I am a young, fit and active retiree and I love animals. I housesit so that I can have more 'pets' than would ever fit into my home.
I have been housesitting for 13 years though the first few years were fully booked by an endurance horse stud in Western Australia. Since retiring from work, I have had more time and freedom and I have experienced some wonderful sits with dogs young and old, cats of every temperament, cows and fowls of all descriptions and a variety of other pets and farm animals. I have also handled more exotic pets like snakes, lizards and birds. I love any type of animal and get along with them all.
When I am at home, I foster rescue dogs (take them in for short periods during their transition between homes). These animals are invariably fragile and working with them has made me highly aware of the need for different approaches to each individual. Knowing a breed is a good start but working with each animal’s needs and temperament is much better for the animal and results in a happier relationship between us. From the moment I am introduced, I give animals the opportunity and space to ‘adopt’ me as their surrogate carer and they are invariably calm and settled by the time their humans leave.
In addition, I have been a wildlife rescuer my entire life so I am comfortable with caring for a wide range of animals who need medical attention or those who are emotionally vulnerable.
In addition, my varied experience with caring for a wide range of animals means I am effective at recognising behavioural changes which can often be an indicator of changes in an animal's wellbeing. In the past, this has helped me recognise and address developing issues before the animal reached crisis.
I will treat your animals like they are my own and I will use your own commands and signals. Not only does it support the investment you have made in training but I believe it is reassuring for the animal.
I do not smoke, I am tidy and I 'live lightly' in a house. I can do organic, vegan or vegetarian lifestyles if that suits your environment. I eat a veggie-based diet but my partner, Jon, is more of a carnivore. He does not always join me on my adventures and, if he does, it is with the prior approval of my host. He is lovely and gentle and seems to be a natural animal whisperer (I am very jealous).
I work from 'home' as an environmental researcher so I will spend a good deal of time with your pets. I like having animals around when I work and I interact with them frequently.
I am also a keen hiker and I particularly like having company on my daily jaunt, although it is also ok if your dog cannot join me. If that is the case, it will be "One walk for him/her, one for me!"
I had a country upbringing and I particularly like rural and regional housesits. I have experience with living and driving in snow and with living and travelling in very remote locations. I am particularly keen on remote mountain sits.
I am also happy with urban or village sits, as it gives me an opportunity to become acquainted with the community. Our family home is located in a tight-knit village environment and I extend that sense of community to my ‘mobile’ lifestyle.
I am currently organising a summer adventure in Europe so I can visit my mom and French family. Jon, will join me on this adventure. We have a lovely cat (and maybe a kitten!) to sit in Geneva for August and early September but are very open to possibilities after that. We are especially interested in remote and mountainous locations, especially Iceland and the Dolomite Mountains. We also want to spend time in the area around Nyons and Lyon, where I have family to visit.
In Europe we do not have a private car. If public transport is available at your sit, we are happy with that as a sustainable and very pleasant option. However, both Jon and I have a clean driving record and extensive experience as country and town drivers. We always appreciate it when a host can make a car available for our use, particularly as it increases options for mobilising pets for adventures or treatment (heaven forbid it is required but best to be prepared!) For the right sit, we would consider renting a car.
I have many references available and we are both happy to get a police clearance, if you require it.
Feel free to contact me to arrange a chat. I can call you free of charge or we can use Messenger, WhatsApp or any platform you prefer. As my sits are wide-flung nationally and internationally, most of my assignments are arranged by video chat and my clients are always comfortable by the time they make their decisions.