Health club analogy and age considerations

@Boodie -
Your animals are gorgeous, your photos are gorgeous, your house and property are gorgeous!
And I personally love a profile with lots of text and info.

I ADORE a sit where the animals snuggle with me on the couch and the bed. I was very surprised recently to learn that several sitters don’t want that.
When I read in a profile that the pets enjoy the couch and bed, that’s a huge plus for me. (No matter how large the animal, haha! I would probably try to take a nap on some hay with the donkeys, alpacas, and sheep if they’d let me! :wink:)

I’m on the wrong continent, but I would definitely apply to sit at your place in the future, and I would expect to have competition from other sitters!

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Yes, I too have been very surprised at how stiff the competition is for sits on THS.
And a good portion of HOs don’t even read my application letter before denying my application without comment.

At the same time, HOs were desperate for Christmas sitters last month, so I got a lot of invitation messages from HOs at that time. (I already had a sit booked, so I had to politely decline them all.)

So I’ve had a very feast-or-famine experience with THS so far. During holidays I’m in demand as a sitter, but the rest of the time, I feel a bit like I’m scrambling to get HOs to even bother to read my profile or application. :wink:

I’m not quite sure what to make of it all, but I love the concept and will continue to apply for sits that appear to be a good fit.
I’m still new to THS (though have been housesitting for a long time)… so my membership is still kind of an interesting experiment.
I’ve been enjoying the experiment, and enjoying this forum!

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Our first sit was during Christmas with two crazy dogs and we were picked mostly because we’re vegans. In the beginning try 1. to sit during times with high demand like Christmas/Easter, 2. go for unpopular/demanding sits, 3. highlight things that make you stand apart. It also helps to be on more than one platform. We were worried about ageism, since older people are usually regarded as more trustworthy and a lot of listings call for “mature” sitters. In Germany there are even pet sitting services which ONLY employ retired people.

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No Katie. That would certainly be against TH rules. I am talking about a relative who was here when I realised that sitters would prefer more photos on the listing I had already posted. My old Mam was not comfortable taking photos when her things were there and I fully respected that. My listings are always for a few months ahead, which is definitely another reason there were no suitable applicants. In these strange times i fully understand people wanting to not commit so far ahead.

Thank you! I could arrange to have the door widened and have the donkeys and alpacas come into the house :joy: I have to admit the sheep were in the kitchen and spare living room when I was bottle feeding them as abandoned newborns!

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I have not found there to be “too many” sitters as we have sometimes had a difficult time finding sitters. Much depends on where you are wanting to sit. If you are wanting to sit in beach towns, touristy towns, hi profile towns…you will have much more competition. If you want to sit in smaller towns that are farther away from the metropolis areas, those are much easier as it seems so many sitters just want to be where the action is.

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You had us at donkeys! For us, yours would be a dream sit… if only we were across the pond.

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Once the covid travel complications have died down you would be more than welcome!

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OMG. I totally want to do your sit - or come by and cuddle your creatures when I pass through. :slight_smile:

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WHENEVER we are in your area we would love to sit for you and your animal family. It sounds absolutely perfect!

I’ll be 74 in March and have never had that as an issue with the sits I’ve done. In fact often, people are looking for mature sitters. Sometimes I’m not considered, because couples are preferred, so that can work in your favor.

Can you imagine what a financial hit TH took when COVID completely closed down travel for so long? I wasn’t surprised that the rates increased. The cost of the memberships is high enough that I doubt many people would stop using the service but not bother to cancel.

Best wishes for getting your first sit, soon.

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One thing I haven’t seen mentioned here is that I’ve found Jan/Feb to generally be slower months and I’ve generally had a harder time finding sits. I know I can always get a sit for Christmas, but after that, folks just aren’t traveling as much (speaking as a US-only sitter, at the moment.) And with the current wave of Omicron in the mix, even less so.

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That is too bad. I had tried very hard to at a sit over the Christmas holidays and no one even applied. I ended up with my neighbours taking care of my cats who otherwise were alone. So far in my year of membership I had only one positive experience. One sitter cancelled due to covid in the family (not their fault) and one sitter left at the same day. (She is not active anymore). So for home owners the pricetag can be a bit steep for one trip per year, if you cannot find anybody.

As others have said, we’ve not found being well into our sixties a problem, possibly an advantage.
We’ve had 42 sits over the past 2 years and don’t have many gaps.

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I am sorry you have had trouble landing a sit. Maybe ask someone to look at your profile? What experience in animal care do you have, do you limit what pets you are willing to look after?
My husband is just over 65, I am in my 50s and we have had no troubles with sits. We actually get contacted more often than we apply. We do have tons of experience and reviews though but started out with just our own experience, animal trust volunteer work and personal references to start with.
Look at your profile from a homeowners point of view and see if it needs anything. But always be 100% honest about your abilities and experience.
I think age is a bonus unless you are able to walk dogs for many miles etc.
Good luck! :slightly_smiling_face:

I would almost pay to cuddle up with a couple alpacas!! Bleating sheep would be love overload for my 5yo… I think she would adopt them as her tribe!

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I totally agree with this. As someone who is on the younger end, I’m still just under 40, yet I am considered a late in life parent by most I have been a homeowner (condo in NYC) that I purchased when I was 24. I don’t feel as though I should have to put everything out to prove that I am equally as qualified just because I am a decade younger than someone who may have never dealt with everything I have in maintaining a home.

When my mother was alive I was usually able to ‘book’ her as a sitter for my dog and home when I traveled until I realized it might be easier to just allow my parents to take my lovely pup in given my travel plans for the most part of a decade.

We are new to THS, yet I hope to be introduced to many interesting people and very cool animals because while the animals are the most important, building relationships are a cornerstone of community in any society.

As a cis-het (but NOT) presenting POC some people just make assumptions even when you would want them to think of the better in us all regardless of out differences. I am happy to hear that you and your hubby have found great pleasure in your travels and sits… If you need any help with your blog and design beyond your nephew feel free to pm me for tips.

Best.

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You’d be very welcome to sit my dog. I assume you’d let me know if your health wasn’t up to a very active and excitable young dog.

I am interested in this as I always look for older sitters and indicate this when placing my dates. This is mainly due to my cats being more comfortable and settled with older people. Curiously I mostly receive replies from those younger than I would prefer. Perhaps i should have another look at my wording. Over the 10 or so years that i have been using THS i would have to say that for the most part the sitters i have chosen have been wonderful and everything has gone well. Perhaps being in regional Australia has some bearing on those who are interested. I will give this some thought.

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Hi @Leoandme hope you are keeping well, welcome back to the forum it’s been a while and we’ve missed you.