Animal Lover and Teacher on SabbaticalID: 112g
Is / are:
|46 to 55|
|Educator and Writer|
|TAS VIC (full regions list)|
More information about this house sitterABOUT ME;
Greetings! I am Gina, a 51 y.o. Elementary Educator taking a sabbatical from teaching to write and enjoy Australia! Most recently, I taught at an international School in Chengdu, China. I am originally from Texas, USA, but have lived abroad most of the time for the last few decades. I can offer multiple impeccable references (one from this site!), and a police background check. My integrity is well-earned, and I intend to maintain it! Find more in my virtual portfolio: www.sitstayohnevermind.weebly.com.
I have completed 2 long-term pet caretaking positions around Melbourne since arriving in September. I am currently on my third, which will end Jan. 24, so I am actively looking for my next sit! I have an Australian tourist visa. I prefer long-term sits -- I like to be in one place to establish a relationship of trust and provide a sense of security for you and your animals -- and I like stability to write and get to know a place. I am happy to care for homes with or without animals friends.
In life, my animal companions have been dogs, cats, birds, fish, and reptiles. I still miss my (second) spunky Dalmatian, Chinnamasta Chai, who passed back in 2014. I have cared for horses, chickens, cats, dogs, ponies, homes, sailboats, and gardens. I've also fostered doggies.
For the past few years, I have moved between countries too much to have an animal, so loving yours will fill my heart, which has a small emptiness from being without a pet!
I am a non-smoker, so will only stay in non-smoking homes. Also, I'm not a college kid winging it on a budget that stays in dirty hostels ;-) I am very clean and tidy, so I respectfully request that you ensure your house has been cleaned prior to my arrival. That is how you will find it upon your return!
I'm not a "partier", unless you count a glass or two of wine with Netflix or a book as "a party". :-) I do not smoke anything and do not engage in any drug use. I do drink wine occasionally, but in moderation. I like to be active and healthy: running, cycling, hiking, yoga, swimming, meditation, qigong. I truly enjoy quiet and solitude and being a homebody. I'm usually "at home" because I work remotely at least 6 hours each day. My motto is "Life is great", my life tenet is "Compassion to all", and my integrity and reputation are vitally important to me.
My previous careers have been as a SCUBA and Yoga Instructor in the Caribbean, Panama, and Florida. I still teach yoga and meditation. I have also sailed across the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and the Caribbean Sea in varying capacities of mate, watch captain, and chef. I taught ESL in Korea prior to becoming a licensed educator, and have also worked in the software and financial sectors. All of my work has involved a high level of trust and integrity (finance, working with children, teaching)! Oh yes, and for my 40th birthday, I bought myself a motorcycle as a present and rode it across the US! I have lived all over the contiguous US, and also in the Caribbean, Hawai'i, Panama, China, and South Korea. I have traveled some of Europe and India, and all over China and Eastern Tibet.
I really love learning about different cultures. When I am able, I like to stay in one place for several years to learn the language and immerse myself. Lately, I have been studying Tibetan history and the various tribes throughout China. This summer and last, I spent the entirety in Kham Tibet, enjoying the people and culture, and making new friends. Kham is one of my favorite areas on the planet. I suppose my avocation is anthropology. :-) I traveled around the Kham areas of Yunnan and Sichuan this past July-Sept., trekking, camping, and hiking.
WHY I ENJOY PET- AND HOUSE-SITTING:
For years I have dreamt of taking some time off to write full-time. Always, the concern is living off savings and watching it dwindle; that little angst inside eats away at full enjoyment of time away. A friend of mine suggested pet/house-sitting years ago, and it just didn't click at the time. Now I realize, what a perfect fulfillment of needs on both sides! I get to spend my time writing in a quiet space, with new environs to explore, and "foster" animals and you get your home and animals cared for with much love!! Win-win! I am so grateful I learned about these opportunities!
My pet-sitting and house-sitting experience:
I have excellent references with phone numbers/email from the people I've pet/house-sat for previously; I am happy to share them! I also have excellent professional and personal references to offer, including landlord references! In fact, you can learn all about my professional experiences and view my CV on my website: www.ginajmcmurray.weebly.com.
Further, I have a criminal background check from the USA, that has been notarized and authenticated by the Dept. of State. As an educator, we get frequent background checks, and for good reason!
HOW I CARE FOR YOUR PETS/HOME:
I always build my schedule around the needs of your animals and gardens/plants. You can be assured that I will spend each night in your home, and not away from your animals! The rest of my day includes writing and research with breaks for hiking/walking/running/yoga/swimming. I love taking the dogs with me for long walks or a bike ride! If they are socialized, they can come to the cafe with me, where I like a change of scenery for writing--and to sit in the sunshine! I love plants and gardens, so am happy to care for those (I am very nature-inclined!)
With dogs, lots of play, walking, and exercise breaks! If I am caring for dogs, they get several walks/plays each day (I need a break from sitting, and love the outdoors!). I am especially fond of large breeds and am very comfortable with them (I have had Dals, Boxers, Collies, Beagles, and mixed breeds). I enjoy learning about different dog breeds. When I settle down again, I want a Harlequin Great Dane! Cats get plenty of lap time. I can harness equines and lead them, unless they're pastured (I never ride without explicit permission). I also send pictures of your pets to you frequently, so you will feel secure in their happiness and health! I can easily learn about the care of any animal, and love them all!
I have experience taking care of "special needs" animals with quirky attitudes and daily medicine. Having had two Dalmatians, a breed which has protein restrictions due to potential kidney stones, I always cooked for them! I have studied dog obedience training and behavior, though I am not expert. I use positive behavior support with dogs, (just like I use in the classroom!), such as the Dog Listening Method. During one pet sitting job, I took care of a bipolar cat on meds. At another housesit/pet sit, I cared for 4 horses, 2 ponies (one on meds), 12 chickens, 2 dogs, 2 cats, and a 1/4 acre vegetable/flower garden on a hundred acre ranch. I also cared for a home with 8 dogs (1 blind, 1 crippled, 1 semi-feral). I love animals!!
I tend toward the "OCD" side of organization and cleanliness, so you can expect your home to look the same or better upon your return! I require a clean house and stable/fast internet access! :-) I bought a bike for my time in Australia.
If you have any questions, please ask! I look forward to visiting your area and caring for your animals, plants, and home!