudden movements, but continue to toss treats.
  • Don’t grab the dog when they get close, but wait patiently and build trust.
  • Speak softly, but if they back away, stop talking and just continue to toss treats until they trust you enough to come closer. Be very patient.

Thursday (6/1) Four Weeks.

Four weeks we’ve been at this. The quiet night remained just that – no signs of movement, nothing notable in traps. If you’re in the area, the biggest thing you can do to help is make sure that any friends, neighbors and farmers bordering the Day Valley/Pleasant Valley greenbelt know to watch for Lost Mocha. There are tons of places to hide, and a network of eyes and ears will help.  Remember, no calling her name, and more tips here.

But, the somewhat inevitable has occurred: I got poison oak-ed. Bad. That’s the west coast version of poison ivy, a lifelong nemesis, Both suck. Yes, I know about Tecnu, Zanfel, seawater, baking soda, dish soap, herbs and oils (but hey, more recommendations can’t hurt.) I bought every single poison oak remedy at CVS, silently cursing their extortionist high-prices. What started on the arm moved to the face, and I landed in urgent care after the stakeout, getting on the steroids. Then I went home to cake myself in various goos and ride out prednisone’s emotional roller coaster.

It was hard to get much done today, I feel terrible and my face swelled up so much I could barely see. I focused on reaching out to neighbors — and communicated with the animal communicator. Dog (and people) psychic. It was inspiring. I kinda don’t want to jinx it…it’s given me a ray of hope and a few clues that I believe will help us find and bring Mocha home. Not tonight, but soon. It’s time to end this epic adventure, Mocha.

Thank you for everything.

Wednesday (5/31): How To Ignore Mocha (and maybe make her come.)

Last night was quiet. We had a small search team, but not the excitement of the other night, which may be partially why we didn’t see her. So, we hope to keep it quiet, and activate the greenbelt houses for Mocha Moments: Please be aware of your outdoor greenbelt area between 6 and 7 (dusk to dark), in case Mocha stops by. She maybe looking for food, a good spot for the playoffs, or a shine-up on her Golden State Warriors collar (she is not wearing a harness; she has a yellow Warriors collar on.)

Our local expert Kathy passed on some more advice and a sensible summary: What we have learned so far is that Mocha will not approach anyone. Mocha will likely not come when her name is called. One of the reasons may be that someone well-intentioned scared or threatened her by chasing and calling her name, now when it’s done, it triggers her to run. Or, it could be reverting back to an older situation. We don’t know why, but calling her name is NOT working.

So, no search party, no name-calling. Some quiet, familiar spotters will be out. Multiple traps are set in the key zone where she’s been sighted. No one else should leave food out so Mocha gets hungry enough for trap food. It’s tasty roast chicken and hotdogs, switched out multiple times per day.

Here are some tips if you do see her and want to help. Note that getting her to feel comfortable with you and calm could take half an hour or longer. 

How to Ignore Mocha:

  • Do NOT call her name or move toward her in anyway. If she runs, note the direction, do not chase her. Call 916-996-2124.
  • If you see her, ignore her. Crinkle a bag or something and act like you’re eating turn sideways to her do not make eye contact.
  • Toss a little food her direction or if you’re walking just drop it. She may come for it.
  • Even if she starts to run away or walk away, Don’t look directly at her. She may turn around and come back to you. You will be able to see her peripherally .
  • Sit down calmly, ignoring her. You can also try lying down on the ground.
  • Without making eye contact, use calming gestures that dogs use with other dogs: yawning, licking your lips, etc. This calming to a dog. (Editor’s note: Butt sniffing at your own risk.)
  • Getting her to feel comfortable with you and calm could take half an hour or so. 

Almost time for me to “chicken up” and get quiet.  Thank you for your continued thoughts, prayers and support!

 

Big Night! Doing it Again Tuesday, with Mocha Modifications…

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!