When house sitting I often find myself in a state of elevated happiness, at one with the world and totally detached from the everyday problems encountered in a ‘normal’ life.
The vagaries of bureaucracy just get consigned to the rubbish heap as I snuggle up with the dog/cat/goat who I’m caring for at that particular moment. I definitely think the animals have got it right.
As I sit on a beautiful autumn day with the sun streaming down on my lilywhite legs, I realise just how lucky I am. The three handsome and obedient Kelpie’s lying next to me seem to be in agreement. The gorgeous farmhouse that I’m currently sitting in the Blue Mountains behind Sydney, couldn’t be more perfect. Chooks, goats, the aforementioned kelpies, a small school of ornamental pond fish and a huge garden keep this happy house sitter more than occupied. I can actually smell the fragrances as bees flit from lavender to rose, back to lavender, engaged in their time-honoured dance.
Not every house sit is this idyllic, however as a lifestyle, house sitting and looking after the pets that come with it is a hard life to beat. My year ahead is already planned out, taking in barely accessible river homes, mountain farms, suburban beaches, country suburbia in 3 different states and a couple of short stays in Sydney homes.
The homeowners I’ve met have all been friendly, open people, not to mention trusting, as opening your home and beloved pets to a stranger is an act of trust and is something that I always deeply respect.
Being invited back to look after pets and houses again is always an honour.
This morning after feeding the chooks, cleaning out the chicken poo and collecting eggs, I wandered over to the goat paddock, armed with secateurs for cutting and supplying the goats with the leaves and branches that were tantalisingly mere centimetres from their reach. I think I’ve made some friends for life.
2 chickens died on me this week which was sad but on learning that dear old Lexie was over 12 years old, my sorrow turned to amazement. She was the Methuselah of Chook-dom. Hats off to Lexie! The chickens have it good, free ranging through a beautiful orchard of finger limes, kumquats, lemons, limes, oranges, feijoas, tomatoes, cucumbers and a huge mulberry tree, there’s always something lying around to tickle a chook’s fancy. The lone rooster keeps his harem in line with plenty of cock-a-doodle-dooing, while a radio plays soothingly in the background.
ABC Radio Sydney - apparently, the sound keeps predatory foxes at bay!
I have been incredibly fortunate lately that in a few of the houses I’ve tended, a piano was present. In the unlikely event that boredom set in, I could sit down and practice or serenade the creatures in my charge. I even managed a piano duet with a cat I was looking after. Maybe there’s a music mogul out there who has been just waiting for someone to fill this symphonic niche?
I am definitely looking forward to my next assignment which should be much quieter but just as interesting in another part of the city, with a boisterous boy who will surely keep me on my toes.
Don’t take anything for granted.
Do enjoy every moment.
Interested in becoming a house sitter? Have a look at our house sitting opportunities.
Sue and Steve are a couple from country Victoria who were keen to make the most of their post-work life. When it came to the idea of travelling, leaving behind their beloved dog Toby was out of the question.
Reviews are a lovely way to reward both house sitters and homeowners following a house sit. Reviews appear on a sitter’s profile adding credibility, helping to build trust and can also help to secure future house sits.
BIG THANKYOU Aussie House Sitters. Your service enables me to travel & live safely for work purposes. Your site is perfect for both home owners & sitters needs. Congratulations AHS for your outstanding service. Highly recommended to the public. Teresa