More information about this house sitterHi, I’m Ann, a friendly, reliable, non-smoking, American designer who has been living abroad for many years. Although I’ve lived mostly in Europe and Asia, I’m now in Australia and loving it!
I’m 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’ve been house sitting through Mind-A-Home since October 2019, I have actually house and pet-sat by referral for a much longer time. 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, 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, a friend 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. The process was a total success, and we all shared the house 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 house-sat for almost a year on the Sunshine Coast, first looking after a large landed property in the rainforest, with a main house, granny flat, pool, and caring for a dog, cat, galah, and chickens. Following that, I house-sat a 5-bedroom home while the homeowner was away in Europe caring for her elderly parents. I was responsible for a dog, a cat, and a cockatiel. Duties included daily care of the animals as well as giving them regular worm and flea meds, stocking up on food, and even cooking a special fresh stew for the beautiful little dog, a chihuahua-terrier mix. I also did gardening and yard work such as mowing the lawn, as well as basic DIY repairs.
The house was then sold, and during the sale process, I acted as the caretaker. I was entrusted to coordinate with repair people, real estate agents, pest, building and swimming pool inspectors and style the house for viewings, all the while maintaining a high standard of care for the animals during what was a stressful time. After the sale, I also assisted with prep and packing for moving and storage.
Although I myself 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 former pet owner myself, I have been very fortunate to have first rate care for my own beloved cats and dog while I was 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!