We're a retired US Navy couple and married for 26 years. We've been abroad for over a decade and in March 2018 sold our beautiful home in Hout Bay, South Africa, our cars, motorcycles, tools, and nearly everything else we owned to go where the winds take us. As much as we love the Cape Town area, we find we're happiest when we're traveling and seeing what's going on someplace else. Our real joy is just being in other places, going about our lives and soaking up the atmosphere while we're there. We are immensely grateful to have the opportunity to live this lifestyle.
As of Feb 2020, we've been house sitting almost full time for about 18 months through and House Carers and we just love what we are doing. Our experience is varied from short term sits of a few days to a recent very challenging house sit in Hawaii of 10 months. We've taken care of cats, dogs, sheep, and chickens, taken a pet for lifesaving treatment, mowed lawns, cleared a field of trees and stumps, taken on a major refurbishment of a tree house, dealt with trespassers, worked with a local police force to maintain order on a property, etc, etc. We've done a lot in the last 18 months and all has resulted in 5* reviews.
When it comes to animals, we've had so much fun getting to know the pets during our various assignments. We've taken care of some lovely dogs (collies specifically) and some of the sweetest and orneriest cats around (and we loved every minute with each of them), and lots of quirky chickens. We've also had some challenging pet situations, but even in these cases the owners have specifically reached out to us to sit for them again. We really do love animals and would never apply for a sit for which we would not be 100% committed to providing the best pet care possible.
As to who are, we're avid yoga practitioners with Jonathan having a teaching certification, we love the hustle and bustle of city life as well as nature and just being still for a while. Regardless of where we are, you'll find us out walking for at least an hour or so everyday whether in the city, the countryside or along the beach in almost any weather. Leigh Ann is a bit of a cook and likes a little gardening, is a regular swimmer when a pool is available and has taken up knitting in the last year. We both spend a lot of time reading, love good food and believe some of the best is what's local. We also like a little good wine or beer or a good cocktail, but not in excess as that makes yoga rather unpleasant the next day!
While we were in the Navy, we did five international moves with our two cats, Velveeta and Tortuga. Wow, did we love those two! Sadly, after 18 years they weren't able to make the last move with us to South Africa, but at some point nearly every day we reflect on the joy they added to our lives.
We adore all cats and and non-aggressive dogs. Leigh Ann, however, is a bit of a cat magnet and finds it impossible to pass a cat with stopping for a pet (or attempted pet as is more often the case). We love the opportunity that house sitting gives us to spend time around animals during our travels.
We're rather handy people (Jonathan especially...he can do anything) and problem solvers (Leigh Ann especially, but she's also pretty handy in her own right). Perhaps that comes from a career in the Navy or it's just inherent to our personalities. Either way, there is little that we don't know in terms of managing a home and whatever we may not know, we'll figure out just as we've done in all our traveling, working and living abroad until now.
In general, we both have strong maintenance backgrounds from our time in the Navy. Jonathan knows everything from welding and brazing to small engine repair to electronics to construction to bomb disposal (yes, he was part of the Navy's elite bomb squad). Leigh Ann can also hold her own on most projects (but absolutely not disarming a bomb).
We are very capable of maintaining homes and gardens in locales where we don't speak the local language and dealing with vets outside our home country. What we don't know, we can be counted on to figure out on our own.
We're most interested in longer term sitting assignments of one to three or four months but are pretty flexible. So, if you're looking for a couple who will give exceptional care to your pets and can manage anything that's thrown at them in any situation, get in touch with us.
All the best, Leigh Ann & Jonathan