I am young, fit and active and I love animals. I am lucky enough to have a job that allows me to work from 'home' while simultaneously freeing me to make my home wherever the fancy takes me. I housesit so that I can have furry contact while I travel - without it, I am sure I would get lonely.
I have been housesitting for 13 years, though six of those years were fully booked by one client. But my new job means I have had more time and freedom for the last couple of years and I have experienced some wonderful sits with dogs young and old, cats of every temperament, hordes of horses, 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 (which isn't often!) I like to foster rescue dogs. These animals are invariably fragile and they have made me aware of the need to work with each animal’s needs and temperament. Knowing a breed is a good start but taking the time to get to know the individual is better. From the moment I am introduced, I give animals the opportunity and space to ‘adopt’ me as their surrogate carer but I let them take their time. This approach is even more important with cats and hasn't failed me yet, even with my more 'difficult' furry clients.
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. The first couple of decades were devoted to North American mammals, the last couple to Australian wildlife of all kinds including marsupials, birds and reptiles. We even had a wild kitten rescue recently!
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 a 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've even had a cat that joined me from time to time.
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 92 yo mom. Jon, my partner, will join me for part of this adventure, subject to host approval, of course. We are especially interested in rural and mountainous locations.
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!) Otherwise, 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, 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.