Exploring why I want to house and pet sit

Good Morning everyone.

Today I thought I might explore my reasons for wanting to house and pet sit.

John and I have been very happily married for nearly 27 years. In that time we have bought, sold and renovated properties. We have been landlords for 25 years and in that time we have had one property trashed and a group that refused to pay the rent. Overall our renting experience has been very good.

In this respect I suppose we can empathise with the owners on this site. Some of you own incredible properties and we know how much hard work goes into maintaining them.

How would I choose a sitter - very difficult when there are so many experienced people out there. Would I insist on loads of reviews? Have we over the years come to rely too heavily on digital likes and stars? Would I trust my guts? This possibly overlooked reaction has certainly fared us well in our many travelling experiences. For example we were on a trip around Morocco in our first campervan. We came upon a road which was off the beaten track, five minutes along I had a very bad feeling about the fan belts - crazy I know! John was concerned so we turned around, headed to the nearest village and found a mechanic. This particular engine had four belts after examining them he found two were so worn they were about to break. We could have been stuck in the middle of nowhere!!

On the pet side, I was brought up with dogs and cats, litters of kittens and chickens. I rode horses regularly across the New Forest. When I met John I had two boys and a Labrador cross called Hermes. Hermes came with us on our travels through Europe. Hermes was so loyal and really there for me on those dark, lonely nights after I separated from my first husband. He died in our campervan on a trip to Spain. We woke up and found him dead in his bed, he was 15 years old. I hope he didn’t suffer. We buried him in the hills above Malaga, under some rocks with a beautiful view. I haven’t been able to think about replacing him over the years. So I suppose there is a pet hole in my life.

In conclusion, after so much time traveling I think we are looking for a different aspect to travel. One where we can be of service to pet owners who want a break and maybe meeting some really nice people along the way.

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Hi @CarolineJohn1 and welcome to the Forum.

What a great introduction.

I had my own dogs for over 30 years and although I was able to travel for a while, in the end, they became a bit of a bind, so when the last one passed in early 2017 I decided to get back into travel, and so far have completed over 40 sits, mostly in SE Asia, cared for over 50 dogs, lots of cats, rabbits, and a sparrow, and I am having the time of my life.

There was a wee break for a year or so, but I think we all had that, but I am happy to be back on the road.

Good luck with your travels, you have joined a great community, look forward to hearing more about your travels.

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Hi Thanks so much for your response. When Hermes died we were able to go on our first world trip. We discovered a stunning location in South Africa and ended up buying a piece of land. We completed our trip of Australia, Fifi and America and did not return to South Africa for four years. In that time the land had gone up 8 times so we sold it and used some of the money to buy a house with a stunning sea view. We renovated this with the help of local black people, teaching them building skills. It was such a life changing and enriching experience. We kept the property for ten years eventually selling in 2017. Didn’t make a huge amount of money by European standards but it was so worth it!!

I wish you all the best in your future travel life warm regards Caroline

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A very warm and heartfelt welcome to our forum @CarolineJohn1
What an incredible share. We come into this space of pets and travel for many different reasons with a vast variety of experiences and expectations.

The one thing that binds us and makes us stick is the love we either bring with us or in some cases find in the joy of caring for these animals.

Thank you for bringing it so beautifully to the forefront. I have been loving this chosen path since my own retirement and it has most certainly filled my own hole. That hole is a sacred space that overflows with love.
Let’s keep sharing it.
Welcome.
Amparo

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It must be the season for this. I too have been exploring why I do this and could I improve both mine and the pet owners experience.
I haven’t come up with any real apathies but “watch this space”.

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Hi Amparo

Thank you for your kind words. A sacred space overflowing with love - what a beautiful thought.

Warm regards Caroline

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Hi @CarolineJohn1! Thanks for sharing! We too are starting to sign up for these sits as we are home exchangers for many years. We always enjoyed ones where we had to care for the hosts’ pets and we enjoyed that immensely. Funnily, we are from Malaga. We enjoy pets when visiting our friends and family. Although we have never owned pets, we always yearn to care and enjoy them through the owners. Good to know why others are doing this.

Welcome to the site. I hope you get to look after some lovely pets warm regards Caroline