I pulled up on the street and couldn’t see a letter box but recognised the house from my ‘security checks’ on Google Maps. As I walked up the path to the door I was hoping it was the right house. I knocked on the door and was greeted by a young guy holding a baby. “Brooke?” I said to which he replied “well I’m not Brooke but you’re at the right place”
This was the start to my funniest meet and greet to date. Caleb and Brooke are a young couple with two little kids, one of which was on the hip of Caleb and the other that was meant to be in bed but insisted that he wanted to say hello to me every few minutes. If only I was this popular in everyday life. Between all the jokes, laughs and banter we had a run through of everything with the house and Sasha the American Staffy who I would be looking after.
I arrived at the house sit and Sasha seemed just as excited to see me as I was to see her. I unpacked the car, ordered pizza (captain lazy pants) and nestled in on the couch to watch telly. When bed time came around I invited Sasha under the quilt because winter had well and truly set in and I figured both of us could use the extra body warmth. Sasha did not budge the entire night, wrapped up in a ball under the quilt. I woke up and she still would not budge, anyone would think she was playing dead. “Ahhhh Sasha” I said “I too feel like playing dead today and not going into work” Whilst I tried to wriggle from beneath her I started to think how ridiculous it would sound calling in sick due to cute dog asleep on you. I soon realised this wouldn’t fly and somehow managed to get out from underneath her and then climb over her to get out. I popped the quilt back over her and let her sleep for a little bit longer… ahh to be a dog!
Sasha and I soon worked out a pretty good routine at night. I would go to bed and have my laptop ready to watch an episode on Netflix, she would come up for cuddles and lay like a human next to me. Then when it was time to go to sleep I would get her to move to the end of the bed and put the blanket over her to keep her warm.
Sasha was an absolute delight to look after, sometimes she didn’t understand personal space like when she insisted walking across my chest when my alarm went off but her utter cuteness made up for it.
**BANG** My eyes shot open. My heart thumping out of my chest. I lay frozen in fear. I felt paralysed from the neck down and could not get my arm to reach for my phone to call triple zero.
Someone was on the roof of the house, someone was trying to break in.
My mind was going a million miles an hour, it was finally happening. The house I was house sitting was experiencing a home invasion. I was trying to remember all my self-defence moves but I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact I couldn’t move my arms or legs.
Then I clicked… if this was out of the ordinary the dog would be barking… but there was no other noise other than the sound of some sociopath running on the roof. I then remembered my mum talking about the possums on her roof and how they were so loud it sounded like someone was on top of the roof. I started to regain feeling back in my body and I was able to move my limbs, it was then I realised that it was only possums.
The next morning I woke up, happy for my safety I walked out to the most gorgeous blonde man, Bennie! An eight month old Golden Retriever. He was the most handsome doggy and once I uploaded a photo I was bombarded with messages about wanting to meet him. Unfortunately for Bennie he has a fear of being in the car so our adventures only went as far as our feet could take us.
I was only with Bennie for a short time as I didn’t have the full 3 weeks available however the owners were eager to book in the time that I did have available. Bennie and I didn’t waste any time, we were best mates within minutes of meeting. Bennie loved playing with his toys and going on adventures. It was evident that his owners took great pride in teaching him to walk side by side and not pull, which honestly is a god send for my little pudgy hands. Bennie was also lucky enough to go on regular walks with a girl named Kirsty, and when I say regular I mean twice a week kind of regular. Kirsty is a Uni student that does dog walking as a way to earn some extra money and Bennies owners spoke very highly of her so if you’re in Adelaide and looking for a dog walker you can find Kirsty via https://www.instagram.com/kingspetsitting/ .I am not sure of her current pricing but I remember seeing some incredibly good prices a few months ago.
Soon enough it was time for me to part from Bennie and leave him and his roof mates for the next house sitter (whoops probably should have given them a heads up) I decided to take him on an impromptu run to tire him out… so impromptu in fact that I was wearing jeans and thongs. Now I’m in no way a runner and soon the realisation was that I would tire myself out well before Bennie would get a slight puff happening. So here I was saying goodbye, barely able to breathe, hoping that one day we will cross paths again!
I remember seeing the Facebook post, Rhys was in hospital due to a workplace injury with two snapped ankles. After the initial ‘oh my god’ and ‘I hope he is ok’ I remembered that their trip to America was fast approaching. A holiday they had worked and saved so hard for.
I messaged Briony his partner to see what the verdict was for their holiday and she said that due to not taking out travel insurance in time they will be going on the trip regardless of whether Rhys is in a wheel chair or not.
(Note to self people take out travel insurance as soon as your tickets are purchased!)
Due to the impending holiday and immobility Rhys was determined as ever to get back on his two feet…quite literally. Miraculously he was out of a wheel chair the day of departure, I couldn’t quite believe it. I had already envisioned Briony whisking him around in his wheelchair all over the USA.
So off they were on their trip of a lifetime and I was looking after their precious cat – Jemima. In five minutes of my arrival Jemima became Jem Jem and that would be her name for the next five weeks (sorry Briony and Rhys if she no longer answers to Jemima) As I am friends with the owners I am also friends with their friends and had been warned that Jem Jem was well.. a fierce independent woman who takes no shit from anyone.
I was weary of her at first, thinking that any pat could turn into a savage attack of my hand and I’ll end up right where Rhys was in hospital. Soon enough we built a pretty good bond, maybe because I wasn’t trying to smother her in love she actually gave me attention.
Jem Jem was an absolute delight to look after and I shit you not I said goodbye to her 15 times before leaving for the last time. I often wonder if I was to drop in for a coffee would Jem Jem snub me or remember me as the crazy chick that just kept on saying goodbye.
House sit 34 you may recognise from all my website photos as I was previously here on house sit 17! I was so happy to be back in this house in summer with my favourite tree swing.
The owners have been completing a massive extension of the house which actually started when I was first there. It was so cool to see how the house has been transforming since I was last there. They were worried with how I would find it with the renos in full swing. I guess the biggest thing for me was not walking around in my underwear, or leaving the bathroom door open whilst in the shower. The first morning I was out organising the animals and talking to the tradies, without paying attention I took the hose off the tap to refill the water. Little to my knowledge I didn’t know the tap was running full bore. Whilst being drenched my first reaction was to put the hose back on the tap which is near impossible with furiously running water which made the water shoot straight into my face. My wits finally came to me and I turned the tap off. Credit to the tradies that they managed to hold in their laughter until I started laughing.
I had gotten used to the tradies being there and it was actually really nice having other humans around, it was like having roommates without any of the cons like dirty dishes and unpaid bills. Then one day I woke up and they weren’t there, I was a bit devastated as I had enjoyed their warm presence in the morning.
The last time I was looking after this house it was in the winter, now that it was summer I could really enjoy the beautiful enormous garden and each day I spent time on the lawn reading my book and throwing the stick for the doggies.
Murphy and Taylor absolutely love exploring around Blackwood and there are so many trails to go on. Despite it being daylight savings it always felt like we ran out of daylight quickly and soon enough we had to head back.
Bailey the big fluffy ragdoll had half his size purely from his summed malt! I wish I could half my size come summer, wouldn’t that be the dream!
It was so lovely to be back at this amazing family home and to be able to enjoy it through summer. Here’s hoping it won’t be long before I’m back again!
House sit 21 is located in the coastal hills of Sheidow Park approximately 25km South of Adelaide City.
The first 2 days the owner’s brother was looking after the home and I was coming to complete the rest of the house sit. Now the owner gave me strict instructions that the cat was not allowed outside, a beautiful Ragdoll I completely understood why. She warned me that as soon as I open the door Audrey would be meowing and under my feet. I was so conscious of this, when I arrived I went in with only my phone and keys. I opened the door ever so carefully and there was no meow… no cat…
I thought to myself, don’t panic. Maybe she is just sleeping. I went and searched the house… nothing. I messaged the owner’s brother to ask if he had accidentally let the cat out.
As I waited for a response I thought I better just unpack the car and try and work out the best way to break it to the owners that I need a photo of their beloved cat to put up on Lots Dogs (and cats) of Adelaide. The car was unpacked and I still hadn’t bought myself the courage to potentially ruin the couples holiday. I figured I would feed the dog, Maverick who was bounding with joy at the back door, as I opened the back door guess who came strolling up, Audrey the beautiful ragdoll. It appears she had snuck outside when the owner’s brother was leaving. I was overcome with relief that she was ok and home and I didn’t have to potentially ruin someone’s holiday.
Audrey was very weary of me and didn’t want to come close so I let her be and soaked up the cuddles from Maverick the beautiful boxer.
Soon enough it was bed time and I jumped into bed alongside Mav, oh my god who knew an animal could snore so loud. I couldn’t stop laughing at how loud he was. He was like having a boyfriend again, all I needed him to do was let out a few rippers and I would have had the boyfriend package!
Audrey had a change of heart at approximately 4am and came up and rubbed her face into mine whilst purring almost at the same level and old mate Mac’s snoring. I was happy that she had come around so quickly and I took the opportunity to give her lots of pats so she knew I wasn’t scary.
Unfortunately during my stay I fell quite ill with a bacterial infection so Mav was got to soak up all my couchbound-ness and live it up watching Dr Phil and other bad daytime TV.