To be honest it should be called pet sitting. I understand once in a while people just watch over a house, but for us it has always involved animals. And I’m glad it has. In our 12 months in Australia we have completed 11 house sits in 10 different homes. This included 10 dogs, 4 cats, more than 25 birds and at least 18 fish. Sometimes you lose count when they are constantly moving.
If you are thinking,”Geez, this house sitting sounds like a cool idea.” You are right, it is. As long as you are open to quickly adapting to the unique requirements of a wide variety of animals and their owners, it is awesome. Sometimes people question being in other peoples homes and trust issues. If this is a serious concern for you, don’t do it. We have found that the type of people who love their pets so much they can’t imagine putting them in “Pet hotels” are some of the warmest, trusting humans you will meet. Their primary concern is their pet or pets and if that is your main concern things will be just fine.
Flexibility is probably one of the greatest assets when house sitting full time. Being able to adjust to changes in home owners schedules and finding something fun to do when you are without a home to live in. We were able to fit in a couple of diving trips to the Great Barrier Reef, as well as exploring the Great Ocean Road and the City of Sydney when we were free from sitting.
It has been years since we have had our own dog, but being able to parachute into different homes and look after other people’s pets certainly reminds us why we loved having dogs. Their simple desire to be loved and played with is a good reminder of the responsibility they carry and what they give to the relationship.
Our saddest time when it came to animals was when we were watching over an injured wild lorikeet which unfortunately died while we were at the house. I never thought I would be sad over a bird passing away, but it had such an intense personality and when it passed there were no lack of tears in the house.
We feel we have only just scratched the surface of this vast country. We never made it far from the east coast and even then, I feel there are many places to explore in these regions as well as reaching west. It is safe to say we will be back within a few years to continue exploring Australia.
In the mean time, it is time to start packing for Asia. Life is good.