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Sunday, June 1, 2014

"Gizmo," Himalayan, Seal Point, Soquel




Gizmo's owner's are disputing through their credit card company that I never showed up for the service and that they should receive a full refund of their money, both the hourly rate and the roundtrip mileage fee. I will document my entire contact with Gizmo's people for the purpose of their claim with the credit card company.

On Thursday, May 29, 2014, I received an email from Greg Kouvaras, stating that his cat, Gizmo, was missing in Soquel, and that he was interested in having me come down to do a search. I responded to his first email at 4:02 PM on Thursday. He continued to send me multiple emails and he called me several times, but never left a voicemail message. 

We set a time for me to come to his house on Sunday afternoon. I called him prior to the search at the designated time of 11 AM Sunday morning. Once I called, he immediately passed off the phone to his girlfriend because he said that the missing cat actually belonged to his girlfriend, Misty, and that she can explain everything to me. We spoke on the phone for about 45 minutes as we thoroughly reviewed the details of the case. We agreed to meet at 2 PM that day at her home in Soquel.

Gizmo is a six year old Seal Point Himalayan with blue eyes. He went missing on a Tuesday evening when he accidentally fell through a hole in the floor near the dryer vent. There were no sightings of Gizmo after he went missing. We arrived the following Sunday afternoon, the soonest time I was available. 

He is microchipped and wearing a  blue collar with ID tags. He is on heart medication for past heart issues, but when I asked Misty what would happen if Gizmo did not take his medication, she admitted that she did not know and neither did the vet, who was contacted that Gizmo was missing. 

I arrived at 2:30 PM. There is a long, narrow, dirt, steep, rural driveway that leads from the main road to the front door of Gizmo's home. Along this road is also parked other old vehicles, including an very large and old RV. I was never told on the phone about this driveway and where I needed to park. Upon making my way to the front door, I was told by Greg that I needed to back up my cargo van almost all the way to the top, where I could back my van into a parking spot. Greg became frustrated that I expressed my discomfort in performing this feat and that I was not told about this on the phone, and he said, "People do it all the time." 

I then discovered that Misty, Gizmo's owner, was using crutches and that her boyfriend, Greg, would be coming along on the search with me, and that she would be following in the car, along with another roommate. I asked her how she injured her foot, and she said she didn't know. 

After getting the scent article from several articles belonging to Gizmo and after reviewing their flyer, while I was standing at the kitchen table, Misty paid the deposit of $320 to me from her PayPal account and said she wanted to do the same thing with the mileage still due after the search. 

From the start of the search, all the way through to the end of the search, Greg made it perfectly clear he did not believe that Dino was tracking Gizmo. He questioned numerous times if Dino was capable since Dino is not a Bloodhound, and Greg believed that only Bloodhounds make the best trackers. 

In addition, as with most people with lost pets, prior to the start of the search, they have a pre-conceived idea where their lost pet is hiding, and they want me to find their pet in that location. When I show people a different track and different locations, they say that Dino must be wrong. Greg made it clear he believed that Dino was on the wrong track the whole time because where we followed Gizmo's track was not where Greg actually believed Gizmo was hiding. 

After a half hour of starting the search, Greg started to drink beer from a silver water bottle, which was provided to him by Misty in the car following behind us. I told him that I didn't allow alcohol on searches, and he said that since he was paying me, he could do as he chose to on the search. When I pointed that out that his girlfriend was paying me, he took another swallow of beer and kept walking. He then said that he would not pay me the additional amount and would dispute the deposit charges if he was not allowed to drink his beer. He explained that he was very upset about his cat being missing, that the beer was helping him get through the difficult ordeal. At one point he offered me a drink and I told him that I don't drink. He then tried to offer Dino a drink of the beer from the container and I quickly pushed it aside. He said that his own dogs drink beer all the time. 

By the end of the four hours, Greg was extremely drunk and slurring his words and having a hard time standing up and walking. He continued to say that Dino was not following Gizmo's track and he insisted we return to his home and start over. When I refused, he stopped the search, we all got into the car being driven by Misty and we went back to Greg's home. Greg sat in the back of the hatchback with the hatch open, waving at all the people behind us.

Upon returning to their home, Misty paid the remaining $132 due for the round trip mileage again from her PayPal account. Greg was slumped in a chair in the kitchen. 

The next day I received notices from PayPal that both charges were being disputed saying that never received any services for which they paid. 

Following is the GPS map from the search, documenting where we went from start to finish. 




Name: Gizmo Soquel
Activity type: -
Description: -
Total distance: 7.04 km (4.4 mi)
Total time: 3:21:46
Moving time: 2:03:01
Average speed: 2.09 km/h (1.3 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 3.43 km/h (2.1 mi/h)
Max speed: 5.31 km/h (3.3 mi/h)
Average pace: 28:41 min/km (46:09 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 17:29 min/km (28:08 min/mi)
Fastest pace: 11:18 min/km (18:11 min/mi)
Max elevation: 215 m (706 ft)
Min elevation: 42 m (138 ft)
Elevation gain: 373 m (1223 ft)
Max grade: 28 %
Min grade: -20 %
Recorded: 6/1/2014 3:10pm