Hello from fabulous South Devon, UK

My name is Debbie and I am so lucky to live in Devon (Dawlish)! That doesn’t stop me wanting to discover new places and adventures…
I was going to join TH after leaving the Fire Service after 35yrs, and then of course, things didn’t go quite according to plan… :mask:
So I signed up at the end of May ('22) & am currently on my first sit in Oxfordshire. 3 lovely dogs, a beautiful little village and lots of (early morning/late evening) walks close by. I have made the shortlist for an International sit in March '23, so I’m really excited to hear about that soon.
It is the first sit for the HO here too, so we have been learning together over the past few weeks of contact. One thing I would say, is that after 24hrs here, I wasn’t prepared for the level of responsibility I am feeling. Perhaps that’s my anxiety, maybe it will improve over the sit period, who knows. I feel a certain amount of awareness of this is good, as it stops you from becoming complacent about stuff. I guess it’s all about preparation, so that no one gets any nasty surprises, or is left with more than they can cope with. I’ll let you know how that goes…!
Anyway, lovely to meet you all and I look forward to thoughts from more experienced sitters :pray:


Hello @Debbie and welcome to the forum, and to TrustedHousesitters. Congratulations on your first sit; I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying it. The fact that you and the homeowner are learning together tells me you probably have good communication with each other, which is key.

I’ve been a sitter with THS for many years, and ironically on a recent (local) sit, I was reminded of the responsibility we take on as a sitter. I had to manage a situation with the home where it took a balance of being independent and assertive, but also contacting the owner at a point where they should make the decision. If a similar situation happens but with the pets, then it can be more taxing and stressful. However, given your past career, my guess is that you are well equipped to handle most scenarios.

My advice is to assess each sit fairly, for both you, the owners, and the pets. If you think you are a good match, and they select you, then go in with confidence and enjoy. :slightly_smiling_face:

Volunteer Moderator :canada:


Thank you Francine, that’s reassuring :pray:t4:

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Hello Debbie from beautiful Devon … a warm welcome to the forum. Congratulations both on getting your first sit, and making the shortlist for an overseas sit next year! Where in the world might that take you?

I don’t know what you did in the fire service, but could it be that your long service has given you a heightened sense of responsibility? My partner did his degree in outdoor education and worked with teens and adults on extreme adventure trips, climbing and the like. He has never forgotten his safety training and I always feel he evaluates our own trips and adventures to a level that makes me feel totally reassured and safe… whatever challenge he presents me with :slight_smile:

So having any level of a sense of responsibility is, I think, a very good thing, but I do believe the anxiety will ease with the more sits you do and the more comfortable you get. As Snowbird says, that will breed a confidence that will stand you in good stead for all future sits.

For me personally, even after years and years of house sits, I still feel a strong sense of responsibility on every sit we do. We learn continually because they are all different. I agree with you that does prevent complacency and keeps us mindful of what’s important on each individual sit. We are after all responsible for what others hold most dear!

All of that said it has never taken the edge off what we have enjoyed as a way of life now for almost a decade. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m sure with a few sits under your belt you’ll feel the same :slight_smile:

Please do let us know more about your house sitting journey as it unfolds!

Happy Sunday!


Thank you Vanessa :pray:t4: I was hoping this would be the case, that the overwhelm will settle down the more experience I have.

As you say, my time in the Emergency Control Room taking 999 calls and deciding what resources to mobilise and when, taught me how to give authoritative commands - even if I wasn’t 100% sure myself at the time. As I said to the Overseas sit person yesterday when they called, Control Operators have seconds to make life and death decisions, whereas firefighters, when they return from an incident, have the benefit of hindsight! We all learn by experience, don’t we, though that environment was definitely not one to be making careless mistakes.

Perhaps tonight I will rest a little easier. I have to say, my 3 canine friends must have been feeling a little uneasy with the situation too, as they barked at everything which went past the house… I heard the Church clock strike 2am but not 3am, so I must have dozed off somewhere in between. I’m sure we will all find our new normal as the week goes on.

Thank you for your wise words, very reassuring.

Enjoy the sunshine if you are able. xx


Congratulations on your first sit @Phoenix04. We are relatively new, having only been sitters since October. We are currently on our 2nd overseas sit, 6th overall. I’ve found that the best way to get beyond any questionable activity, whether related to the pets or the home, is simply by communicating with the homeowner. Most times, the solution is an easy remedy, and everything is back on track. That being said, clear communication and written instruction before the sit, usually lends itself to an worry-free experience. Like all things in life, trying to be prepared for any situation, is sometimes easier said than done. These message boards can be so very helpful, now, and in the future. Best of luck!

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Thank you Joanne :pray:t4: I’m so looking forward to discovering where this next adventure will take me! :sunglasses: