All posts by 2housesitters

Just a Few of our Furry Friends

I take lots and lots of photos of the pets in our care so that we can share them with their folks every few days. We want to make sure they know that we are taking good care of their fur kids and see for themselves they are having a good time while their humans are off traveling without them.  The photo gallery keeps on growing!

I  Sometimes they sleep with us. Cozy but fun!
Dotty keeping guard.

 

Our kitties in Mexico. First year there were 8. The next year there were 10! We loved them each and every one. Even you Miss Maggie Crankypants!
Morning ritual. Cup of tea and kitty entertainment in the garden.
My sweet kitty-boy Morgan. He had to get medicine every day and he was really good about it all.
Chickens in the vineyard. Life is good!
Nancy’s office assistant for the day.
Daphne trained us right.
Bella being my office assistant for the day.
Percy and Les enjoying a nap.
Henry the crazy cat wore himself out playing hockey around the house.
Ziva the Diva.
Sweet girl in her townhome in the Pearl
Sweet old Sammie. He lived under the bed and took a lot of coaxing to trust me.
I love my office assistants. Most of the time!

 

House-Sitting with Daphne the Wonder Dog

Meet Daphne the Wonder Dog ~

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We had the pleasure of spending ten days with this sweet girl on our most recent house sit.  One of the true joys of being house sitters is bonding with the animals in your care.  Everyone is a little nervous and unsure at first…but I find that getting down to eye level and having a good chat about who you are and why you are there goes a long way to quickly making friends.  A treat or two never hurts either.

Daphne is a mama’s girl and she and I bonded pretty quickly.  We took morning strolls around the yard, played hours of toss and fetch.  Stretched out on the couch to watch the Ellen show together each afternoon and even watched the Westminster Dog Show.  Daphne barked at every dog as they crossed the screen.IMG_2066

Smart as a whip and with more toys than your average two year old child, Daphne joyfully shared her home with us.  Last night I had a message from the lovely folks who are Daphne’s humans.  They called to thank us for making it so easy for them to enjoy their vacation time away and to say that Daphne missed me.  How sweet is that!

This is the view that we woke up to every morning.  Not too shabby.

 

DSCN5973

 

Hubs and I are actively seeking house sits for June, July and August on the West Coast.  We would love to take care of your home, your plants and your pets so please contact us if you live in Vancouver or on Vancouver Island, Seattle area, the San Juans, Northern California, Nevada, Arizona or Mexico.

Cheers,

Nancy and Les

 

The Real Chicken Dance

Surely I’m not the only crazy old fool who still loves to do the chicken dance.  I’ve flapped my arms and clapped my hands to this catchy tune at kid’s birthday parties and fancy dress wedding receptions.  It’s always a crowd-pleaser.

Why is it called the chicken dance?  Well, now that I have a few chicken wrangling experiences under my belt, I’m here to tell you that chickens really do dance.

There is an old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words.  But, when it comes to chicken wrangling, I say grab your cell phone and shoot some video.  How cute are these ladies?

 

Hubs and I are actively seeking short term house sits on the west coast (California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia) for January – June of 2015.

We would love to take great care of your home and pets so you can travel worry-free knowing everything is in very capable hands.

Cheers!

Nancy & Les

Setting up for a Successful House Sit ~

 

BEFORE YOU GO
CHECKLIST FOR HOMEOWNERS
________________________________________________

Home owners – here’s a handy checklist to make sure you are ready to hand over the care of your home and your pets to your house sitter on the day you leave. If you do have pets, please take a few minutes to fill out the Checklist For Pet Owners as well.

1.  Create an Information Packet

We highly recommend putting together a packet of information that contains all of the information your sitters need so they can provide top quality care for your home, garden and pets.

Your signed and completed house sitting agreement should provide the cornerstone of your information packet. Place all documents and essential information in a binder  or folder and leave it on your kitchen counter for house sitter reference.  The more detailed information you provide, the better your house sitter will be equipped to keep things running smoothly while you are away.  Which means peace of mind for everyone.

Contact Information
Your sitter needs to know how to keep in contact with you for regular updates and any emergency situations that might arise.   Also let them know what time zone you are in.

Local Emergency Contact
Assign a family member or neighbor to be a point of contact for the house sitter in your absence. Leave their contact information.  Make sure your contact has the house sitters name, contact information and dates of arrival/departure.

Rules and Regulations
If your home is a condominium or rental property you might want to leave a copy of the by-laws or lease for reference. Also advise of any facility or parking restrictions.

Home areas and contents that are off limits
If there are areas in your home that are “off-limits” or certain items that you don’t want a house sitter to use, please make sure this is addressed up-front in your house sitting agreement. You should add this information to your information packet as a friendly reminder.

Operating Instructions
Make sure you leave written instructions for using the TV and all its features, accessing wifi and the internet, (including passwords) setting A/C and heat, watering the garden, setting alarms etc. and any additional information that would be helpful to get your sitter up and running efficiently.

2.  Telling Others You Will Be Gone

Friends and Neighbors
It’s crucial that other people know about your absence and your arrangements with your house sitter to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings. Let friends and neighbors know the dates the house sitter will be occupying your home. If your house sitter arrives a day early, introductions to the neighbor will be very helpful.

Insurance
You might want to contact your insurance company to let them know you will have a house sitter moving into your home. Your home and contents premium should not be affected by this information. This is particularly important in long-term house sitting arrangements. Many house sitters have their own insurance as well.

Service Providers
I your house sitter will be interfacing with your regular service providers (gardeners, house cleaners, etc.) it’s important to let these folks know about your house sitting arrangement.

3.  Preparing Your Home

Clean your home and yard
Please leave your house and grounds in a clean and tidy condition for your house sitter. Clean linens, towels etc. readily available. No dirty dishes or old trash. This type of consideration will go a very long way to enhance your house sitting arrangement. And remember, per the house sitting agreement, your house sitter has agreed to leave your home and garden in the condition that they first encountered them.

Store your breakables
Put your treasured possessions and anything that is breakable or off-limits in a secure locked location while you are away.

Perishable Foods
You might want to clear your refrigerator of perishable foods or leave a note to your house sitter to finish them up for you if they like.

Leave Operating Instructions and Manuals
These should be contained in your information packet as well. Detailed instructions on using the TV remote, how to access wifi and the internet, setting the furnace or A/C. And be sure to include any quirks that a house sitter should know about.

Vehicles
If your house sitting agreement includes the use of your vehicle you will want to make sure you have added (temporarily) their name on your auto insurance policy. Make sure you have the house sitter confirm in writing that they will be liable for any costs incurred for damages while using your vehicle. Make sure the appropriate documents are in the glove box and the car is in reliable working order. Provide any local driving regulation information that might be helpful. Make sure the keys and garage door opener are left in a visible location.

4.  Services

Trash Pick-Up and Recycling                                                                                                                                                                            Make a note of which day your trash is collected. Provide plenty of trash bags where they can be easily found. Make a note of the day recycling is collected. Let your house sitter know what can and can’t be recycled curbside.

Utilities
Leave instructions for the safe use of your electricity and gas services. Make sure the house sitter knows where to find the fuse boxes, cut-off switches and relevant meters. Leave detailed information on usage of A/C and furnace. Location of water heater and operating instructions for the washer/dryer are also important information.

5.  Your House Sitter’s needs

Spare Keys
Leave a set of spare keys with your nominated contact person.

Tourist/Local Area Information
It helps your house sitter quickly get the lay of the land and enjoy your area if you leave local maps, transit information, location of closest markets, libraries, good restaurants, events and must see attractions.

Kitchen/Cooking
Let your house sitter know exactly what can and cannot be used in your kitchen. Leave any special instructions for using the oven, dishwasher, cookware etc.,

6.  Grounds Maintenance

Lawn and Garden
If yard care is part of your house sitting arrangement, make sure your sitter knows exactly what your needs are and provide the information and tools needed to do the job. This should include: watering schedule and locations, working lawnmower if mowing is expected, fuel for the lawnmower, location of rakes, broom, etc.

Bird Feeders
Leave enough wild bird seed to keep your bird feeders topped up while you are away.

Pool Maintenance
Leave clear written instructions for cleaning and adding any chemicals. Make sure pool equipment and chemicals are readily available.

Security Systems
If you have an alarm system, you can 1) provide the house sitter with the code and access information or 2) contact your security company to let them know you will be gone and a house sitter will be occupying your home over (specific dates) and ask them for a temporary code and password specifically for your house sitter to use.

Now you can leave your home knowing that your house sitter is well-prepared to take on their duties and responsibilities and you will return to find happy, healthy pets, and a clean, tidy and well maintained home.

Now relax, we’ve got you covered!

Les and Nancy
The Global House Sit Pros

House Sitting in the Country ~

I am currently enjoying the best house sitting assignment ever – on a vineyard overlooking a beautiful valley right in the heart of Oregon wine (and farm) country.  On a clear day, you truly can see forever.

For ten days of chicken wrangling, bird feeding, garden watering and loving-up a grey-haired-handsome-boy-kitty named Winston, I am living la pura vida in the hills of Dundee.  I am also learning the ins and outs of rural living.  And, in case you were wondering, life is pretty good out here in the country.  And just a little bit different than this city gal is used to. Not a Starbucks in sight, but the wine is top notch!

The only downside so far?  The Green Acres theme song keeps playing in my head.

And now you are humming it too.  You’re welcome!

I don’t know if the country life is the life for me, but I am savoring every moment of my country adventure.  Here are a few snaps I took the other day.

You know you are in the country when…

Fashion takes on a whole new meaning.

Maybe they make shoes to go with the outfit?

Making hay while the sun shines.  You've gotta be quick in Oregon

 

So, a gnome wanders into a vineyard...

Never seen this in the city.

farmcountry5

Yes indeed!

And my personal favorite ~

Farmer humor

Stay tuned for more adventures.

Cheers!

*originally posted on Nancy’s retirement blog Just a Backpack & a Rollie June 2014

Smitten with Chickens ~

Yep.  After a week on the farm, I am officially smitten with chickens.

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Especially the five ladies I’ve taken under my wing (so to speak) for this house sitting adventure.  I had no idea what beautiful, smart and delightfully entertaining creatures chickens are.  They are feathered comediennes and you can’t help but smile when you interact with them.

I’ve been getting to know “the girls” for several days now.  Each has a unique personality. They are very social and quite talkative.  I am totally gaga over these feathered beauties.  Last night I sat in the grass and tried my hand (with moderate success) at chicken portraiture.  chickens in the vineyard

Every evening I let them out of the chicken pen to wander freely around the lawn and into the edge of the vineyard.  They are lined up and waiting by 5:00 p.m. calling me to hop to it and open the damn gate already.  They make a break and their first stop is usually a nice dirt bath.

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Around dusk I head out to wrangle everyone back into the coop for the night.  My secret weapon is a big bag of Happy Hen Treats aka dried mealworms.  A few hardy shakes of the bag and the girls come running.  They are a sight to behold! DSCN3883 chickens2 chickenbutts2 Spending time with these feathered lovelies has been one of the highlights of this house sit. You never know what adventures life has in store. I am so glad I said yes to this opportunity.

Cheers from the vineyard,

Nancy

*Originally posted in Nancy’s retirement blog Just a Backpack  & a Rollie in June 2014.

Meet Les & Nancy the Global Housesitting Pros

Hello, Hola, Bonjour, Ciao and Hej!

We are Les and Nancy aka the kitty whisperer (Les) and the chicken wrangler (Nancy) and we are thrilled you stopped by our site.

 

We clean up pretty well too!
We clean up pretty well too!

For the past 30+ years we have enjoyed rewarding and successful corporate careers, Les as an electrical engineer turned sales ninja and Nancy as an award-winning corporate meeting, event and travel manager. We’re retiring from the corporate life to focus on our new career as full time global house sitters.

Walking the Camino de Santiago
Walking the Camino de Santiago
Why House Sitting?

 

It’s not always easy allowing strangers into your home, we know that. But, we also know from experience that once you make that right connection, communicate expectations clearly and develop a level of trust – house sitting will change your life. Whether you are the home owner or the house sitter.

As long time home owners with pets of our own, we were delighted when we found the world of house/pet sitting. We could finally travel knowing that we had left the “kids” and the house in excellent hands. In 2014 with more time to travel and an empty nest, we decided it was time to become house sitters ourselves. We welcomed the opportunity to meet folks from all over the world, make new friends, explore other counties and culture and in return provide first-class care for beloved pets and and homes. We set out to be the best house sitting duo you will ever meet and our Reviews tell us that we are meeting that goal with every sit we complete. To date (2017) we have had the pleasure to be temporary “parents” to 21 cats, 9 dogs and 12 chickens. We enjoyed every minute with them! Who knew that chickens had such fun personalities!?!

We would be delighted to add you to our growing list of happy homeowners.

Why Choose Us?

~ We are committed to being the absolute best house and pet sitters you will ever have.

~ We have an abundance of life, professional and travel experience and we’re very comfortable and adaptable in new surroundings and cultures.

~ We will confidently handle most emergencies with calm, quick-thinking action. If we can’t handle it ourselves, we’ll know who to call. That’s where our management and leadership experiences come in handy!

~ We will be respectful of your home, your possessions and your privacy. We’re homeowners ourselves and will treat yours as if it were our own.

~ We are excellent communicators. We will keep you updated as often as you like so you know everything is in good hands. We love to send photo updates!

~ We love animals of all kinds (sorry not snakes) and have shared our home with dogs, cats, hamsters, white mice, tropical fish. We’ve also learned the fine (and very fun!) art of chicken keeping through several house sits and home exchanges.

~ We’re fun, friendly, detailed oriented retirees with a zest for life, curious minds and and energetic healthy bodies. We welcome the opportunity to get our hands dirty in your garden, take long walks with your pups and keep your house in tip-top condition.

Our Skills and Experience – here’s why we are such a great team ~
The Skills Les brings ~
The Kitty Whisperer
The Kitty Whisperer

• handyman/Mr. Fix-it
•enjoys puttering in the garden
•chief trash carrier and mail retriever
•good with a vacuum and a mop
•manager of home security
•family chef
•pooper scooper
•kitty cuddler
•extremely organized and detail oriented

and more*

 

 

The Skills Nancy brings ~
The Chicken Wrangler
The Chicken Wrangler

•communication expert
•loves to garden and has a green thumb
•lead dog walker (Les always seems to tag along) and ball tosser
•keeper of schedules, lists and all other very important details
•chief bottle washer and laundry detail
•chicken wrangler, egg gather and coop scooper
•experienced with giving pet meds and care of aging pets.

 

As a Team we ~

•believe that taking good care of your home is our most important responsibility
•are honest and reliable with FBI background checks
•work well together and with others
•appreciate the importance of maintaining a clean, well-maintained home and garden
•share house sitting responsibilities based on our individual skills and interests
•are grateful for the opportunity to travel and the wonderful new experiences that house sitting around the globe provides.

We are non-smokers who enjoy a great glass of wine, a cold beer and all kinds of food.  We have excellent references, a strong sense of adventure and a can-do attitude and a great sense of humor. We work hard to be the house sitters we’d want to hire!

If you are looking for a fantastic house sitting duo to care for your home and furry family members so you can relax and focus on your time away, contact us today!

A few of our furry and feathered friends stopped by to say Hi! and give us their stamp of approval.Pups on parade

 

 

 

*but wait there’s more …

Les was Director of New Business Development for a large exposition and trade show company for many years. He worked with clients from around the world to understand their specific needs and deliver their expectations on time, on budget and make it look easy. This required outstanding listening skills, the ability to communicate ideas and manage large, complicated projects. He has also been the president of our home owners association for the past five years leading our town home community through a major construction project. His vision and ability to lead both the board and the multiple contractors was key to the success of this project.

Nancy is currently the Manager of Corporate Travel for a multi-national corporation. She leads a team that supports over 1500 corporate travelers, developing travel policy, negotiating hotel and airline agreements while ensuring the security and safety of every employee while on the road. Prior to becoming travel manager, Nancy managed corporate meetings and events. Her creative vision, team building and leadership skills combined with a focused attention to detail were crucial to her award-winning success in this arena. Nancy is also a published author with essays in two books on retirement. She blogs about retirement, travel and living the good life at www.justabackpackandarollie.com Nancy plans to retire from the corporate world to become a globe-trotting gypsy grandma.