Have you had a positive effect on an owner or sitter?

I ask this question because I recently did a sit (another platform) for a lovely owner whose dogs were gorgeous but the house was pretty depressing & dirty. It was sad because it’s a lovely old Australian house which could fall down around her ears if she’s not careful. Most of the rooms were full of junk, I used her bedroom & en suite, small lounge & kitchen/diner. There was nowhere comfortable to sit, it was very dark and everywhere was dirty. When the owner returned I said that if it was my home I’d want to transform it to its former glory - my euphemism for wanting to completely empty the house, update it and clean from top to bottom before repainting it all!
I could only give 3 stars for the house (4 for the garden which was turning into a jungle in places). As a friend said, my words galvanised her into action because I received this message yesterday:

“…….today I had a 3 hour session with a professional organiser. I felt awful about your experience at my house and realised I couldn’t just swan around thinking I’m on endless holiday. So I put an ad on the local community board for a weekly cleaner….who starts on Monday. I engaged (the organiser) for a consultation as I felt I needed someone to keep me on track. She made some very helpful suggestions. One was asking the question “Is this possession part of your future?”. She made me throw out all the boxes and bubble wrap I was saving to pack things I was going to sell online when I retire. That was hard. Since you left the clothes line has been fixed, the back door now runs more smoothly, bags of shoes and clothing have been sent to the Op shop. The rotten old cushions on the seat on the front verandah replaced by new ones. The oil bottle cupboard is now all clean. Tomorrow I have an appointment with a personal trainer at the local gym. A new start!….”
Although she still has a lot to do this is indeed a new start!

What are your experiences of making a difference to someone?


@Smiley that’s a great story and a wonderful ending. I recently did a similar sit in a rural area of Australia, not near as bad as your sit though. It certainly is a difficult situation to be in.

It’s wonderful to hear that the homeowner took your review/advice onboard. I am a habitual hoarder (a clean and tidy one though) :rofl: and sometimes I would love someone to come and help me “declutter”. I’m not dirty or untidy, I just struggle with throwing things out. Not everyone would be open to accepting a little advice but very uplifting to hear this one did. She will not know herself once it’s finished and will wonder how she ever managed to live like it before.

Go girl :raised_hands:


This is an interesting topic. I am currently sitting for a gentleman who is going through a divorce, and in the past has not had to be the one to care for two poodle mixes. They need to be groomed, better, and more often specially since he takes them to the beach and I’m not sure how to approach this with him. I have had those mixes for years and know that they need more.


It gives you a warm fuzzy feeling @Smiley to know what a difference you have made to this lovely owner who just needed someone (a stranger) to prod her in the right direction. She has certainly taken positive action in the short time since you left the sit. We hear so many complaints from members re lack of cleanliness and/or tidiness of homes that it’s wonderful to read of an owner (albeit on a different platform) taking notice and actually doing something about it. Well done on the impact you have made on her Smiley :blush:.


I’m a person who confronts things head on and if something isn’t right in my book I’ll bring it up. Your situation could be dealt with by explaining you have had a lot of experience with dogs (clearly he hasn’t) and would he mind if you suggested frequent grooming etc otherwise there could be serious issues. Maybe check out some local recommendations for him, he might be glad of your help & prodding in that direction.


Thanks @temba you’re right, I feel very heartened. She wasn’t in the least offended as told me if I’m in the area to stay with her


Changed my mind on my post :face_with_spiral_eyes:

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Where, what, how, why?

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I waited until after the reviews with giving unsolicited advice. In my case it was about the young dog’s harness, that it seemed to me that it had become too tight.

Also because I did not meet the owners at the end. Otherwise I would have shown it to them I think, but in writing it is just more difficult. Anyway, they were happy that I had told them and they would find something new.

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Wow! @smiley You have changed her life for the better! Good on you! The old saying ‘When the student is ready the teacher appears’ certainly applies here! You were obviously tactful in your comments and encouraging and its great she responded so positively! This is a very heartwarming story! :heart:


We recently did a month long sit. When we arrived, the family and pet were lovely. The house was not the cleanest, cluttered, and disorganised as if a bomb had gone off!

They had a very small child and it looked to me that they had been so busy with the extra workload of having a child that they had fallen behind with daily chores to a point where they were overwhelmed by the thought how to get on top of it again.

I went through the whole house cleaning, tidying and generally organising the clutter.

We left before they arrived home, leaving their home looking ‘showhouse, as new’ again.

There is always a chance of offending someone by cleaning, but, to be honest, I think the chance of gratitude and happiness is far higher, so it’s a risk I am prepared to take.

When their review arrived, it said -

“We are lucky Colin and Kayro chose us. They are amongst the nicest human beings we have met. We would love to host them again! They left the house so organised, we are now following their way of living. Thank you. You are truly wonderful people who honestly love animals and take pet sitting seriously”


As someone who had a MIL who, as she got older, simply didn’t see dirt anymore and started to horde I think what you did is wonderful. Some people simply “let things slide” due to familiarity. Well done and what a great reaction. I often play the secret fairy and will fix things I find broken but I never tell the HO. In most cases they notice.


@Oztravels have to admit I had trouble finding the MIL meaning but got it now :wink:


No F :rofl: (and some more text to get past the 10 character bot)


How lovely of you & well deserved review :clap::clap:


Bravo! Terrific that you’ve had such impact and that person is lucky to have crossed paths with you.

Happily, I haven’t had sits in such conditions. I try to avoid fixer sits the best I can. I channel my impact inclinations toward work and mentoring.

Minor: With two lovely cats I sat, I tried to nudge their humans toward building a catio (or having one built). Don’t know whether they’ll do it. I loved the little guys and felt sorry for them, looking longingly outside and trying to make a break for it. I think a catio would make them very happy.


@Smiley That is a very uplifting story! Thanks for sharing.

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@Oztravels “let things slide” due to familiarity! You describe that so well!
I recently had my sister point out a few areas I could “get to work on” and it was a wake up! I am not a dirty or lazy person either, but I have to remind myself that “later” sometimes doesn’t arrive unless you keep on top of it.


This is so timely for me as I have recently completed a sit where i questioned whether i am over tidy or too house proud - the place looked abandoned, with dirty sinks, dirty microwave, a loo that needed flushing and no room in the fridge (much out of date stuff) or freezer (stuff fell out when i opened the door), and everywhere covered with clutter. It was if i wasn’t expected. As we sitters don’t yet have the star rating system available I felt I wasn’t able to reflect this, and felt unable to give a lower overall rating because, other than all that, it’s a lovely sit.
However, I had already agreed a return sit in a month (it’s fairly local to me, in a lovely location and with a gorgeous dog) so I plan to drop hints in communications before that sit - even if it is to remind them to read the THS email that mentions some of these issues.

You’re very brave doing a repeat sit there. I never agree to repeat sits in advance of sitting for the first time. If I was you I would drop some very large hints and say you felt quite uncomfortable in the house because of………I wouldn’t be returning unless some effort was made no matter how gorgeous the dog or location. Good luck with your hints