Caribbean House Sitting – Luxury in the Tropics

Our trip to the Caribbean gave us one of our most luxurious house sitting assignments (as well as giving Claudia a couple of weeks’ break from house guests). We love pets and we love house sitting so Claudia didn’t hesitate to recommend us when her friends found themselves without care for their two puppies just days away from heading Northern Europe. After we met them, we didn’t hesitate to accept.

Coastal and Geronimo are two of the best trained dogs we’ve looked after. Only a year old at the time and still puppies, they were very obedient. Their owners had put in a lot of hard work to make sure they waited patiently (with pleading puppy dog eyes) until they were given a command to eat. The puppies worked for their treats, lying down, shaking hands, etc. It was great fun.

Coastal, as a beautiful white Labrador, might have been the bigger of the two but it was Geronimo, the teeny Yorkshire Terrier, who ruled the roost. We don’t think Coastal ever got to lie in his big bed.

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Adventures in House Sitting – Melbourne

One of the best things about house sitting is exploring neighbourhoods you might never have had a reason for ever venturing to. This can be especially true of your home city and is definitely true of Melbourne. Many of Melbourne’s suburbs are like contained little villages with pubs, bars, restaurants, all within its small boundaries. There’s often so much going on that it’s hard to find a reason to get on a tram or train.

Barry and I found this happening to us while living with my sister in Hawthorn, one of Melbourne’s trendy inner suburbs. The colder and darker days of autumn and winter were not particularly inspiring either.

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Housesitting all over the world

House sitting can be an excellent experience, allowing you to see parts of the world and get to know communities you might not otherwise have seen, as well as saving you accommodation costs, of course. Barry and I have been house sitting for a few years now and love staying in a home in different parts of the world and adopting cats and dogs (and fish and birds and ferrets, etc!). Recently I’ve been asked how I got into housesitting so thought it might be a good idea to write those experiences down.

Firstly, I’ll debunk a myth – we have never been paid for housesitting services. About 20 years ago it was the norm to pay for a house sitter (s/he’s saving kennel and cattery fees after all) but these days it’s more about an exchange of services. You’ll even sometimes be asked to contribute to household bills on longer assignments and you’ll notice that housesitting websites tend to charge sitters more for their services than they do homeowners. But my thoughts on these issues are another story.

More often than not though, you’ll find yourself the adopted owner of a cat or dog or two, or even a peacock. As we travel a lot, we don’t have pets of our own and it’s quite nice being able to adopt someone else’s for a time, take a dog for a walk, cuddle a cat or talk to a bird.

Vientiane 012

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