We have had many sitters from all over the Country at our home over the last two years with THS but the one thing I can’t seem to get past is when a local sitter applies for a sit. I can understand wanting to fill up space, but I am a little uncomfortable when someone in the same town wants to sit as I am worried they may just end up staying at their own home instead of in ours. It would just be so easy to drive the 10 miles or so and sleep in their own bed and we would never be the wiser. I always believed the idea behind THS was for those who want to discover other areas of the World. Am I overthinking it or does anyone else feel this way?
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Sometimes sitters who are new on the housesitting path start local, that way they get more chance of getting picked. If they do a good job, they get reviews which will be an advantage to apply fo future sits further away.
If you mention clearly that you want them to stay overnight, I’m sure 99.99% of the sitters will oblige. It is called “trusted” housesitters after all
I use THS to travel the world, but currently, I am stuck in Glasgow and have applied for a few local sits.
I had my own dogs for 30 years, but have decided to travel rather than keep a pet, for a while anyway. So I miss the company of a dog, and the exercise!
I have lived in Glasgow for over 30 years, but there are still areas of the city and outlying areas I don’t really know, so a sit a few miles away appeals at present - I get to explore a new area with a dog.
I have actually ended up doing doggy daycare in my own home, but this still gets me out and about in my own city.
Before I found THS (and I am really new here) we used to have sitters from our home town as we asked around and had recommendations from friends or asked some ourselves. Of course this was a little different from here and the reason why we don’t ask our last sitter again, who had earned quite some money for doing it several times in the last years, is that we discovered that she went home and slept there. During the day she was at work, which was of course no problem to us, as we ourselves aren’t at home all day round and other sitters will want to explore the surrounding attractions, so fine with that. But we always made clear that our cats are much less stressed when someone sleeps in our bed and they can join them as usual. Leaving them alone during day and night was definitely NOT what was agreed upon.
Oh, I don’t know that I would have ever thought a local sitter would sleep in their own home, what would be the point of them applying for a sit if they weren’t going to stay? My first sit was local, and got me started with my first 5 star review. I let the homeowner know that was why I applied for a local sit, and it was great.
That said, it’s not the only reason someone would do a local sit - for example, I am having my bathroom renovated at the end of August. I’d be over the moon to find a local sit for a couple of weeks during that time (side note - anyone in Ontario that doesn’t mind a small dog coming along, give me a holler)! But even if I wasn’t doing the renovation, since I’ve been stuck at home for a year and a half due to the pandemic, I’d happily do a local sit just for a change of scenery.
Due to Covid restrictions we’ve been keeping an eye out for local sits. We just spent four days with a great dog in a lovely community not far from our home. Our goal, since we joined THS in 2013, is to keep up our good reviews by completing 2 or 3 sits per year. This year we will have 3 sits in our home state of Michigan as well as a few others. Also, I would never dream of not giving a local sit less attention than one further away.
We spent basically our first four years as sitters applying on and accepting sits an hour away from our home. We lived in more of a rural location and enjoyed spending time in the city - that was our reason. It gave us a feel for the city and at the same time having pet companionship. We then made the decision to move back to the city.
So true, @Els! I started housesitting locally to get a feel for it and also to get a few reviews under my belt. When I was ready to transition to full-time, I felt less like a newbie and more confident that I could provide the care for the pets and homes in my future.
Since moving back to Chicago during the pandemic to set up a home base, I’ve been housesitting locally and it’s been great. The HO know from my profile that I’ve been full-time and I let them know that I have an apartment in the city. I assure them that I will be staying with their pets and in their home while they are away. I had a meeting with a HO yesterday for an upcoming 3-week sit and she told me if I wanted to sleep at my apartment it was fine. I assured her I would not, even though my home is less than 2 miles from the housesit. I’m fine with popping over to check my mail or meet delivery people if I need to, but I treat local sits with the same respect, care, and honesty as those I travel thousands of miles to serve.
HI @long1016 my first sit was literally a 10 min drive from my home … my motivation? Helping another animal lover in need and my need to have a pet in my life for two weeks.
I had just lost my beloved springer after 14 years together, a young widow needed to go to Toronto on business for 2 weeks and had an 18 month old Cocker Spaniel who she didn’t want to board … I was free and without my Holly and knew exactly how she felt.
I have since done many “local” sits and all for the same reason that I do long haul sits, to be with pets and help pet owners leave with absolute peace of mind, the location is the added interest.
I realise this is sometimes hard for owners to understand but pets come first with TrustedHousesitters … that’s what makes us such a special community.
I hope that helps explain the why.
I appreciate the different look at local sitters. It does make sense this way when wanting to just have some furbaby time. I will re-evaluate my thoughts from now on.
One more sitter here, who has loved doing many local sits during the pandemic. I got changes of scenery, and got to spend time with cats. It was also a big plus for the house owners that if their travel needed to be cancelled for any reason in these uncertain times then it was not a big issue for me I could just stay at my own home. And for my very first sit, it was indeed better for me that it was a local one to take a baby step in giving this a try. One day, I would like to do a sit overseas.
As a sitter I have another to this.
First HS I ever did, the local owner wanted me to ‘babysit’ 2 young boarders as she didn’t want them to have parties in her absence. I was supposed to be there for 7 days but when I arrived the place was a pigsty and I was terrified to use the dirty kitchen, so I just went there morning & night to turn lights on & off, open blinds etc. and made it look like I was around for the boarders to see when they came home. I couldn’t stay there because the house was filthy, but I went there every day at different times. There were no pets. The HO also texted me to say another boarder might arrive, and again I’d never met any of these people so I was very loath to stay there overnight with unknown people. I put out the rubbish and cleaned the kitchen, even though i didn’t stay there. The HO never thanked me for anything. I lived about 15-20 mins drive away, so it wasn’t easy to go over there twice every day to change things, but I did it anyway!!
My 2nd (and regular) local sit is for a doctor who travels out of town every fortnight to work in a country hospital for 2-5 days (per fortnight). She has a lovely old cat which has diabetes, so my job is to keep puss company and give him insulin injections morning and night. The HS is only 5 mins drive from where I live, so if I need to pop home to pick up anything, it is close enough, but I love her apartment and love being there with the cat, so always stay overnight because it’s a lovely change of scenery for me.
Because of covid, travel is greatly affected, especially internationally, and which country you live in. I know I greatly missed the company of animals last year so any local sits, when they finally became available, were a blessing. It also means that should a sit be cancelled because of sudden changes in covid restrictions, there isn’t as much inconvenience. It’s just the way the world is at present and we all need to be flexible and realise this.
I’d love to find someone who is living close, because this way it would perhaps be easier to find a sitter at vey short notice and even for just a couple of days. I would never have thought that someone would sleep in their own home or not do what was agreed on. Am I too naive and trusting? Have had only good experiences with THS so far (many!)
Hi @Susanne thank you for joining in the conversation and you are not too trusting or naive … when an arrangement is made and mutually agreed, whether it’s a sit 5 mins or 5 hours away there is no difference in the level of care, commitment, responsibility or expectation on either side. An in home, 24 hour pet sitting stay is exactly that, it’s not location dependent.
We do local sits, we are building up a quite a network of them, we started HS for the hands on Pets experience for the Children and also we don’t live in normal house anymore, so we were doing repairs and refurbishment work and someone suggested THS, we love it, have never looked back and will continue to do HS into the future.
We preferred local Sits as we have Medical appointments that I didn’t want to have to drive Hours to get back for and also us helping out in our Family Business so I can drop one of the Children over and my Husband will bring them back later that evening and have dinner with us.
We have HS families now who just message me and ask when they are thinking of booking a Holiday and ask are we around and can we sit, we will work out dates, sometimes it is just a few days, they pop away to see Family or have a little break.
We would never dream of not doing what we agreed for a HS.
Hope this helps and have a great day.
Hi long 1016 I agree it seems a bit strange to want to sit local but I have heard lots of comments from people over the years, nothing to do with Trusted House sitters of people living together who want a break from each other. People who fancy staying in something nicer than where they live. We are hoping to be back in London early 2022. We have a tiny flat needing renovation. It occurred to me that to get a house sit while bathroom and kitchen are being sorted could be a good idea. I am inclined to think people are genuine and will stay at your place. Hope this helps.
Being new to THS, I needed experience to show here. So, the best way is to start local. And get reviews. Also, like another house sitter mentioned, you can see other areas in your state that you have been to before. And since you’re not paying for airfare, it’s not costly at all. I stay at the home I housesit for. That’s what house sitting and pet sitting is all about. And when you’re a pet lover it all make sense.