What are the most "interesting" requests/information you've received after accepting a sit?

Inspired by the Why wouldn’t you apply thread, I’m curious about what interesting requests or information has been sprung on you AFTER you’ve accepted a sit. Either before arriving or once you’re there.

I’ll start:

  • I talked about the time I was basically asked to only do weekends and run an Airbnb on a long term sit here
  • My most infamous sit that my friends and I still joke about (these are all things I was informed of once I arrived):
    ~ The HO was raw/fermented vegan. She requested that nothing be cooked in her home. Not just no meat, NOTHING. I had to respectfully decline that request.
    ~ She wanted me to gather rain in buckets and use that to bathe in the yard rather than using the shower so I could conserve water because she preferred to live a “simple” life lacking luxury. Again, respectfully declined. This also translated to the bed which was 70 cm wide and rock hard with only a thin pillow and blanket. A couple days before she returned, I had to run upstairs to her room to track down the dog that slipped into the house and discovered that SHE had a huge king size bed with a real mattress piled high with soft pillows and duvets.
    ~ She only fed the dogs 6 days a week. Sunday was a fasting day for the dogs so they could reflect on their good fortune for the rest of the week. She also only fed them a very small amount. 1 scoop of wet food and 1/4 cup of dry food 2x/day. Not gonna lie, I fed the dogs every day while doing my sit. I do my best to follow the owner’s rules, but I’m not going to starve animals on my watch.
    ~ She didn’t believe in chemicals so the dogs were infested with fleas and the house was infested with bugs. She didn’t believe in killing habitats so there were tons of spider webs and bug nests. I didn’t use chemicals but I did do a big clean to get rid of most of the creepy crawlies after she left.
    ~ She had internet but no wifi because of the waves in her brain. Thankfully this was when laptops still had ethernet ports so I could connect that way.
  • The HOs were informed the day before I arrived that their dog had separation anxiety and couldn’t be left alone at all. I had to get a pre-arranged local sitter any time I wanted to do anything that was away from the dog. This was in a non dog friendly country, so I couldn’t just take him with me. As someone who generally is a last minute planner, having to arrange at least a day in advance to have coverage just to grocery shop or go have a cup of coffee was inconvenient.
  • Neither dog was leash trained but required multiple walks a day and one dog was not potty trained. I learned this in two ways: 1) when I arrived the owner was all “oh, by the way, x will pee on the carpet outside your door every night so here are the cleaning supplies for that.” 2) I generally restrict my use to only 1-2 rooms in a home so I have less to deep clean when the HOs are returning. At the end of a 6 week sit I went to vacuum and dust the rooms in the wing I’d not used so they would be tidy and I discovered that even though the dogs could go into the back yard to poo as needed, they’d been pooing in that room the whole time. There were at least a couple dozen piles. It was truly vile to have to clean up and I had to leave the windows open for days to get the smell aired out.
  • One cat I sat for was a hunter - which I discovered when I tripped over a decapitated bunny when I woke the first morning. Every morning was spent playing “find the body parts” as she liked to spread them around. I know a cat bringing you it’s kill is a sign of affection, but I prefer cuddles, thanks.

I laugh at all of these now but they definitely added to the list of things I ask home owners before accepting a sit. And these almost all happened back when I was just starting out and lacked confidence. These days I would push back harder.

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Wow-some of these descriptions sound like you were on a dog sitting survival TV show :anguished:. Thanks for sharing all those ‘interesting’ sits with us!


Wow! Did she facetime of video chat w you ahead of time? Gack on the bugs. I don’t think I could have done that. What country was this, if you don’t mind?

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This was years ago so doing video calls wasn’t really a common thing. And since she had no wifi or cell phone, not really an option anyway. The sit was in bulgaria but the HO was a brit.

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Good heavens! As a new house sitter I really appreciate hearing about your experiences. I am writing up a list of “things to ask the HO” now :slight_smile:

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@LynneA , don’t stress. These situations are by far the exception. Just learn from them to help you know what pre-sit questions to ask and what to look for in a listing.

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Good to know, that was just a little scary!

Yes, as mars said, these are the exception. This is really just a few sets out of many over many years. But you should absolutely have a questionnaire that you send out to HOs.