The day Jasmine disappeared, after a couple of large and nasty-sounding Doberman pinschers gave her a fright, the 6-year-old bichon frise weighed somewhere between 12 and 15 pounds, owners Bob and Pauline Bilafer say.
When Jasmine was finally found, a month and a lot of miles later, she weighed 9-1/2 pounds. The fluffy white dog was covered with burrs from forget-me-nots and a few ticks, but otherwise unharmed. She was still wearing her collar.
Jasmine had been living in her home on Jane Drive in Woodside for only a couple of weeks when she ran off on May 13. "She just took off like a shot," Pauline Bilafer says, when the dobermans interrupted an off-leash walk near their home, between Canada Road and Interstate 280.
Between then and June 14, when she was found near the Mountain House Restaurant above Skyline Boulevard, Jasmine was not seen again by the Bilafers.
But Jasmine was sighted by dozens of other Woodside residents, who knew she was missing because of 100 fliers posted by the Bilafers and friends, and from messages on NextdoorWoodside and the Kings Mountain Yahoo group websites. The Bilafers' son and daughter-in-law, Rich and Trish Bilafer, helped coordinate the search.
Most of those following Jasmine's saga online didn't have much hope for the little dog. She was repeatedly noticed in the area between Tripp Road and Skyline Boulevard, an area where coyotes and mountain lions are also frequently sighted.
"I just prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed," Trish Bilafer says." I didn't lose faith. As long as I had a sighting, I didn't give up."
Volunteers called Jasmine's name while on their daily walks, put out food for her, set traps in their yards, let the family put out her bed and some clothing in their yards, and called in sightings.
"People would take different ways home, just looking for Jasmine," Trish Bilafer says.
Jasmine was seen near the Tripp Store museum, on Patrol Road, in Huddart Park near the archery range, on Bear Gulch and Swett Road. She went up to Skyline, back down and then up again.
When spotted, Jasmine inevitably ran off.
At one point, Jasmine wasn't sighted for 10 days. That's when the Bilafers decided to take in another dog to keep their 10-year-old bichon, Max, company. They were on their way home with Zoe when they got a call from Ben Rosener, who lives near the Mountain House Restaurant. Mr. Rosener had come across Jasmine in his driveway. When she attempted to escape, she ran to a dead-end on his deck, where he captured her.
Jasmine's background could give a clue to her resourcefulness. The Bilafers got her as a companion for Max when their beloved female bichon had to be euthanized. A family with 10 children decided to give Jasmine up when they heard the Bilafers wanted an older dog at around the time the mother found out she was pregnant with an 11th child.
Jasmine did develop a few bad habits during her walk-about. The Bilafers have to put their garbage cans out of her reach because she knocks them over to scrounge food, despite the fact that she's on a high calorie diet until she's back up to at least 11 pounds.
And they never, ever, walk her off leash.