Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My World Tuesday ~ Housesitting

As some of you may know, I am a wanderer.  I have lived on Haida Gwaii in British Columbia since 1999.  One of the "rights of passage" when you are new to the islands is to be a housesitter while you decide whether you are going to stay(island living is not for everybody).  This lifestyle turned out to be a good fit for me and I became a regular house/pet sitter on the island.  One day in 2005 I "googled" housesitting and found Housecarers.com a great housesitting site orginating in Australia. 
A homeowner can post a request for a housesitter for free and a housesitter creates an ad which costs them $50/year.  As a housesitter you can check off the areas you are interested in visiting and when a housesit comes up in your area of choice you are sent an email.  This is a worldwide housesitting site.
Homeowners are also able to contact you directly through the site.  For those like me who enjoy travelling and spending time in areas this is such a great opportunity.  Housesitting in it's true essence is looking after someone's home in the manner in which they would like in return for free accommodation.  The site is full of great information for both the homeowner and the housesitter.  As with everything, it is buyer beware.  Do your homework and don't be afraid to ask questions and always follow your instinct.  I have had nothing but great experiences(one housesit cancelled last minute but that's when your resourcefulness as a housesitter comes in!)
This is my most recent housesit located on southern Vancouver Island.  Housesits can be just that, looking after the house or it can involve looking after pets, animals and plants.
These are two of my charges.  Pets are not always a housesitters choice.  They require schedules and looking after.  For me I love to walk (8 to 15km/day) and I prefer to do it with a dog.  In this case the cat is more willing to go for a walk than the dog!
These are some of my other charges.  I have housesat chickens before but usually in small numbers, here I have about 100 of them.  It has been an interesting experience and I am surprised how much personality these birds can have.  The roosters like to take my ankles out but the chickens are actually quite friendly and enjoy talking to and stroking!
There are "ordinary chickens",
handsome chickens,
exoctic chickens,
and stunning chickens!
The dog who is a Kuvasz which was originally bred as a Hungarian livestock guard dog  prefers it's new role as a house pet!  So this handsome group are the "watch" geese for the livestock who stand on guard and send up the alarm against raccoons and these....
eagles, who scope out the area several times a day for any stray birds.
 One of the assets of this housesit was the proximity to walking trails.  At the base of this property there is gate access to the wonderfully maintained Galloping Goose Trail that runs for 60 kms from Victoria, BC to Sooke BC.
To visit other great places in our world why not join us at


Marion said...

Wow, what a great idea!! Thanks for the links, I want to look into it.

This particular housesit has you very busy, I have no doubt. But it looks like such fun...with really beautiful birds to watch and get to know!

You have great access to the Galloping Goose Trail, one of my very favourites. I can't wait to see your photos as you hike along it.

This is a really super post, I enjoyed it! It's good to know you are well. xo

Barb said...

It is fun to read about your housesitting chores. You've made quite a few new friends!

Gaelyn said...

What a great gig. Love all the animals. Bet they keep you busy.

joco said...

Fantastic post.
What a great experience. But I suppose in this case it was/is very hands-on. You ahve guts travelling like that.

I hope you are going to treat us to more travel.

Annie said...

Thanks for posting that, good to know. I enjoy your blog.

Linda said...

What a fascinating way to get under the skin of a place, and discover new areas. We have done house exchanges, with families from LA and BC, so I can understand a bit of what your experience must be. You are heroic to take on pets - after one exchange where we got a biting cat and sensitive tropical fish (one died) we have said no to exchanges involving care of the other family's pets. Perhaps it's safer, given the fish...

Joyful said...

I've heard of house sitting before but am not sure it is for me though I like the concept. I'm glad it's working out for you. The animals and birds you are currently sitting all look so healthy.

Tammie Lee said...

sounds as though you have wonderful experiences doing house sits!

Jenn Jilks said...

Carolyn, this is fabulous!
What a great idea.
How did you know how to look after the chickens?
I think this is great.


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