More InformationHi, I’m Ann, a friendly, reliable, non-smoking, American designer who has been living abroad for many years. Although I’ve mostly been in Europe and Asia, I’m now exploring Australia and loving it!
I’m very active, love animals, gardening, and travel, and believe in living life with creativity and enthusiasm. As an art director, graphic designer and editor, I work online, developing websites and digital publishing projects. My schedule is very flexible so that I’m available to spend quality time with your pets at any time of day. My favourite work break is to go for a walk, potter around the garden, or run around the yard playing fetch.
While I’m new to house sitting through the internet, I have been house and pet-sitting by referral for a long time. Because I’m new to Mindahome, here is a detailed introduction to my background as a house and pet-sitter.
I have always loved animals. Growing up with dogs, cats, and parakeets at home, my first experience house-sitting was for neighbours. Living in Cambridge, MA, in an academic community, many people would travel during school vacations. I was often asked to care for my neighbour’s homes, gardens, and pets while they were away. It was something I became very proficient at and looked forward to every school break.
Over the last 37 years of longterm living in Asia, animals have been an integral part of my family. In Singapore, I lived on landed properties for 20 years, rescuing and caring for cats, dogs, terrapins, and fish. In the front yard of one home, we created a pond for the fish and terrapins. In truth, the koi required the most exacting care of all the inhabitants, and I became well versed in pH levels, bio-filter cleaning and DIY pond life-hacks. A wonderful side-effect of having a pond was that as an avid gardener, with fruit trees and herbs, I discovered that terrapin poo is an excellent fertiliser for tropical plants. We had record banana crops.
During my time in Singapore, one of my friends came to live with us, bringing her own cat. We followed the RSPCA and the Humane Society protocols for introducing the new cat, including exchanging towels a week before they moved in, and then gradually introducing the cats to each other once they moved in. The process was a total success, and we all lived comfortably together for over a year. In fact, it went so well, that when the owner of the other cat was reassigned abroad, she left her fur-baby in my care for several months until she was settled and able to send for her.
Here in Australia, I've been house-sitting for a number of months on the Sunshine Coast, first looking after a landed property in the rainforest, caring for a dog, cat, galah, and chickens. Following that, I have been house-sitting a 5-bedroom home while the homeowner is away in Europe caring for her elderly parents. I was responsible for the house and pets: a dog, a cat, and another friend’s cockatiel. Duties included daily care of the animals as well as giving them regular worm and flea meds, and even cooking a special fresh stew for the beautiful little dog, a chihuahua-terrier mix. I also did yard work such as gardening, mowing the lawn, weeding, and basic DIY repairs.
That house has just recently been sold. As the caretaker prior to and during the sale process, I was entrusted to coordinate with repair people, real estate agents, pest, building and swimming pool inspectors. I cleaned and styled the house for viewings, all the while maintaining a high standard of care for the animals during what was a stressful time for them. I also assisted the homeowner with prep and packing for moving and storage.
Although I am not a homeowner, I have previously been a longterm tenant, and always try to leave a home in better condition than when I moved in. I understand what it means to be responsible for a home, its maintenance, and the pets and people living there. When I stay somewhere, whether it’s a friend’s house, an Airbnb, or a house-sit, I treat the space with care and respect.
As a pet owner myself, I have been very fortunate to have first-rate care for my own beloved cat while I’m away. I understand how important it is to know that your pets will be looked after, and get the attention they deserve. I would be honoured to care for your home and animal family members and would be happy to provide you with daily updates - photos, texts, emails if you’d like.
If you have any questions for me please feel free to contact me. References available upon request.
I look forward to hearing from you soon!