I’m almost always gone when HO’s get back - I think normally they just want to crawl into bed, or get themselves sorted. But I must say, the times that I watch the pet and their owner reunite can be the loveliest thing ever.
The HO messaged they were walking from the station this morning so I popped the dog on the lead and we met them halfway - watching them both be so excited to see each other has made me happy all day, and in lots of ways eases the blow of saying goodbye! There are so many great parts of housesitting, but a happy reunion is always the cherry on top!
I have to say I much prefer being there when the HO’s return. I’m in a constant state of worry about the pets until I know when the homeowners have returned and likewise I like to see our sitters in person when we return and just ask them how it all went? I’ll never forget the first time we left our pup he was only about six months old and I had asked our sitters if they would video our return home and we were all in tears and I just treasure that video.
I’ve been there when HOs have returned and also have left before they did. It’s fine for me either way.
Personally, if I’m returning home from a trip, I want to decompress, settle in and clean up without entertaining a stranger. I’d loathe having someone there. Luckily, I don’t host sits, LOL.
With the HOs whose return I was on hand for, things worked out perfectly — I was there to greet them and they decompressed a bit and had some tea. Meanwhile, we played with their dog, who was overjoyed to see them (cat happily returned as well from outdoors). Then within an hour or so, they dropped me off at a nearby hotel, which I’d booked. They went home for a bit to unpack and relax or such and I did likewise at my hotel. Then they came and met me and I treated them to dinner, in return for them having taken me to dinner when I arrived the night before their trip.
It was terrific, because we had privacy and then met for dinner out. We had a lovely time and still keep in touch.
At every sit when I’ve left before the HOs returned, we discussed what would happen if they were delayed. They always had neighbors or friends who could step in and fill the gap in an emergency. I wouldn’t leave a pet with the chance that no one would look after them for an unreasonable amount of time. But neither would I be anxious, because I’d made sure we’d discussed a backstop.
To clarify - that’s exactly what we’ve done as well, it was no surprise as it was all discussed prior. However, I’m just the type of person that worries about these things until I know the pets have been reunited with the owners/pet parents.
I’ve had one HO, with whom I’ve become quite close, do this just for me to see! The pets were excited to see them walk in, but after a minute, she said they look all over for “Auntie J”
This is one of my favorite parts about the whole THS exchange and why it really is the best pet care! Our dog would never respond this way to people at a kennel. Our dog is so overjoyed to see us return (so much so he always gives us nose wrinkles, gets vocal and tons of kisses) right after he settles down he goes back to the sitters looking for attention. After they’ve departed he’s even gone back to the guest room in the evening to look for them . I love seeing our boy form bonds with other people and in return them enjoying his company.
We had to leave a sit early just once; we had Covid! I felt soooo bad about doing it but reasoned they would rather have their dog watched by their emergency contact than for us to give them Covid. I don’t think they were impressed, the only HOs ever who have not kept in touch or given us a thank-you gift. I still wonder if we did right…
Our pup has done the same. He runs over to them for attention afterwards, wagging his fluffy tail.
We had one sitter who couldn’t be here when we returned, but she made sure to send us a video update while we were on the plane. That was really nice.
I’ve had owners return, the dogs go to greet them, and then come back to me. Awkward.
I don’t find that awkward at all It’s a sign that the dog trusts you too and is pleased that their favorite people are all together. What a high compliment
It’s such a lovely moment. The car turns into the drive, or however the owners return, and doggo knows it before I do. Turns to me, unbelievingly, “could it really be…” and then goes crazy in welcome. Best moment of any sit.