It’s been almost two weeks now since we got home from our first house-sitting gig and already I’m looking forward to our next adventure. For those of you who don’t know about house-sitting, let me quickly explain. People who are going away and need someone to be present in their home (usually because of pets) connect with sitters like us who are willing and able to come and stay in their home. Time frames vary widely depending on the job – anything from a couple of days to months and in some cases close to a year! As a sitter, you can travel just about anywhere in the world for just the cost of your air fare and perhaps a car rental. There are many web sites that facilitate home owners to connect with house sitters but the most important thing of course is safety and reliability. On the better sites, a house sitter is required to go through a vetting process to establish you’re credibility. The more references and testimonials you have, the more likely someone is going to hire you to come and sit. Home owners as well are rated by other sitters as a way of judging whether or not you would be interested in applying for the sitting position. Because we have no previous experience, the first couple of jobs can be a bit harder to get. We were very lucky to have a lot of interest right away and we chose to go to Calgary for our first experience.
Calgary seemed like a good choice because it is in Canada so we had no worries about health care, money exchange rates etc. We had no idea how house sitting would really go so we opted for a safer assignment to start. The house sitting adventure looked good on paper but until we knew for sure this was going to work for us, we didn’t want to venture too far from home.
We learned a few things about what works for us during our 2 weeks away. Initially it felt surreal meeting and staying the first night with virtual strangers as guests in their home. Turns out they were friendly, open and generous hosts. We found immediately we got along great and we had a lot in common. After they left, Scott and I were able to settle in to our own routine and before long we were relaxed and enjoying our time. Scott has family in Calgary so he was able to visit with them several times which was something we would not have been able to afford any other way.
The dog we looked after was a sweetheart, so gentle and obedient and loving. It was a real treat for me to have a dog to fuss over again. I must admit it was a little sad leaving him. I imagine a longer pet sit would be that much harder to leave. I think it will be easier to look after cats rather than dogs…easier to say goodbye to and they don’t tie you down as much if you want to get out and explore the area. After all, that’s really the purpose of doing this…free accommodation and time to explore.
We’re glad to be home again and now that the nicer weather is slowly arriving, we look forward to being here for the summer. We have one more assignment coming up later this month – cat sitting in North Carolina; one last adventure before enjoying our yard, our area and camping with our trailer this summer.
Next fall and winter, our hope is to find some assignments in warmer climes as a break from the cold and snow of Nova Scotia. For now, we’ll continue to get experience and discover more about what we need to make our house sitting adventures work for us.