Our Own Piece Of Paradise with Patsy & Clyde – Urenui – NZ – 16th Oct to 5th Nov 2019

We contacted Patsy and Clyde’s owners while we were on our first house sit in New Zealand in August. We were very pleased to be accepted for the sit straight up from our first email. Arriving the night before we shared a lovely meal together and got to know Patsy & Clyde a little better before driving their owners to the airport early the following morning.

Clyde
Patsy

For the whole duration of the sit we were kept amused by this pair. It was like having two small children in the house at night. Clyde would spend the day outside and come in at night, spend a bit of time with us in the lounge room and then take himself off to bed. Patsy would stay with us in the lounge and when we retired would also take herself off to bed. They slept in their own little baskets next to each other on their owners bed.

Ocean View
Mountain View

The owners built themselves a beautiful home here many years ago with a spectacular view from every window. It really is a piece of paradise and we enjoyed our time here so much. They are mostly self sufficent growing their own fruit trees and vegetables as well as keeping chickens. Of course this meant that we had an ongoing supply of produce and fresh eggs.

Getting Aquainted
Inquisitive

Our daily walk with Patsy was to the letterbox a two km round trip. Along the way we had the company of the cows if they were in the top paddock as well as the owner’s sheep that they share with the neighbour.

Daily Walk To The Letterbox
Patsy Relaxing

Responsibilities Included:

Feed/Water Patsy & Clyde

Daily Letterbox Walk for Patsy

Security of the home/Mail Collection

Feed & Water for the 9 Chickens

Mowing of the Lawn

Seven Days with Indie and Mocha in Auckland – NZ – 5th to 12th October 2019

When at our previous sit we arranged this week with Indie & Mocha’s owners and were able to visit and pick up keys from the family prior to the sit starting. An early morning departure flight on the 5th for the owners was the reason for doing this. In our care we had Indie the Cavoodle (another first for us) and Mocha, a beautiful feline in both looks and nature.

We had so much fun with these two – Indie was still very much at that puppy stage and was always up for a game be it with her favourite toys, playing ball or arriving quickly on the scene if you even remotely looked like you might pay Mocha some attention.

Favourite Toy
Yet to learn you need to give it back!
Mocha looking for some “Me time”
Indie making sure that’s not going to happen!

Once again we had lovely walks close by to the home. Our favourite was the Rotary Walkway which skirted the seaside with views across to Mt Wellington. Indie loved her two daily walks and was happy on leash. We were kindly invited to have afternoon tea with a family member and took Indie along with us. An enjoyable visit watching the sailboats race.

Responsibilities Included:

Food/Water for Indie & Mocha

Twice Daily Walks Indie

Mail Collection/Security of the Home

Bonnie & Pepper – Little girls with big personalities – Auckland – NZ – 05 August to October 1st 2019

Eager to Walk!
Early Morning Walk

We started communication with Bonnie and Pepper’s owner six months prior to the sit and were very excited to book our flights as this was our first trip to New Zealand for both of us and the first time sitters for the owner. From the moment we saw Bonnie and Pepper we fell in love with them both. We had not cared for Shitzu/Bijon Crosses before and found them to be very entertaining and easy to care for with each possessing their own very different personality.

Mt Eden
Off Leash

Each day we would venture out with the girls. We discovered so many beautiful and interesting walks where we could have the dogs on or off leash. These walks were either within walking distance of the house or a short drive away. They were very well behaved and just loved the freedom of being off leash.

Life imitating Art!
Such good girls! Mum has us trained not to go into the kitchen!

Responsibilities Included:

Food/Water for Bonnie & Pepper

Daily Walks/Grooming

Take to the Dog Groomers

Security of The Home

Mail Collection

Return Sit with Sampson – Scarborough – Qld – Australia – 23rd Jul to 5 Aug 2019

We ran into Sampson’s owners in Montville and they said that if ever we had time in between sits to let them know and they would book some “holiday time” away. We jumped at the opportunity for two reasons. The first we would get to care for Sampson again and secondly with housesitting there are times between sits where we either need to book accommodation ourselves or visit with family. We are very grateful for this generous offer from Sampson’s owners. Sampson is still the big lovable boy that we encountered on our last sit with him! Responsibilities Included: Feeding/Water for Sampson Mail Collection/Security Home

Pre Dinner Pose
Beautiful Markings

Previous Sit: 6th August – 18th August 2017

Return sit with Max who has moved house – Bulimba, Qld, Australia – 4th July – 28th July 2019

We jumped at the chance to look after Max again after having looked after him for three months in 2018. Max now lives in the beautiful suburb of Bulimba. There are many lovely walks around the area including along the Brisbane River.

Not much has changed with him only, as with us he is a little older! Being a Labrador he is very “food focused” and has to be watched on his walks as he can sniff out anything edible or not edible for that fact. In the past he has undergone two emergency operations for things that he has consumed and didn’t agree with him – one being a large seed pod! This is something you really need to be on guard with when walking him. He is a much loved family member and we too are very attached to him.

Our Responsibilities Included:

Twice Daily Walks With Max

Feed Morning & Night + Water

Security Of the Home/Mail Collection

Lawn Care

Resting After Morning Walk
The Cook & The Supervisor

Previous Sit: 5th February – 27th April 2018

Gemma a little black cat living in a luxury Montville B&B – Sunshine Coast – Qld – Australia – 10th June – 10th July 2019

We visited with Gemma’s owners prior to the sit as we were housesitting close by. Gemma is a sweet little black cat who stays indoors at all times. At first she was a little shy but it only took a day or two before she came out from under the dining table and took to her usual positions around the house including our laps!

Gemma’s home is one of Montville’s beautiful B&B’s. In conversation with the owners at our first meeting we asked whether they would allow us to run their B&B in their absence. They happily agreed for us to do so and we visited again prior to the sit in order to go through the procedure. The B&B is just beautiful!

The Outlook
Living Room
Dining/Kitchen
Bedroom

We are very grateful for being given the opportunity to add this experience to our housesitting lifestyle. We both like to be kept busy and having enjoyed this experience we would welcome the opportunity to do this again.

Responsibilities Included:

Food/Water for Gemma

Litter Tray Clean

Security of the Property

Mail Collection/Lawn & Garden Care

Prepare & Clean B&B for Guests. Be onsite for guest queries

Mya – A Well Trained Girl Living In Taringa, Qld, Australia -18 May – 9 June 2019

We met with Mya’s owners a couple of weeks prior to the sit and were able to go through the care instructions for both Mya and their lovely home. Mya has been very well trained, so much so that she is able to walk off leash when appropriate and obey every command. She will go ahead but is forever on the lookout that you are following her. She will stop at the kerb and wait for the command “walk to heel” before crossing the road. It was such a pleasure walking her.

Mya Walking Ahead
Mya Waiting Ahead

Mya’s home backs onto a corridor of bushland which not only is an appealing view from the home but allows her the freedom to take herself off for a wander. She is very obedient and if out of sight, it is only a matter of calling her name and she returns to her yard. She is quite the celebrity with the school children who use the pathway to the school near the home.

Pondering The Meaning Of Life
The Celebrity Strikes Again

Mya is always up for a game and she loves to chase a ball through the bushland at the back of the home. It was nothing to turn around and she would have either a ball or stick in her mouth! It was always us who tired first of these games as she could have gone on forever.

Ball Time
Stick Time

Looking after Mya was very easy and we enjoyed our time in Taringa. The home is very close to Brisbane City and two major shopping centres. We were able to take advantage of some of the lovely cafes within the area also. The owners have tastefully and fully renovated the home and it is easy care and very comfortable.

There were many walks that we were able to do with Mya which included the Mt Cootha Forest – here she had to be on leash. She walked well both on and off leash.

Responsibilities Included:

Food/Water for Mya

Daily walk & play

Security of the Property

Mail Collection

Lawn/Garden Care – Mowing & Watering

Chickens, Native Bees & 2 Unwelcome Visitors- Sunshine Coast, Qld – 02 Feb – 18 May 2019

We are very familiar with this area having had our family living here for many years. On arrival the beautiful 1 acre property was like all others in the area, very dry not having seen any rain for a while. The weather soon changed and we had rain for most of the sit.

The owners had 5 free range chickens and we were the recipients of lovely fresh eggs each day. Along with keeping chickens the owner is a keen native bee keeper and we had approximately 25 hives to check daily.

Free Ranging
The “Girls”
One of Many!
Trialling a Natural Home

We arrived home one afternoon to unfortunately find that a snake had entered the chicken coop and taken one of the chickens. Due to the size of its meal it didn’t appear to be in any hurry to move on. This was to be the first of two visits to the coop from snakes but thankfully the second snake did not take another. The owners son has his boat at the property and thankfully on both occasions had arrived to take the boat out so removed them from the property for us. One of the drawbacks we feel to rural living.

On its way to be relocated
Visitor No 2

Responsibilities Included:

Feeding Chickens/Fresh Water & Egg Collection

Checking the Hives Daily

Security of the Home

Mail Collection

Mowing of the 1-acre property & Gardening

Getting In Touch With Our “Inner Farming” Selves Looking After Stan The Poddy Calf, Alfie The Dog & Smirky The Cat – Kin Kin – Queensland – Australia – 22nd Jan – 31 Jan 2019

We arrived the morning the owners were leaving for their short break and were treated to a beautiful BBQ breakfast on the deck.

View from the Deck
Also from the Deck

What a peaceful and relaxing property this is. The owners have 400 acres of land and run beef and dairy cattle. During our stay they had some of the land leased and would put their own stock on it upon their return. We were woken each morning by the sound of the kookaburras and had kangaroos passing through at dawn and dusk.

We were very excited to be adding to our list of animals that we have cared for, Stan the Poddy calf. Stan had one of his legs in a cast due to a mishap while being born. The owners assured us that Stan would just need to be fed and watered and that he would just hang out in the area around the house. What could go wrong?

Stan & Alfie
At The Milk Bar

It turned out that Stan had a few behavioural issues, on the top of the list was that he didn’t think he was a calf, he thought he was more of a human we think. We found Stan in numerous areas that he was not supposed to be in. The laundry – not doing the laundry but eating it! Rearranging the owner’s boots and eating the laces. Doing a spot of exploring in the shed and his favourite spot being the garage to escape the heat.

Exploring The Shed!
Stan’s Shoe Fetish!

Stan was at the end of being fed his milk formula and when it ran out there was to be no more. We were able to give him his milk right up to the day before we left.

We woke one morning to find that after a night of rain his cast has softened and he had licked through the cast exposing his injury. A quick call to the owners and a visit to the neighbour, we sprang into action with the neighbours help to remove the cast, clean the wound, bandage his leg and tape it.  He certainly wasn’t impressed at first with our doctoring/nursing skills but after a while settled and allowed us to go ahead and do what was needed. Thankfully this all happened the day before the owners returned as he had nearly eaten through the new taping and on their return, they would recast his leg.

Not A Good Look!
The Wound Care Team!

Alfie and Smirky were no trouble at all and were our TV companions at night. They both had lovely natures and were a pleasure to look after.

Alfie & Smirky
Alfie & Bruno

Responsibilities Included:

Feed/Milk Prep for Stan

Keep Stan Safe & Sound

Feeding Alfie & Smirky/Water

Security of The Home

Rusty – The Sweetest Cocker Spaniel – Ashmore- Queensland- Australia – 5 Jan – 19 Jan 2019

Rusty’s owners were off to Western Australia to visit with family so needed someone to care for their special boy. Rusty lost one of his eyes several years ago due to an illness.  He is also quite elderly and it was our pleasure to have him placed in our care. He is such a gentle boy and would like to stay near you at all times.  Rusty requires drops into his remaining eye and you only have to call him and say “eye drops, Rusty” and he would come to your side and look up at you knowing what was to come. Now, I would like to say it was because of his impeccable behaviour, some would say it was because of the treat he knew he would get after the drops is the reason, he is so well behaved! Straight after the drops he would then head to the pantry door!

Rusty
Such a good boy

We were also told by his owners that he would not go for his walk if only one of us went. One morning we put that to the test and sure enough he sat on the driveway refusing to move until we both headed off down the road with him. Rusty’s walks were not too long due to the heat and his age. There is a park at the end of the street which became his daily “go to” walk and there we would sit for a while allowing him to take in the sights and sounds of the area.

At the park
Taking in the sights and sounds

We love all the pets that we care for and there are some that steal your heart and Rusty is certainly one of these. He was such an “old & gentle soul” His favourite place to sleep at night was in the ensuite placing himself right at the door.

Responsibilities Included:

Food/Morning & Night & Water for Rusty

Daily Medication – Eye Drops

Daily Walk

Security Home/Mail Collection

Garden & Pool Care