Reciprocation and mutual respect

Sorry to hear you’ve had some negative experiences. We’ve done 34 sits in the past 2 years and have felt that most householders do value what we do. They often leave a bottle of wine or some edibles which we appreciate, but don’t expect. We might leave them some flowers (usually from their gardens) but don’t feel any need to do more. For us it’s a great saving as we are happily living on our modest pensions with almost no bills.
I haven’t noticed any change in householders attitudes before and after the Dread Virus. Even if you have a sample of ten post it is still very easy to get an impression of a change from random differences.

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Hi, I’ve both done a sit (which I loved) but mainly have offered sits. I feel it is a mutual value exchange - people get to stay in a house for free (which is a considerable benefit), and I get my house and cat looked after (which is also a considerable benefit!). Mostly it’s been a (very) good exchange and we have certainly enjoyed meeting people. Sometimes I leave a welcome bottle of wine (or gin once!), other times I don’t. I love a thank you card when I return. Funnily enough, my cat was over grooming herself when we last came back and we wondered if having different cat sitters was such a good idea, and that maybe we should return to the daily cat sitter we used to use more frequently! I’m sure you have great experience from your many sits, so maybe the trick is to really understand what you want out of the sit (e.g. cat versus dogs, no garden) so that you get to really enjoy yourself too! At the end of the day - happy sitter, happier animals in all likelihood! Hope your next sit is great.

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I have been with THS for over 5 years and have done over 50 sits, mainly non-local but also a fair few within an hour to an hour and a half from my home, most of which have become regular. Just today I returned from a new sit an hour away. Even though it was in a town that I had previously visited, there were still so many opportunities to see new places in the area. I certainly can’t agree with the sentiment that ‘there really is nothing in it for the sitters’. I had a ‘cat fix’ with an adorable cat, I got to visit new places and I have made new friends.
I think, if you feel that there is nothing in it for you, you shouldn’t be doing the sit. I am doing the homeowners a massive favour by looking after their cat(s) but, equally, they are doing me a massive favour by letting me stay in their house and giving me the opportunity to see new places and experience new things.
I don’t expect to get a ‘welcome package’ from the homeowner. I have had bottles of wine, chocs, food in the fridge, etc. in the past and I consider this to be a very nice extra, but certainly not a necessity. After all, I am getting a break away from home and not having to pay for a hotel. A ‘thank you’ is enough! I pay for petrol because I want to go to this place, I pay for food because I would anyway if I were at home, I leave a bunch of flowers or something else because I am grateful to have stayed in their house and used their utilities. This is what it’s about for me - and I am ageing with my 70th birthday coming up in a couple of months.

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I think some of you have been very lucky to have had as many sits as you have. Yes, the cost of membership has gone up and my only issue with that is that I have basically been unable to travel for most of the last 18 months. I know there are some people who have traveled in country (I guess the same is true for the UK), but I have two animals of my own and would have to arrange for a trusted sitter to come stay with my guys - it has been unfeasible to plan travel, especially overseas, when so many people are unable to travel because of Covid restrictions. I had one wonderful sit in London and cannot wait to get back - just waiting for travel to become simpler and for it to be cool enough where I am for others to be willing to travel here. Soon!!! Fully vaccinated and it’s finally feeling safe to travel again.

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5 posts were split to a new topic: Home owners returning in middle of a sit for few days

A post was merged into an existing topic: Home owners returning in middle of a sit for few days

I’ve just received the review of a week long sit I did at the end of August. In it, the HO referred to me as ‘almost like greeting a familiar auntie…’. ( It was my 4th house sit for them). I’d like to bottle that!

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I agree. I’ve been treated really disrespectfully on some recent sits and I am not sure if I’ll be renewing my membership because of it

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I feel the same, particularly upset about two recent sits, both of which from my point of view were a disaster.

Hi. I agree with you on that!

I have been housesitting mainly through THS for a few years now, to date I have not had a bad sit or felt disrespected in any way. All of my sits have been in the USA/Canada as I am based in North America now, once travel is easier I will be heading further afield.

I feel it is a privilege to look after another family’s home and pets. Without exception, each of the sits have provided me with a meal on arrival and I reciprocate by providing them a meal on their return. I also pop some of the basics in the fridge (milk, bread, eggs, butter etc.), especially if they are returning from afar.

Like many of the comments here, I too have made some great friends and undertaken repeat visits - the sit after my current one will be the 4th time to a fabulous home with 2 kitties. I feel blessed to be able to see some amazing places, hike in beautiful state parks and shop in quaint homely towns.

In the past I have used another housesitting site here in the USA however, I always make sure the HO’s are made aware of THS as I feel the service they provide is far better than the other company I have used.

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Hi @Lindsey and thank you for your positive feedback. It’s lovely to see you back in the forum again. We feel the same as full time sitters and sometimes have to pinch ourselves when we reflect on the amazing experiences we’ve had over the past decade.

Long may this last :slight_smile:

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We have also been using THS for quite a while and as HO always appreciated the opportunity to meet people from different places, a number of whom have gone on to be repeat sitters and friends. Have times changed? It’s interesting that some sitters feel the attitude of some HO has changed. We’ve noticed an increase in the number of sitters who seem more interested in where they are staying than the animals they will be looking after and always seek out the sitters who are interested in the pets first and foremost. As we live in a beautiful but fairly remote area of Italy we luckily tend to attract people who are interested in being in this location and with our animals. It’s very much a reciprocal relationship and has to be based on mutual trust and a shared interest in animals and a desire to visit the area. I guess both sitters and owners just need to be as careful as possible in selecting “partners” that are a good fit.

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I wonder if some of the more disappointing sits are with newer members as TH expands. Maybe these new folks haven’t ironed out any kinks just due to lack of experience. My last two sits were overall great but were 1st and 2nd time sits for these HO’s. One was a little high-maintenance, the other had a problematic neighbor situation that got a little weird. These minor issues probably won’t be a problem for future sitters. As the more experienced sitter, I felt I could handle it, and I did. They weren’t my favorite sits ever, but I’m still glad for the opportunity and loved the sits.

Overwhelmingly, my sits have been fantastic! Well over and beyond what’s expected with lots of repeats in only a year using TH (though I housesat for years on my own before.) But I can’t judge the folks that “do the basics” i.e. just trade pet care for a place to stay against those who go the extra mile and more. I’ve still loved the pets. You can’t ever blame a dog or cat for its owner.

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Agreed! I’ve received welcome gifts, too. Always unexpected. Always appreciated because it shows that the host appreciates me! By the way, @Dace , Happy Birthday to both of us! I turn 70 this week.

@Rebecca_R Happy birthday for this week! Have a good one! Mine is in 2 1/2 weeks. I was wondering how you knew it was my 70th and thought I would need to check my setting…until I looked back at my original post!

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Yes, @Dace, I just recently joined the forum, so I’ve been replying to some old posts. Happy birthday to us…our 70’s are going to rock!!!

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This makes me so happy. I turned 60 this year and looking for examples so I can tell everyone that life begins at 70.
Thank you for my morning smile

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@ElsieDownie I have to tell you, it just gets better! I’m excited for this decade!

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OMG I did this in my classroom. It was hilarious!!! And I will definitely apply this tip in my listings from now on!

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