We are a reliable, experienced honest Christian wife and husband team ready to help you. We are in our fifties-sixties, semi-retired (education & childcare), with university degrees & certifications, police-checks, tidy, and yes we love animals! We stay at home and take care of things like they are our own. We love pets and we will give them lots of cuddles and walks as necessary.
We live in rural New York but we have lived around the world, and we have helped people on our travels. We DO NOT charge anything and we eat our OWN FOOD (we will make sure there is fresh food on your return too ;) We do this to see new places at a low cost and to make a contribution to society by allowing responsible pet-home owners to travel worry-free while ensuring their homestead and animals are properly taken care of.
We are very active ourselves (running, biking, swimming, kayaking) and love to exercise pets (if it suits them). Although we are professionals, we can do house some maintenance & repairs (we have construction experience). We keep owners updated according to their wishes (phone or ) and we can forward important messages.
We believe everyone should have the ability to travel without having to worry about the care of their pets and homes. House/pet minding is an important and valuable service. We continuously try to improve the 'house caring community of practice' by doing a good job and being honest. It's not easy to trust someone you will have just met but this system is very reputable, we are gold members, and we have a long track record of people trusting us. This is our way to travel to new places and spend relaxing time.
We have met many wonderful people and pets over the years. We have helped clients by going the extra mile for them. For example, during a long-term home/pet sit, we met with local council to ensure the owners were made aware of and were able to submit responses to municipal proposals on adjacent properties (which we submitted on their behalf). We have helped out other clients with similar civic issues. Likewise we have helped clients'children (e.g., university enrollments). We have helped clients locate sitters when we were already booked. On several occasions, we have taken sick pets to the vet and nursed them back to health (whilst contacting clients for critical decisions). We have even helped clients that experienced problems on their trip by assisting with emergency fund access, medical prescriptions, passport replacements, and so on. We have helped with carpentry work (making decks, connecting water pumps/systems, landscaping, repairing windows and doors...).
We know how to manage animals of all types, active dogs, cats, fish (well if you can think they are active ;), birds, reptiles, etc. (including medications). Sometimes we reckon we should have worked in the zoo industry because we like animals so much! We have even done farm work and farm animal experience (cattle, sheep, horses, chooks, turkeys and more). On farms we can mend fences, gather eggs, water/feed stock, do errands, drive equipment as well as manage finances and staff.
We know how to manage hired flats/houses and tenants. We owned/managed a property business for many years, so we are experienced in resolving typical problems with these types of properties (maintenance, councils, tenants). We have also managed leases and some aspects of home-based businesses for our clients.
We do not invite overnight 'visitors' to stay on client properties - we do not do anything without home owners permission. Speaking of guests... there was that time when a stray dog visitor happened by :) so we took him in (he was a cutie), and we brought him to the SPCA (RSPCA). He was microchiped so the next day he was reunited with his grateful owners!
For background, we are non-smokers and non- drinkers. One of us is home all the time (except when walking pets or exercising), to ensure an active security presence on the property. We are not 'party' people at all as we prefer quiet reading. We only have a short time off in Dec-Jan and we love to get away from the cold in USA and enjoy pets at the same time. Since we are in the education sector, we can only do this during time off in Dec-Jan (we like to spend summers at our home in Adirondack Mountains New York USA to help locals so we don't travel then).
We both work because, like many people, we do not have enough to retire (hard hit by 2008 global recession). We were lucky enough to have had a lovely visit in Australia on a work visa for several years (where we pet sat very often when requested) but now we have had to come home to USA to finish work before our retirement.
We have 'reliability documentation'. This is in the form of solid house-sit, work, and character references, written letters, and we provide details for direct-contacting relevant previous clients. Police and credit checks are 100% welcomed. You are also welcome to call us at work (except Dec-Jan of course!) to verify our identity and employment in NY. We also provide government issued identification documents. We are long-time "gold" members of the house carers community (s:// ).
Thank you to all of our repeat clients! All the best on your trip!