From Laptops to Lap Dogs - Team Trusted’s Pet Sitting Tales!

It’s no secret that working at TrustedHousesitters has some wonderful benefits, not least the opportunity to work in a pet loving environment, but also the chance to pick up our laptops and spend time looking after pets on house sits!

All our team are encouraged to house sit (or welcome sitters) … and along with the more recent “remote first” policy, we’ve seen quite a few of them appearing on video meetings alongside a happy pooch or kitty!

So we’d like to introduce you to members of the wider team who love to spend time combining house sitting with either work or vacation time. We’ve asked some of them to share their pics and tell us what they love about house sitting, what’s surprised them as newbies, and whether this is something they will be making a regular feature of their working lives!

Let’s welcome them to the forum and share in their pawsitively magical pet sitting moments. :paw_prints: :dog: :black_cat:

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Who am I?
Hello! I’m Emily and I’m the CRM manager here at Trusted Housesitters - which means I look after most of the communications we send to our members. I live in Bexhill, which is on the south coast of England.

Why I decided to sit
My husband and I don’t have any pets, and although it makes sense because we’re always trying to get away for weekends and holidays, we do feel like we miss our fix of cute animals to cuddle! So of course, this is the perfect solution for us and I was soon creating our sitter profile!

Our first sit ever!
Not long after we were invited to a sit by a lovely lady named Jo in Newbury, Berkshire. She and her husband John were going away for a week and wanted us to take care of their 3 lovely pets - 14 year old Dog Tully, 1 year old Dog Nell and 10 year old Cat Miley. We were so excited to be invited and accepted straight away!

As a newbie, I wanted to meet the owners first and have a face to face handover. The one thing I was worried about was not understanding the instructions or getting something wrong, but Jo and John made sure we had the best possible directions with food, walks and routines! We arrived the night before and had a wonderful BBQ and catch-up in the sun. We were at ease straight away, in a beautiful house and a very peaceful location. What helped too was that we fell in love with the animals immediately - they all were affectionate and seemed so happy to be making new friends.

We were both working remotely from our sit, and based ourselves in the kitchen for the week with a beautiful view of the garden and surrounding farmland. Miley liked to stay outside most of the time, away from the pesky dogs (her words, not mine!). Tully was super chilled out and liked to sit by our feet. Nell, the little rocket, liked chasing the birds in the garden and as you can see from the pictures, she wanted to help us work too!


Highlights from our pet sit

There’s so much we loved about our house sit, so here are a few more highlights:

  • Keeping the dogs cool in the heatwave with Ice Cream and the hose pipe
  • Running after Nell as she chased Rabbits on our daily walks
  • Evenings cuddled on the sofa while we watched TV. The dogs would be waiting by the living room door at the same time every day, waiting to jump on the cushions.



We also loved exploring the local area. A beautiful part of England with lots of great walks, little villages and pubs with amazing food. We spent one evening in Goring on-Thames - did you know that’s where George Michael lived? We loved it!

My top tip for new sitters like us
Go to your sit early, while the owners are still there - it’s invaluable!

What’s next?
We’ve been invited back to Jo and John’s home in October for 2 weeks and we can’t wait to see our friends Tully, Nell and Miley again!

Has anyone been to Newbury before?
If so, do you have any tips or walk recommendations for our next trip?

Photos added with homeowners consent.

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Looks amazing @EmilyT we could see the joy on your face at every meeting!!

Did you find that sharing your day with pets, especially the dogs helped your work life balance?

Working from home, or remotely as it’s often referred to, there’s a danger of doing the short commute down a few stairs straight to the “office” and not leave until you suddenly realise you need to eat, drink or … especially if you are someone who has difficulty walking away.

Did you find the pets made a refreshing difference to how you managed your day ?

Cannot wait to see where your next sit takes you and John. :sunglasses: :slightly_smiling_face: :clap:

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Lovely photos @EmilyT thank you for sharing your sit story!

I’ve not heard of Goring-on-Thames before, but now I know that’s where George Michael lived, I might have to pay it a visit.

We hope to hear of more adventures with Tully, Nell and Miley in the future!

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Thank you @Angela-HeadOfCommunity !

Oh I completely agree, it really improved our work life balance. I’m very guilty of sitting at my laptop all day and being surprised when 5pm creeps up on me. With the dogs, I was always popping into the garden to throw the ball, checking their water or just having a cuddle. It really improved our days!

Was difficult not to want a nap when the dogs were snoring away at our feet though :grinning:

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Thank you @Lucy-MembershipServices

You won’t be disappointed, it’s a beautiful little town on the River Thames. I believe you can visit his house - fans still leave floral tributes to this day!

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"Newbury is on the periphery of a 670-square mile region of rolling chalk hills.

The North Wessex Downs are the third largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the UK, and offers roller-coaster walks over lush green hills, crystal clear chalk streams, long-distance views and lots of wildlife.

One trail, the Lambourn Valley Way begins right in Newbury and follows the course of the River Lambourn for 20 miles back to the Uffington White Horse.

This 110-metre-long prehistoric image of a horse was carved out on Whitehorse Hill some 5,000 years ago."

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My horse and dog heaven in Somerset

This was my first experience sitting through the platform and it did not disappoint.

I had the absolute delight of spending a long weekend in Somerset in a beautiful home, not only that but had the pleasure of 2 gorgeous black labradors, who were my little shadows for 3 days along with 2 wonderful horses and 2 Shetland ponies.

I was in paradise! I have lots of experience with horses and as a member of the team here at TrustedHousesitters, I know that some Homeowners with horses struggle to find sitters that have enough experience with these beautiful creatures.

So I thought I would dive right in at the deep end for my first sit and I am thrilled I did.

The homeowners made me feel welcome from the moment I arrived. They invited me to stay the night before they left and this was a great opportunity for us to get to know each other.

It helped me understand who they were, what their pets needed from me and the kind of communication they wanted while they were away and it gave them the chance to get to know me. After all, they are entrusting me, not only with their home but their beloved pets.

I understood the amount of effort involved in this sit because myself and the owner communicated a lot before the sit took place but I knew I would be in my happy place because I was surrounded by animals.

If you are looking for sits with specific pets, ie. horses, you can use the filter tabs within the website and app on the ‘Find a pet sit’ page.

I cannot wait to return to this sit in September!

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Thanks for sharing your story! You do look like you are in your happy place with those pups, horses and ponies!

We’ve done a couple of sits with horses but both had help who came every few days to groom and exercise. We just took back and forth to the fields, brushed, fed and watered, and cleaned out the stables. Oh and picked up the poo! Who’d have thought there could be so much in one day :joy:

What would your advice be for sitters who haven’t sat with horses / ponies before… do you think most owners want someone with some equine experience?

Hi Laura you make me turn a little “green” … I suffer from equine passion disease, my first “bout” came on me when I was just a little girl and I’ve suffered from it ever since, even their smell can start it off again, in fact it’s there for life I don’t think you ever get over it.

Thank you so much for sharing and as @Vanessa-ForumCMgr says what are your main tips for both sitters and owners looking for their first equine sit and sitter experience?

On the subject of horses and equine experience here is a very comprehensive blog piece on laminitis, a serious condition in horses.

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Thank you for sharing that Angela and Vanessa for your comments. Laminitis can be really serious if not dealt with quickly. Actually, one of the Shetlands I looked after was susceptible to it, so I had strict guidelines to follow regarding hay preparation.

My advice for Sitters looking to care for horses during a sit…make sure you are comfortable around larger animals first off. Next, make sure you are 100% clear on what your responsibilities will be before confirming the sit to ensure you are not being asked to do anything that you either do not know how to do or are not completely comfortable doing.

As with all sits, the best thing to do is to ask lots of questions!

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Hello! My name is Charlotte and I’m Senior Brand Designer at TrustedHousesitters.

I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy lots of trips away (mostly while remote working) to gorgeous house sits over the last 18 months but the most recent trip took me and partner Gary to Edinburgh right for the start of the Fringe Festival!

Why I love house sitting:

I have always been an animal-lover (especially dogs!). I grew up with Great Danes and crave the company of pets! Unfortunately, we can’t have pets of our own at the moment - so pet sitting offers us a fantastic opportunity to get our fix of cute pets. We feel like we are starting to build up a little network of furry best friends all over the country!

It’s brilliant being able to stay in comfortable, cosy homes and really feel like a local while we’re exploring new places. Plus, it’s fantastic to enjoy a change of scenery while working from home. As a Designer, I find it can be tricky to find inspiration in the same four walls everyday, so being able to change up our environment, soak up new sights and explore somewhere new always fills me with new ideas and creative energy.

A lovely ‘Spot’ in Edinburgh:

We knew we wanted to head up to Edinburgh this year, so we set up an alert for sits matching our dates and not long after, this sit popped up! It was perfect – a beautiful flat in Portobello, really kind and welcoming homeowners and Spot (aka the CUDDLIEST cat you’ll ever meet).

We arrived to a really warm welcome (including a bottle of Prosecco ready in the fridge!) and settled in right away. Spot greeted us at the door and was immediately keen to say hello and become friends. We were really close to Portobello beach so we were able to work from the flat during the day (with Spot taking residence in the chair next to us), then head straight to the beach afterwards for a bite to eat and return to settle in for the night, with Spot curled up at our feet.

On the weekend, we got the bus into Edinburgh and explored the shops, cafes and museums – including the Surgeons’ Hall Museum, with a fantastic walking tour hearing all about the gruesome history of surgery.

Here is a short video summary of our trip. We absolutely loved our stay with Spot and are really looking forward to heading up there again sometime soon. A big thank you to Victoria (Spot’s Mum) for being such a lovely host and to Spot for being so delightful :).

What’s next:

We haven’t got our next sit booked yet, but I think it’s about time we take this adventure abroad! So far we’ve stuck to the UK but I would absolutely love to venture even further afield. Time to get browsing on the site…

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Wow what an experience for a first sit @LauraR-MembershipServices thank you for sharing! Well done you for diving in the deep end, looks like you had a fantastic time.

Can’t wait to hear more about it in September

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