This housesitting thing

I love reading other peoples’ stories and have followed a few travel blogs for some time. So many different preferences and styles of travel, really interesting.

I first read about house sitting a few years ago on a travel blog, and have since been intrigued about the concept.  How looking after people’s’ homes and pets might give some interesting options for us if/when we travel the world, combining the benefits of home comforts with the pleasure of caring for pets.

So here we are taking the plunge and so far so good!

In Melbourne we stayed at Carly & Bevan’s home while they took their family on a well-deserved break to a warmer climate for a week.

Ned and Bob are lovely boys and inseparable. Initially we thought that Ned was the leader until we were out walking when Bob took control of the footpath. Really well-behaved dogs when out and about on the lead and they just loved those walks, they could go for hours!

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Our nephew Matthew turned up to check on Dave’s dog-walking prowess.

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Carly & Bevan’s home is close to the tram line that took us in to Melbourne CBD, where we caught up with good friends not seen for some time. Great to connect before we head off for a while.

Everyone knows Melbourne is great for restaurants and we sure did eat well while we were there.

Carly & Bevan left their car for us to use during our stay but because we were so close to everything we rarely used it. Walking was such an easy way to get about, or catching the tram.

This is the kind of thing you see when you get out and walk around ….

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Just before our arrival in Melbourne I became a “great aunt”, my brother’s son and his wife had their first child, a little boy they named Leo. Coincidentally they live just along the road from where we were staying which was such a wonderful bonus because we got to visit and cuddle a brand new baby!

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Is there anything more delicious than a newborn? It was such a lovely time because we also got to spend time with my brother & his wife, and my sister & her son as they also came from Queensland to Melbourne to meet the new family addition.

We love Melbourne and the freezing cold didn’t bother us too much as we were able to acclimatize for our next leg – New Zealand.

From Melbourne we flew to Christchurch and stayed for a week in a great www.airbnb.com with Robyn & Peter. Brilliant hosts, fantastic location and very comfy flat. Happy bonus – a great pub around the corner with good food. If we ever return to Christchurch we’ll definitely try to stay there again. Robyn and Peter are lovely people and they invited us to join them for dinner on our last evening there. Robyn is a very good cook, we enjoyed a delicious Thai meal and shared lots of interesting life and travel stories. Peter very kindly drove us to the train station early in the morning so we could catch the TranzAlpine over Arthur’s Pass to the West Coast. If you travel to Christchurch you should definitely stay here.

Now we find ourselves here in Dunedin on the last evening of a 2-week house sit with Mischief (Missy for short), a gregarious little Fox Terrier with a huge personality and lots of energy. Plus an aviary of canaries and some tank fish.

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We spent our first night at the house with Anne & John, and we all got to know each other pretty well over a lovely dinner and several NZ Savvy B’s.

Here is Missy, she’s suspicious of the phone/camera pointing at her and prefers to remain mysterious.

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One thing Missy loves to do is race around the bird aviary when we go to change their feed and water. Missy goes crazy and jumps & runs all over the place. One afternoon we were outside with her and noticed she was limping and found a nasty gash on her right shoulder, probably tagged on some cage wire or a nail on the bird cage.

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We were really worried so we headed straight down to the vet to have her checked out. The vet was fantastic, and he felt that it didn’t need stitching, rather let it heal itself and give painkillers for a couple of days. She’s actually fine and bounding all over the place again. Dave phoned the owners and let them know what happened and they were very comfortable with our approach. The responsibility of looking after people’s loved pets can sometimes weigh heavily, but we feel very capable of dealing with whatever comes up.

It was great staying here at this lovely home with the magnificent view over Saint Clair and we’ve loved the opportunity to explore Dunedin for the past 2 weeks.

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Each morning we’d go to the same café and we got to know the staff there, so that as we arrived they’d know our coffee order. You just don’t get that when you only stop in a place for a night or two.

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We enjoyed having a functional kitchen so that we could prepare and eat food that we’d buy at the local butcher and store. And the responsibility of having Missy to look after added to the enjoyment. This is what we had in mind when we talked about the travel we wanted.

Following a few days on the road, Lawrence is our next stop for a house sit with 2 big boy Labs and a kitty and we’re really looking forward to that. We’ve had lots of interactions with the owners Dot & Helen and can’t wait to meet them.

2 Comments on This housesitting thing

  1. Great story Susie, all the photos are great but particularly the last one of the view on such a bright day. I can’t wait to meet the labs and hear about the lounge management plan and its implementation.

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