A disturbing detail in the case of a missing gentleman named Gizmo has remained unsolved more than two years after his disappearance.
The owner of a cavalier King Charles spaniel was beginning to lose hope of being reunited with her four-legged friend when she entered the fourth day of desperate searching.
Gizmo disappeared from his home in Greystanes, west of Sydney, in February 2019 after being robbed from the backyard through the side door, which was accidentally left open.
Its owner, Reen, had gone inside briefly to take a phone call, and when he came out again, Gizmo was gone. However, his other two dogs, Charlie and Billy, were still there.
It wasn’t long before Reen descended into “total panic mode,” with Sydney experiencing the peak of her summer heat and the distraught owner worried she might dehydrate.
“I was in total panic mode because he was alone in this heat. I was worried it wouldn’t last. How was he going to have access to water? “he told the news.com.au podcast The dog detective.
Reen frantically searched the areas surrounding her home within a 20km radius, including dense brush, but there was still no sign of Gizmo.
She asked for help on Facebook’s “lost and found” groups and eventually created a page dedicated to her search for Gizmo, which ended up gaining attention across the country.
“Went viral. So it ended up going all over Australia, but I also received messages from people from England, the Philippines, I had messages from people from Spain. [and] America, ”Reen said.
Good Samaritans from all over Sydney joined the search. They printed posters, brought bowls of water, and one even traveled from the Central Coast with a drone to help.
“At this stage I had not slept. I was walking through so much bush, I’m pretty sure I had a spider nesting in my hair and my legs were bleeding from all the bushes it had come through, ”Reen said.
Despite the extensive search party covering well beyond the 20km radius, Gizmo had yet to be found.
Random caller gives search weak hope
But Reen’s luck apparently began to change when he received a mysterious call from a private number. The man on the other line said, “I think I found your dog Gizmo.”
However, Reen’s relief was short-lived, as the man yelled, “Grab Gizmo, have someone grab him,” before hanging up and not trying to call again.
“He was an absolute disaster … he didn’t even look remotely human,” Reen said.
After searching for his Gizmo day and night for almost four days without sleep, Reen received another call, this time from a woman.
“I said, ‘Is he alive?’
Gizmo was safe, sitting on the side of the road, not far from her home.
“He was sitting there as usual. He himself was a bit surprised. I don’t think he really believed it was me. He didn’t want to leave my side, ”he recalled.
Creepy Clue at Gizmo’s Discovery
However, something didn’t seem right when Reen met with Gizmo, as it looked like someone had given him a bath.
When he took him for a checkup, the vet agreed that it was strange for Gizmo to smell like shampoo and be completely free of any signs that he had been living in the bush for several days.
He had no fever and was not dehydrated, which, given the heat outside, suggested that someone had been taking care of him at home.
“She said, ‘I’m of the opinion that someone had it all this time.’ And I said, ‘I feel that way too. But right now, I’m so excited that he’s back home and that he’s okay. ‘
To this day, Reen still has no idea where Gizmo was during those three days he was missing.
Since then, he has changed the name of his Facebook home page to “Help Gizmo Find Friends” and for more than two years he has worked to help reunite other owners with their missing pets.
The Dog Detective is news.com.au’s new six-part podcast series that uncovers the complicated world of dog detectives and the dark side of Australia’s pet community.