More information about this house sitterWe are a pet-loving, non-smoking, married couple in our early thirties who have recently relocated from London to Melbourne. We are spending our time house-sitting and discovering new areas of the city. We are not strict vegetarians, but generally don't buy meat or eat it at home.
So far, we have completed a number of assignments which have included looking after two adorable but slightly rambunctious cats and two fish tanks, a number of senior dogs with their own needs and quirks, a puppy in the midst of training, plus a number of indoor plants!
Our approach is to create a calendar for our stay at the beginning to tick off the various tasks at the correct frequency, from feeding the dogs/cats, to cleaning the fish tanks, to watering the plants and putting the bins out. We will ask you a number of questions to ensure we have the routine down, and understand any specific needs your pets have. We also like to use common sense, and on really hot days will often wait to walk the dogs until the cooler late evenings. We have two upcoming assignments looking after an indoor cat and some fish, and two large dogs.
Tom grew up on a farm near Manchester in the north of England, where he was surrounded by dogs, cats, rabbits, hens and chinchillas. His parents are both vets and when younger he often had to pitch in caring for patients when they were brought home overnight, a duty that memorably once included feeding a small bat with a syringe, whilst it hung from his dressing gown pocket. He is now a maths teacher, having spent the last few years at a school in Wembley, London.
Kim grew up near the Blue Mountains and as a child was inseparable from her German Shepherd, Topaz. She is a keen gardener and kept a mini-allotment close to our flat in Queen's Park (London) and a wide range of house plants. In Melbourne she works for a charity that supports survivors of family violence.
We also have plenty of experience taking care of pets for our friends and family. When Tom's parents are away, we have stayed in the house, walking the two dogs on a daily basis, whilst feeding and caring for the four cats and handful of chickens. Tom's brother lives in a more urban area of Manchester and we have, on occasion, helped out looking after their two young cats.
Throughout Tom's life his parents have had a pair of energetic dogs, sometimes small (Jack Russell's, Yorkshire terriers), sometimes big (labradors, flat-coat retrievers), and from a young age he has been responsible for feeding and walking them. The hills of the Peak District are a beautiful - if often wet, cold and windy - place to do this, and he knows how important it is to give dogs daily exercise. Since his parents are the local vets, he has been well drilled on the proper way to handle dogs when out and about. Having in the past seen a terrier disappear down a badger hole for several hours, he knows the importance of vigilance.
The cats we cared for in Camberwell were house cats and we were very careful to keep them indoors, we fed them twice a day and changed their litter every day and more if necessary. The fish also required careful attention. We fed them twice a day with a combination of different foods, checked the temperature each morning and the nitrate levels every few days. Each weekend we did a quick clean of the tank and a top of of the water and completed one deep clean of each tank, including a 1/4 tank replacement and a thorough cleaning of the filter.
The Staffies (one senior, one junior) in Flemington had varied needs which meant we would take one for a walk once a day, and the other twice. At times we would split up, due to the difference in energy between them. Due to the enthusiastic nature of the puppy, we were sure to always keep her on the leash and work to calm her in heightened situations (LIKE MEETING OTHER DOGS!!!!!!). We would clean up after them, and make sure they weren't eating random bits and pieces off the ground. We would also feed them twice a day, administer medication to the senior dog for her anxiety, and clean up after the puppy when she had little accidents in the house.
We also loved and cared for them and gave them a whole load of affection.
We also like to establish a WhatsApp group with you so we can send you photos of your pets (so you don't miss them too much) and keep you updated.
As one of our housesits put it: "Tom and Kim kept us up to date on our pets and were always extremely responsive. When we returned, the house was left very clean and tidy and the pets had obviously been cared for very well. We would highly recommend Tom and Kim for another housesitting."
Copies of references available on request.
We look forward to hearing from you!