More flexibility and open-mindedness, time to rewrite the book

Every time I bother bringing up an issue or suggestion whether here or customer service, which in my opinion is productive, it becomes a hassle…
Even though I am usually left with 2 options: don’t say anything or just post on places like trustpilot etc. where people listen and act.
Today I decided to dare write this here, still hoping for some positive reactions.

a failed attempt,
some people never see beyond the tip of their nose, others are too scared to accept changes, other are too comfy resting on their laurels
Sad to see that when :moneybag: is involved people you see the worst of people
Good luck to all

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A short answer from me. I have never signed a contract with THS or a homeowner, so there are no rules. They are guidelines. Every sit I do is different.

The “nobody enters the home” Guideline just doesn’t work for me, but that is because of where I choose to sit. Currently, I have a cleaner 6 days a week, employed by the owner’s company, not the owner. A gardener comes twice a week, a pool man twice a week. Not boasting, that is just what happens on most of my sits in SE Asia.

On the last sit, the cleaner came at 7 am, because the dog didn’t like her, so the owner would take the dog for a walk and go for breakfast while the cleaner/gardener/pool man was there. She left me a cash sum so that I could take the dog for breakfast to a local( or a selection of) cafes, where the dog was known and welcome. Not something I would have done otherwise because these were not the cheapest of cafes. But I accepted this.

However, I would never pay a deposit to an owner. I give a good service, sometimes it’s easy, sometimes a bit stressful, but it’s what I do. I accept a sit based on discussion with the owner, I am quite clear about what I will and won’t do. I see every sit as an exchange and if the owner expects more I just say no.


I agree with your title but a better one would be “let’s be flexible “

There are no rules or contracts. There are suggestions and lots of advice from seasoned pet sitters. I would not be on this site, living the dream if your suggestions were implemented.
Our philosophy is whatever we are comfortable doing we go ahead. When money starts to be involved things change. Sitters are employees, pet owners are employers. A contract must be drawn up and signed. Legality is brought into the arrangement. Not for me thank you. I already had a rant, not on the forum, when someone said they were “helping” pet owners by suggesting paid professional sitters to them.
I have already said this in another post why change a very good concept? If people don’t like the way THS is run go and find something they do like.
THS is a formula that fits most of us or we wouldn’t be here. “Trust” is the key word. There is trust between each of the parties. Communication is another good word. Each party must communicate their expectations of what they will do, won’t do, expect and understand. I expect to do some garden/yard work in the summer and snow shovelling in the winter. I understand that the pet owner wants their pets and homes to be looked after to a high standard. I will not pay a deposit of any sort but I will pay exceptionally high fuel bills that I have incurred. These are all things that are discussed at the first video meeting.
Asking for travel expenses is ludicrous. It’s a place the sitter wants to go to and to get there they have to pay some sort of expense. If they are looking after pets does not change that fact.
Let’s be flexible, yes. A cleaner/ gardener in the house for a couple of hours a week, no problem. The pet owners eldest son popping back for a college book they forgot sounds reasonable. Granny arriving on the doorstep because she forgot the family was away, invite her in for a cup of tea and have a gossip, excellent idea. In this life the sitter and pet owner has to be flexible. If flight time change maybe a neighbour can pop in for a couple of hours. If your car breaks down on the way to the sit ditto.
I’d rather THS continued on its merry way the same way it has evolved. If money became standard I and I’m sure a lot of the sitters would leave and find something else that fits better. I just can’t understand why this has become an obsession with some people. If you want paid, setup your own business and leave THS to people like us.


I gather and would like to think that your last sentence is a general one…
Well the fact is , this happens but it is not frowned upon when it is the homeowner asking for it…
Yes “trust” is key, but there is much more behind that, and it is quite complex.
What I am getting to is that if some homeowners want a contract (and some do and i believe there was some type of contract available not sure if still the case) or deposit or if sitters want some expenses or food or whatever
they should agree on that.
There are rules, and there is much more than exchange. Money is taken into account here whether bills or deposit or expenses, or THS itself.
This is where the flexibility is, as I said, every story is different. Some people use this service differently, some because they don’t want to pay a sitter and some because they don’t want to have a fix abode, others because they cannot afford this or that, etc.
I am not saying this web needs to become a paying sitting but just a bit of flexibility and catch up with the world out there.
There is no question that flexibility from owners or sitters is key (the examples you mentioned above) but that is not the subject.
Am just saying don’t generalise, everyone has a different story. If you choose not to take this sitter or that house then the choice is yours, whatever the reason.

I have changed the title accordingly :slight_smile:

I 100% agree!

I don’t want to ask myself each time sitters apply if they maybe want payment and only tell me about it shortly before I confirm them…or worse, later.
No matter what kind of payment for whatever service, is not what THS is about!


that is not what I am saying, please read more carefully


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What is the " IT" here ?
you don’t want WHAT? please elaborate thank you hop :wink:

@Jazzys @Düsenzofe can I ask respectfully that you move your differences of opinion to a direct message so that we don’t end up with another argumentative thread. Let’s remember as well that we all have different opinions, and there’s a point to realize and accept when those aren’t going to align - that’s the point to make it a private discussion or stop posting :slight_smile: Many thanks to you both for understanding.


Actually we didn’t have a difference in opinions, but anyway, I changed/deleted some of my posts in order not to disturb the overall forum kindness.


Having worked for the goverment industrial relations regulator I can tell you from experience sitters & HO do not want to be in a financial relationship that can become an employer/employee relationship. It will all end in heartbreak and tears at best and legal action at worst!

Trust is the best currency for THS members.

Absolutely and if people can’t communicate well then maybe this is not the gig for them.


@Jazzys Can I ask how long you have been a TH member?
From reading your posts I feel like you have had more than a few demanding/high maintenance (possibly the wrong words to use) HO’s.
I am also interested to know which part of the world you predominantly sit in? The balance not being right between sitters & HO surprises me.

@Jazzys . You do appreciate that there are lots of sites out there where sitters offer to look after Home Owners homes for payment? There is nothing to prevent you from joining them.

I have been a member of THS for some years and the whole reason for joining is that a deal whereby a sitter gets to stay in my large comfortable house free of charge, on the outskirts of London where they would normally pay between £100 - £150 per night, and in return they feed my cat once a day seems like a very good deal. That was the fundamental deal with THS.

Now if THS want to change that then I would says this. Make sure that the sitters who may want to charge have a marker so that Homeowners can choose not to allow them to apply for sits.

There are plenty of people who are happy to sit for free, who appreciate that they are getting something valuable for free too. If you aren’t one of them then, as I say, there are lots of sites out there that offer sitters for payment.

AL Post Moderated - Author Direct Messaged.


First am talking about 2 sides, second am not saying THS should be payable.
Maybe you should read my post again and look at it in a more objective perspective and be less judgemental.

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Maybe you should reread your posts and ask yourself why you receive so many “judgemental” responses.


I find it funny that MOST of the negative comments come from new(or -ish) homeowners.
I tried to be objective and see both sides but obviously people are centred on themselves and only want to reply what suits them.
I wanted to hear productive comments and not defensive ones.
I do not wish to change the concept of THS, that is not what this is about. I am not here to make money but because I love animals (more than humans)
Nothing from THS of course, anyway will keep my opinions to myself and if I need to post something, now I know where to do so…I have more important things to do (like caring for your pets!) I will be deleting most of the post now because it is becoming a headache not because I have changed my mind.
THE END for me, thanks for closing the comments here,