From Argentina to Europe

Hello to you all,

We are Ale & Charly, digital nomads from Argentina. We´ll be arriving to Madrid on May 3rd and we´ve already set up our first sitting for June in Granada, with 2 lovely cats.
We have plenty of experience in CouchSurfing because we traveled through Europe using that platform in 2012, staying at people places and knowing different ways of living. So we love this different way of traveling. We´ve lived with dogs our lifetime, and took care of family and friend´s dogs and cats when they travel.
Ale is a behaviorist veterinarian, who works trying to solve behavioral problems in pets and teaching people how to communicate eficiently with dogs and cats. We talk. They move. And sometimes this different language makes us to missinterpret what they are telling us with their behavior.
We love to be in the suburbs or country, and may be close to a city, ideally a beach. But we can adapt.
We are looking for pets and a house to sit between May, 10th and end of May in Spain or Portugal. If you need someone who love to take care of dogs/cats, and responsible people with house/garden/orchard, we are the ones.

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Hi @Alejandra thank you for your wonderful introduction,welcome to our community forum and to our TrustedHousesitters community.

Argentina to Madrid that’s quite the journey and an exciting one, we look forward to sharing in your new THS adventure.

Ale, your work sounds so interesting and highly relevant in our post COVID environment, with the explosion of new pet families and the many challenges of socialising and now separation anxiety now that their humans are returning to normal life and leaving the home (the new normal anyway) I can imagine that your expertise is in high demand not only from pet parents but veterinary professionals - my daughter is an ER & Critical Care Vet in the UK and so I’m aware of some of the current challenges.

I would really like to know more about your work please Direct Message me so we may connect.

Welcome again, enjoy connecting with our members from around the world and do explore the many conversations happening on the forum.

Angela and the Team

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Hi and Welcome Ale and Charly :wave: That’s so exciting, I wish you both the best in your new adventures to come, and I look forward to what you may share on here.
-Deb :heart:

I would be fascinated to know more about Ale’s work too.

Thank you all for the warm welcome. It feels great to have a real community working as support and network for all the sitters and HO.

@Angela-CommunityManager indeed my expertise is in high demand. As you said, it is due to the “new normal” and separation anxiety, but also because many adoptions occurred during pandemics. Suddenly, people who felt alone and never had a dog/cat adopted one of them and needed advice to know and familiarize with the typical behavior of those species. Some pets have behavior issues already when they are adopted or bought (usually because shelters and breeders don´t have the tools for giving them adequate education during the first months of life, that are the most critically important behavior builders), for instance, proper socialization.

When these dogs/cats spend some years with this kind of problem, this affects their neuro-cognitive networks (because emotional, behavioral, and physical health are interconnected). And of course, the problem also makes uncomfortable humans that punish pets.

So I try to work at the prevention level. And it´s really difficult because people usually ask for advice when the problem is seriously affecting their relationship (dogs and cats that attack people and other animals, dogs that destroy furniture and doors, cats that scratch furniture, dogs that can´t be taken for a walk because they can´t behave as people expect). The later the problem is treated, the more difficult is to solve it.

Some other times it´s simpler. What seems like a behavior problem or pathology for some people is an incorrect communication and interpretation of what the fur friend needs. And also a lack of knowledge on how to educate dogs and cats.

If people contact me when they want to adopt or buy a dog/cat or when the animal is young (2-4 months) we can work at the prevention level. I can give them nice tips to engage in positive education, creating a lifetime bond with those other beings that communicate in different ways, and have emotional, behavioral and physical needs that we must satisfy.

So basically I work with bonds. I try to fix broken ones, or hopefully I help to build unbreakable inter-species relationships :wink:

@liz Hope to have answered what you would like to know about my work. As I can see that you have lived in Buenos Aires and Lima, te mando un abrazo y espero que estés muy bien :slight_smile:

If you are interested in knowing more, I have writen a book chapter in spanish, that belongs to a virtual and free book writen by veterinarians. Here´s the link to download the book: El libro – Influvetes (I wrote the first chapter, on animal welfare, the ways of sensing the world by dogs and cats, and somethings about their typical behavior and about their relationship with us, humans).

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Thank you for taking the time to go into some detail about your work @Alejandra, talking to shelters they sadly endorse what you are finding. Young dogs being surrendered who have never been socialized and consequently have many behavioral issues and require much work before they can even be considered for rehoming …

Thank you …

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thank you @Alejandra for your lovely reply regarding your work. It sounds fascinating. We have just spent 3 months in Argentina and one thing we noticed is how sociable the dogs are there (with the usual exceptions). An amazing number of dogs are off leash and walk the street of Buenos Aires or other cities with their owners quite happily. They stay on the side walks, don’t run after other dogs, etc. In the plazas they play with other dogs off leash and are so well behaved :-). In one town we were in a new dog arrived at our shared residence and 3 dogs from the neighbourhood came to stand quietly at the gate just hoping to welcome him and meet him. It was really quite lovely. Someone told me that Argentinian dogs are generally trained to be off leash - is that so?

Argentinians are very pet friendly, at least in the big cities. 80% of the Buenos Aires families have at least a dog or a cat living with them. And maybe that number is old. Now we´ll have a census in May, and maybe we´ll learn newer information about people living with pets. That could give us the idea that we have a nice country for house sitting. But this practice is not very popular around here, maybe because latinamerican idiosyncrasy o lack of publicity? In any case, it could be an opportunity for publicity here.
I can say that during quarantine a lot of people from Buenos Aires adopted a dog or a cat. In some cases more than one.
There are a lot of trainers working with people to teach dogs to walk off leash, as you say. Personally I´ve always enjoyed walking my own dogs off leash, and they learnt quickly and easily. But you have to be very sure that your dog will respond when you call him/her in those cases, because it could be also dangerous. There are a lot of stimulus in the street.
If you visit other towns different than big capital cities, you will find dogs in the street all day long. They have their family but people let them out. Some other times they are dogs (or cats) without a family but people from the neighboorhood give them food or shelter occasionaly.