In June 2018, Emily and her husband Hubert welcomed an animal-loving family of four into their Washington home to care for Shadow the dog and Lola the cat. Starting their house and pet sitting adventure in 2017, Agnes, Tomasz and their two young children from Poland had spent several months house and pet sitting throughout Canada and the United States before making their way to Washington
Upon meeting, the families shared an instant connection and Shadow and the two young girls quickly bonded. By the end of the sit, the trio was inseparable. So much so in fact, “he (Shadow) moped for a week or more after they left”.
After hearing about TrustedHousesitters' Sitter of the Year competition, Emily and Hubert were eager to nominate Agnes and her travelling family for the Long Distance Connection Award and here’s why...
“Agnes and her family were our first sitters and what drew me to them was the lovely email she wrote. They had a wonderful profile with great references, were travelling with their children and had experience with a dog similar to our adorable Shadow. She is so sweet, good with children but very strong and needs lots of exercise.
Agnes asked about Shadow and what his needs were which gave us such confidence and was so important to us as this was our first time using TrustedHousesitters and we were nervous about having strangers in the home. She immediately put our minds at rest and we just knew they were our sitter, it was meant to be.
They arrived the day before we left and it was like welcoming old friends as if we’d known each other for years. We knew we would have no hesitations in leaving our beloved pets and home in their wonderful caring hands.
We soon found out we had so much in common, it was amazing. I lived in the Czech Republic and my husband is German. Agnes and the family are from Poland and we immediately had something in common, even some language similarities.
Our daughter was just under two and their children Kudy and Addy were 3 and 6 and the girls hit it off as soon as they met and Shadow bonded with the girls so much that he moped for a week or more after they left.
They kept us updated whilst we were away with photos and messages and stayed with us the night we arrived back home.
Agnes and I are now friends on Facebook and we know this will not be the last time we are together. Thank you TrustedHousesitters for bringing this wonderful family into our lives.”
“On the road, we found a treasure in the middle of nowhere - a charming city of Spokane. The sweetest family welcomed us with the cutest baby girl ever. We spent a lovely evening getting to know each other. It turned out Hubert came from Germany and Emily had lived in the Czech Republic, we were pretty much neighbours!
My daughters fell in love with little princess Natalia and we called her by her Polish name ‘Natalko’ which I heard stuck with her for a while.
Before Emily and the family left for their holiday, she asked if we could stay a night or two after they returned. We managed to rearrange our plans, but we were glad to do so as we just wanted to spend some more time with the family and their pets.
Our two girls became a part of the pack immediately! We couldn’t just leave...Shadow the dog treated them as their own and protected them. Lola the cat soon accepted us and stopped hiding, which we knew was a lot for her!
Before we left, I made a small gesture of gratitude and I hear they very much enjoyed my carrot cake. Leaving a pie or a cake is somewhat of our signature.
When we first applied for this sit, we didn’t expect much, just a few days of rest from the road trip. But we found true friends and I really do hope they will visit us in Poland when on the way to Germany or the Czech Republic.
I designed our 'holiday of a lifetime' around house sitting thanks to the TrustedHousesitters community and although I had no idea what I was really getting into, I could not have dreamed of what an impact it would have on my family. Meeting all the wonderful people, acquaintances developing into friendships, my kids opening up, learning about responsibility and not only towards the owners but mostly towards the pets.
We felt privileged to be entering strangers' homes, but they didn’t stay strangers for long. And they didn’t just let us into their home, they also let us into our hearts and I will always remember the trust.”
We absolutely love hearing from our members — if you have a story you'd love to share about your house sitting adventures, whether that be a weekend with your local Labrador, or a month with a mountain-based smallholding, we want to know about it! Send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org