References available, Police check available, Non smoker, Experience with Domestic Animals, Experience with Farm Animals
Hi, Alice here!
Ian and I have been house and pet sitting almost continuously since December 2016 and this has enabled us to stay in Australia as we explore ways to divide our time and work between Melbourne and London, visiting the places we love and spending time with those special to us. Many of our sits now are repeat assignments and word of mouth referrals from satisfied clients.
I am Australian born and after completing my nursing training in Victoria, took off to explore my northern hemisphere roots and ended up staying for 38 years where I trained as a midwife, raised my children and worked as an independent midwife for almost 20 years until returning to Australia with my London born husband, Ian. After retraining in London as a counsellor, I now work part -time in Melbourne. Ian worked full-time as a teacher for most of his working life, retired as an IT consultant a few years ago, and now teaches computer coding classes on a very casual basis. We have tenants in our London home, an Edwardian house that we spent years renovating, learning the skills we needed from friends, evening classes, books and YouTube. We love exploring new places and finding the local markets, museums, exhibitions, swimming holes and decent coffee. We enjoy walking, reading, gardening, cooking, and sharing meals with friends and family.
After spending several months travelling up and down the east coast in Alan the Campervan, when we started house sitting, it was quite a novelty to stay in a space where we could walk more than two steps before bumping into a wall, overhead cupboard or bulkhead, and sleep in a normal bed without gaps and ridges that didn’t have to be converted to seating each morning. It was great not to have to get dressed, find the torch and walk 200 metres to and back from the nearest loo while avoiding flying, biting, squidgy or buzzing wildlife.
Now that both the back pain of living in Alan for so long and the novelty of living in more comfort has worn off somewhat, we approach each new assignment with professionalism and a friendly, can-do attitude, utilising the skills gained from our increasingly extensive experience to provide a highly individualised service to the best of our ability. We enjoy meeting our clients and their pets, and finding ourselves living in places that we may not have discovered otherwise. We have become highly adept at figuring out different heating and cooling systems, kitchen and laundry appliances and multimedia systems, enjoying the challenge of conquering new ones. We are incredibly efficient packers and movers and adept at familiarising ourselves with the local amenities especially dog friendly parks, beaches, cafes and coffee shops.
Relevant experience we bring to the house sit:
I grew up with pets (a dog and a cat and snake-necked tortoises), and my two children (now adults) had cats, hamsters, rabbits and fish. My now adult daughter has horses and dogs and we have often been called on to assist. Our pet sitting charges have included chooks and newly hatched chickens, birds (love birds, rainbow parakeets, budgerigars), fish, guinea pigs, rabbits, cats and dogs. Being keen walkers, dogs we care for get plenty of exercise and are often fitter and leaner (as we are too) by the time they are reunited with their owners.
We understand how much pets and their owners miss each other when parted and so we strive to provide continuity of care by following any instructions left. We work as a team, bringing our complementary skills and attributes to each house-sitting assignment: our ability to follow instructions; our attention to detail; our ability to set and maintain clear boundaries with our charges to provide a safe and secure setting alongside providing warmth, attention and play; our ability to deal with the unexpected and any emergencies in a calm and professional manner. If desired, we are happy to send intermittent updates and /or snapshots to our absent owners using their preferred method - SMS, Messenger, WhatsApp or email. All owners we have done this for have expressed how reassuring they find this practice.
As homeowners and renovators, we know how important it is to respect and care for our clients' homes as carefully as they would themselves.
With backgrounds in nursing, midwifery small business ownership, teaching, first aid, building renovation and gardening we bring a wealth of experience in organisation, flexibility and practicality to the task at hand.
Why we want to house sit:
Without a permanent home in Australia house sitting is a perfect solution for us. We can satisfy our gardening urges and care for animals. We enjoy meeting and getting to know our furry, hairy, feathered or scaly charges and while familiarising ourselves with their characters and quirks, work on building a trusting and affectionate relationship.
We get such a thrill when owners return to find their pets content and thriving, their gardens happy, and their homes even neater and tidier than when they left.