"Best Of" List

After we travel, my husband I have always enjoyed rehashing the details of our trip over a glass or two of wine and come up with a “best of” list. For us, planning and remembering a trip is almost as much fun as taking the trip itself. We also talk about biggest disappointment and biggest pleasant surprise, and have fun arguing for our own personal favourites and trying to convince the other person why our choice should be added to the list.

Once we started housesitting, we continued the tradition, but applied it to housesitting specifically. With 11 sits to date, we now have an overall housesit “Best Of” list as well. Does anyone else do anything similar?

Here are some of our categories, in no particular order:

Best dog
Best cat
Best bed
Best kitchen
Best bathroom
Best local walks
Best garden
Best patio
Best neighbourhood
Best views
Best village
Best pub
Best character (house)
Best local activities/sights
Best shopping convenience
Best farm market / shop
Best overall sit


Hi @Kelownagurl how cool is this …

Best Dog or Cat would be really hard to choose, would love to know some of your “winners” … what does constitute a “Best Bathroom?” in your showering space?

Oh best pets are definitely our most contentious “discussions” but overall sweetness, friendliness, cuddliness, “recall” and good loose leash walking skills are among our criteria.

Best bathroom? It’s funny how important a nice bathroom has become to me on our travels, housesitting or otherwise! I don’t really know why.

For us, cleanliness of course is important
We also like a big walk in shower (don’t care about tubs at all)
and room on the counter for our toiletries etc
And then after that, it’s all aesthetics. Obviously not important stuff, but just a nice bonus to remember after the fact!

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We definitely do this as well! Our list is pretty similar with the addition of most interesting people we’ve met - both homeowners and random people we meet during our sits!


Great idea! I’m going to add that to our list. Apart from home owners, we’ve had some really cool encounters with interesting people on our trips!


I love this idea! Unfortunately my husband has no interest in planning trips or holidays. I can’t understand this at all, but at least it means I get to choose. The children would love discussing all these “Best of” lists though!


Yes, we certainly do have these discussions. On a sad note though, a few of our best dogs and cats have passed away over the years.
Once we agree a sitting we prepare a document with all the pertinent details, including dogs/cats names, breeds and ages. After the sitting, I have a heading “Would we return” , What did we like/dislike.
I agree with you and others, a great bathroom always helps. Walk in showers are the best


We definitely have conversations looking back at all of our experiences and mull over the 'best of…" And completely agree, best pets can get pretty heated and is usually solved with “in the top 10” determinations. :rofl:

We also like to keep a tally going of our house sitting stats. We haven’t updated the graphic in a bit, so we can add a few dogs and cats to the list as well as another 300-ish days :wink:


What a great idea! We’ve only done 11 sits so far so won’t have any big numbers like you’re but I think it would be fun to start our list. Thanks!

Do you count the pets only once even if you’ve sat them more than once?


I made a list. Here’s our stats so far!

11 sits
3 countries
139 days

15 dogs
7 sheep
5 cats
2 rabbits
2 ducks
20 chickens
And fish in a pond


We certainly wouldn’t put ‘only’ in front of 11! We’ve been sitting full time for over 4 years so we naturally have big numbers, but we remember the first year and how amazing and wonderful each one of out 6, 7 and then 8+ sits were.

We don’t count animals twice, but maybe we should start counting repeat sits in our stats. We’ve made some close friendships along the way and that’s really worth recognizing and being grateful for as well. :heavy_heart_exclamation:

Your stats are great! We do mainly urban sits and haven’t had a good opportunity to care for the variety of animals you have. It’s definitely on our future bucket list! How would you say the time commitment for caring for sheep, ducks and chicken compare to a dog?


Well, caring for farm animals is more responsibility for sure, but for us, it wasn’t any more commitment than the dog and cats. Most pets need to be “fed and watered” morning and evening so you have to be around to do that. However, the more animals to feed, the more time it takes.

You don’t have to walk a sheep, but we did check on all the animals a few times throughout the day, and one young ram had a medical problem so we did a treatment for him every day. It was an adventure learning to “catch” him for that though. :rofl:

That being said, I’ve raised chickens of my own, and I had sheep for 6 months when I farmed in Saskatchewan back in the 80’s so I wasn’t nervous about them. I wouldn’t think it would be as simple for someone who had never been around farm animals.

The home owners of that particular sit were great because they asked us to arrive 3 days before they left (we stayed in a gite in their home), and they taught us the routine over the those 3 days until we were ready to take it all on ourselves on the third day. Day 1, we followed them around and watched them do it. Day 2, we did it while they followed us around, Day 3, we did the whole routine ourselves on our own.


If you do decide to take on a more rural sit, and have the confidence around farm animals, I’d suggest starting with one new kind of animal, not a whole farm, and be sure that the home owners know you have no experience but are interested in learning. Given the proper set up, you might find it fun!


What a great idea to arrive 3 days early and split up ‘training’ that way! We like to arrive a day early with dogs and cats so that the animals get used to us with the owner around, but also so that we can see the routine first hand. But with farm animals, it would be helpful to have a more structured introduction and chance to ask questions and learn!


The home owners didn’t have names for their farm animals but I named them all. This is “Steve”.


We’ve only done 3 short sits, but here are our stats
3 sits
1 country
9 days
5 dogs
3 cats
4 chickens

We’d love to care for sheep some time!


Well done!

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I don’t have a “Best Of” List but what I have just completed is a photobook titled “The First Five Years of Pet Sitting 2016 - 2020” which has photos of pets, location of sit and dates of sit. I had to apologise to 8 pets from the early days for not locating their photos, even though I know I took photos of them to send to owners!


Those big eyes

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I just found this, how marvelous! Here’s ours:

24 House sits
4 countries
20 dogs
26 cats
2 goats
2 horses
3 ducks
too many chickens to count!

The goats were a first for us to even be around. They were Merrie and Pippin, trained by the owner’s young daughter to pull a cart. Such fun!

One of the ducks had red eyes, would fly out of the pen and come to the front of the house to visit!

I loved the chickens and their fresh eggs.