Cobourg Ontario Canada
Sit Dates Oct-31-20
Inviting house sitters into your home for six months is a major decision. But it only took us a few days after arriving at our winter destination in Costa Rica to realize that we had struck gold in choosing Mario and Jacqueline.
They sent us almost daily pictures of Jacqueline snuggling up to Jazz, our 18-year-old standoffish cat, then a portrait she had painted of him, then a gentle question--do you mind if we do some re-arranging and minor repairs here. We said yes, not quite knowing what to expect. They showed their deep sense of caring when Jazz stopped eating and acted lethargic for a day and a half.
They took him to our vet and immediately phoned us with the news that we had been dreading: Jazz was suffering and the vet was recommending euthanasia. Jacqueline and Sandy had several tearful conversations and we realized there was no alternative. We asked Jacqueline if she would mind seeing Jazz through to the end, and she said of course. We could tell that she had bonded to our sole surviving pet in a way that would make this arrangement appropriate.
When we got home, we found she had arranged the ashes in a small shrine with those of our two other decesased pets, and made a large red heart from which she had hung their ID tags. So thoughtful. The other surprise when we got home was a four-page, single-spaced note explaining all the improvements and repairs they had done on our behalf.
They had wiped down all the dusty books in our library and dusted the shelves, rearranging the books according to size and subject area. They had washed all our windows inside and out. They had rearranged our spice drawer, putting everything in labelled, identical containers and arranging them in alphabetical order. They had scrubbed all faucets to get rid of accumulated calcium deposits, repainted some soiled garbage bins and the scuffed stair risers, cleaned all picture frames with window cleaner, and glued loose rungs on dining room chairs and kitchen stools.
They even recaulked small cracks around the kitchen counter and master bedroom shower. Our crossover was complicated by COVID lockdowns and our mandatory quarantine when we returned, so we did not have an opportunity for them to walk us through all the improvements.
But it was like coming back to a new house and we much appreciated everything they did. I joked that we will probably spend months discovering the extras they did not list for us, and so far we have -- including a lovely dish that Jacqueline left on my side of the bed imprinted with pine needles found just outside my window. Rating: 11 out of 10.