A Strange Sit Duration

This is a strange one:

We noticed a sit being advertised as 13 - 27 Feb. We had already agreed another sit nearby, ending on 17 Feb but, before confirming - whikst we could still communicate - we dropped them a line, stating we couldn’t meet their advertised dates but had potential availability from 17 Feb - 01 March, if their dates were at all flexible.

To our surprise, the HO got back to us, saying they could get a neighbour to care for their dog for the first 3 days so would amend their dates to suit our availability (17 Feb - 01 March). It seemed odd that she had extended the sit end date, but hey-ho!

When we went to apply, we then noticed the HO Had listed another sit, for the dates 02 -12 March. We asked for a video call, and enquired whether she would be arriving home on 1st March, or if this was a split-sit (which we won’t do). She said she wouldnt be home until 11th March, but denied this was a split-sit. We asked who we would be handing the dog over to on 1st March and received a rather vague answer (it seems like it would be to a neighbour, but wasn’t quite clear).

We declined the sit, explaining that we don’t do split sits and that it feels irresponsible to end a sit 10 days before a pet parent’s return.

We later received a phone call from the HO, asking us to reconsider. She said she was very stressed and, if we would only agree, she would have to organise paid homecare and dog walkers for the period after our departure.

We informed her that we view housesitting as a way to reduce stress and ensure continuity for pets, which cant work in this situation. Response was that her dog would consequently have to go into kennels for the entire period. We note the sit is now being advertised as 13 - 20 February!

Has anyone else agreed to sit for just a part of the HO’s absence? We’d like to help, and realise that if she’d have said “a friend will be taking the dog from 1st March”, we’d have been none the wiser, but with her mentioning neighbours and doggy homecare and paid dogwalkers in such a haphazard manner, we really began to worry about the welfare of this dog and the implications of us agreeing to this sit, which seems far from straightforward.

We advised the HO to advertise the sit for the entirety of her absence. She said she’d tried thst but received no response, which is why she’d advertised in 2 lots (whikst still maintaining this was not a split sit!).

What would you have done, in this situation?

Can´t you do the sit for the entirety of her absence?

No, or else we would. We have another confirmed sit from 1st March (as we made clear at the onset).

I’d move on. Don’t bring trouble on yourselves when THS exchanges are voluntary and should be enjoyable for both parties. When things become unnecessarily messy, those are signs that are best observed. Red flags, for example: a host who seems random, vague or evasive even before a sit has been agreed on.

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yea, that’s some really bizarre maths happening and it would make me uncomfortable.

It should not be difficult for her to say, “I won’t be back yet but your handover will be to XYZ person and it will look like this on your end.” and then from there, it’s a yes or no from you…

Also confused as to why she doesn’t just list all the dates she needs? whether it be two separate dates or one continuous timeframe, and then just say in the listing there’s some flexibility around this sit, etc…oh well!

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If Owners seem disorganized, they are likely disorganized in many facets of their life.

Run, run, run!!

The best Owners and Sitters are people who are very organized, reliable, thoughtful.

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Thanks, all. I know you’re right, it just helped to hear it from other sitters. :heart:

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On split sits–You say you won’t do split sits, but you were willing to take over from a neighbor three days into the PO’s absence.

I certainly don’t judge those who would refuse any type of split sit. I have not done one, but if asked would condition it on the other sitter(s) being on THS with sufficient positive reviews and willing to have a video call with me to ensure we are on the same page. But it seems you were willing to do a split sit as the receiver but not to hand off to another.

If your concern was that you had no guaranteed hand-off (we can all imagine the horror of being committed to another sit and the next caregivers don’t show up to relieve us!), that I completely understand. I would have communicated to the HO as my concern, but I would have been open-minded about her organizing other care–as long as it was fully organized, confirmed and disclosed before the sit was agreed.

As to the welfare of the dog, it may depend on the pets, their home and the available alternatives, but in many situations pets would be better in their own home even with a few revolving caregivers than being put in a kennel. So I’m not opposed to split sits on those grounds.

Also, I’m a little sympathetic to a homeowner who is struggling to get applicants, particularly if the listing looked good enough from the start that you wanted to apply. We don’t know the circumstances of her leave. Did she have a holiday planned for six months and wait until the final weeks to post for a sitter? Did she have a death in the family or sudden work-related trip and need to travel quickly? We don’t know her situation and whether she was truly disorganized or just in a bind not of her making.

Still, at the end of the day, a sit isn’t agreed until it’s agreed, and if you hadn’t committed to it you are always free to decline it for any reason or no reason. If it’s not for you, it’s not going to be a good sit. A lack of alternative applicants should not become your problem. It’s always fair to say “it just doesn’t feel right”. If the HO was splitting the sit, that should have been disclosed in the listing. Lack of disclosure is a good reason not to feel right about a sit. (Hence the “trust” in the name of the app).

I also might have been a little put off by the HO’s willingness to hire a paid sitter but hoping to save a bit by using me as unpaid help under the same circumstances. (Reference the many posts on these boards about some HO’s treating sitters like unpaid and undervalued help.)

However this works out, I hope the dog is well cared for. And that you enjoy your other sits! Really no need for you to look back on this one.

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