Oh wow! That’s a different story to many. Really enjoying seeing how we all got started!
Well done you for not letting that deter you
I had seen a TV report on pet sitting and as I knew I was going to have a lot more time for myself, I thought to myself why not, good mariage between love of animals and travels. I searched petsitting on google and I saw several sites. I choosed THS, very international and another site, with more petsitting in France. I am registered on the two and I have the same number of sit on the two. I only have one regret, not having started before.
I read an article in AARP magazine on inexpensive ways for seniors to travel. I had just gone on a vacation that cost $450 for my dog to be boarded and he got a scratch in his eye from a playful interaction with another dog (a $250 vet bill). I felt it would have been addressed more quickly with individual attention. I wanted a different alternative for him.
As soon as I went on the site, wanderlust set in so I signed up both as a sitter and to have a petsit for me.
My first sit was in Anchorage, Alaska. I found a great couple to stay in my home with my dog. Getting regular updates, photos and videos of my dog made my trip even more special and I had so much fun providing the same, for the people I petsat for.
I’ve done 5 sits so far including one SWAP with a couple from Brighton, England. We have become good friends and they have a son and daughter-in-law who live in a nearby town.
In September I’ll be sitting for friends in Northern CA who I had recruited to join. A real win-win.
HI @ShulasMom welcome to our community forum and thank you for the lovely introduction into how you discovered housesitting and your adventures so far. We love that wanderlust set in and you chose to be a sitter and engage sitters for your own furry family, giving you the advantage of enjoying both sides of our win win win … I add the third for the pets:))
Brighton is of course our Company home and if you ever find yourself there again and the team ever get back to being in an office (we’re sure that will happen in some form or another) we would be happy to arrange a meet up.
Enjoy your Northern CA stay and being here on the forum we look forward to sharing in more of your TrustedHousesitters adventures.
Angela & The Team
I had been housesitting for about 20 years before I joined trusted housesitters. It started after college with a friend asking me to take care of her cats, then later another couple asked me to take care of their cats and they were clients for 10+ years. And word spread in the community where I worked. When I wanted to travel full-time I knew that there were websites where I could travel internationally so I did my research and ended up with TH. I joined late 2019 (on a good Friday deal) and started applying for sits summer of 2020–right in the middle of the pandemic. Even so, I’ve had really good experiences so far! I’m at one of my favorites now.
I’d read about housesitting, but it seemed that you needed to be a single person or a couple to do it, and we have 2 children.
We’d been looking after our friends’ dog during their holidays since before our boys were born, so they grew up with a dog. She was now getting very old and was completely deaf. Our friends let us know that she wasn’t going to live much longer, and we went round to say our goodbyes (although we didn’t tell the children that’s what it was).
I think TrustedHousesitters had popped up on Facebook. I had a look and it appeared that we might be able to sit as s family. I was browsing sits, but hadn’t paid to join.
We were away on a narrowboat holiday when we got the news that our friends’ dog had died. I’d only dreamt about her the night before. We were devastated, but I was also particularly sad that my boys had lost their opportunity to care for a pet regularly. So when we returned home I joined THS as a sitter and we did our first sit around a month later.
COVID has slowed us down, but we now have 3 sits under our belt. Hopefully more to come this year.
That’s a sad and happy story… and so lovely that the you and the kids don’t miss out on time with pets.
So many families have benefitted from house sits and I think it gives children a wonderful experience of responsibilitiy, caring and learning about all sorts of pets and animals.
Like you, many people think it’s not possible for families, but there are plenty of similar families and grandparents (and people who have no issues with and are used to having kids in their houses), who use sitters, and are even set up with kids bedrooms and safety features. We know some who have made mini profiles (within the main profile) written by their kids.
I hope you story will inspire some who find this post who’ve wondered about whether they can sit with kids. Thankyou!!
In 2013 my husband suggested we leave our “very responsible, very high stress” jobs and travel around the world. He was shocked when I said yes! After researching long term travel, I found THS and applied for our first sit in Scotland. We traveled for nine months and had two additional sits in Portugal and Australia. We also used other sites for work exchange and spent time harvesting saffron and olives and working on farms. We visited family, took a cruise to get from one place to another and filled in the blanks with Airbnb’s and inexpensive accommodations. It was glorious.
Since then we’ve tried to do one or two sits per year in order to keep our reviews current. We live in Michigan and our goal starting in 2022 is to housesit during the winter months.
This is us with Ollie and Rory in Scotland.
Hi @Alice thank you for sharing your TrustedHousesitters story and for your lovely Scottish memory …
I have read your story with interest. Ollie and Rory must surely be the same dogs that we looked after in Balquidder?
I didn’t put in the @ so I will send the message above properly this time
Yes! They were such nice dogs.
I wonder how many people never ask that question of each other when they both want the same thing Sounds like you had an amazing time… I’m hoping to get involved with grape harvesting now we are living in France, something I’ve wanted to do since my 20s and never managed!!
We joined workaway and got to live with local families in exchange for approximately 5-6 hours of “work” which for us it was fun. We even ended up going back to Italy for another saffron harvest season a few years later. My only advice would be to read reviews because some workaway listings are better than others.
It is a small world! When did you take care of them?
One of my favorite memories is going to the pub and noticing that people brought their dogs in. The next day we took Ollie and Rory with us and everyone knew them!
I’d never heard of house and pet sitting until a friend suggested it as a means for my elderly cat to stay home whilst I travelled overseas. THS looked okay so I joined but had no luck attracting a sitter (I thought my listing was pretty good too, especially compared to some I see each day)! Fortunately I got a lovely sitter through another site who cared for my puss really well.
The seed was planted. Once my puss was no longer with me, I became a THS sitter, and love the life I lead, both here in Australia and overseas (up until last year). I know it’s suggested when starting out as a sitter to apply locally but my first three sits were in England! Nothing like the other side of the world to get initiated into the wonderful world of house and pet sitting!
We were with Rory and Ollie for a few days in August 2019. We too walked to the pub, the MHOR84, with them.
We love taking dogs to the local pub and we realised how lucky we are in the UK that you can take dogs inside quite a few pubs and cafes, even having a meal with them. They are usually recognised and given dog treats by the staff. When we started our overseas sittings, we were disappointed in how many places you could not take dogs, including on public transport.
I agree, the UK is incredibly dog friendly in that way. I remember friends coming over from the US and we took them to a pub. They couldn’t believe how many dogs were sat with their owners! Lots of cafes now have the dog friendly symbol (a big paw print) in their windows (or did pre-covid), and put out treats for dogs, plus water bowls. Like you, we were quite shocked when we started traveling how this isn’t common practice around the world.