The joy of meeting new pets and living in new places | Piper's story

Danielle Petch

Spending time with adorable pets, getting to experience exciting new places, all while helping pet owners to travel with ease. It's why any trusted house sitter does what they do, but for member Piper, there's another layer to her house sitting story...

In 2021, after 18 months of living in a one-bed space, surrounded by construction and navigating through a global pandemic, no less, Piper knew it was time for a change. In her Trusted Tale, she shares how a newsletter forwarded from a friend propelled her to join TrustedHousesitters, sell up her condo, buy an electric vehicle, and begin a whole new chapter in life...

Finding the Other 6/7ths of Myself with TrustedHousesitters

It was a Sunday. I don’t recall the exact date, but I know for certain it was the one day of the week when local law did not allow construction in a residential area. And yet before I opened my eyes, I heard the unmistakable sound of a buzz saw barely muffled by the one wall between my bed and what was becoming a bar instead of a beauty salon.

“It’s gotten so bad that I’m now having auditory hallucinations,” I thought, still not fully awake.

But the buzzing and banging continued. I pulled on a sweatshirt, grabbed a mask out of habit, and shuffled down three flights of stairs to investigate. Sure enough, dust and noise emanated from next door...

In “the Before Times,” as I think of our lives prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, my small space in the heart of Washington, DC was all that I needed. My neighbors were courteous and kind and the neighborhood fun and funky. Then in March 2020, like people around the world fortunate to have a job that so allowed, I took my laptop and items from my office home to “flatten the curve” for what we expected to be “just a few weeks.” The construction began a few days later.

August 2021 marked 18 months of working in a one-bedroom space next to the noise that often made me lose my train of thought mid-sentence. Six out of each week’s seven days, I tried to keep calm and carry on next to drilling, hammering, and sanding. There were times, especially in summer 2020, the construction by day gave way to protests, sirens, helicopters, and drones at night. There were points where I truly thought I might lose my job, and I had little doubt that I was losing my sanity.

The noise, combined with the isolation and uncertainty of the pandemic, had left me a fraction of my full self. I knew I needed a change but wasn’t sure where I wanted to go next. When a friend forwarded me information about TrustedHousesitters in a newsletter by Stephanie Perry, I felt like the heavens had opened. In a matter of weeks, I sold my condo, bought an electric vehicle, and started my journey with TrustedHousesitters. I was energized by possibility and inspired by a line from a favorite poem:

“Caminante, no hay camino; se hace camino al andar.”

(While translation loses some of the beauty, the gist is: “Traveler, there is no road; you make your own path as you go.”)

I read years ago that humans have six fundamental needs: security; contribution; significance; love and connection; growth; and variety. I don’t exaggerate when I say that I’m fulfilling all six with TrustedHousesitters...

Since August 2021, I’ve enjoyed four house sits in beautiful places that provide security, both physically and mentally, to live and work. By joining this global community, I’m contributing to growing trust among people from many walks of life. I take pride in ensuring their beloved pets feel cared for and their homes are impeccably maintained while they are away. Beyond more space to literally stretch, I’ve found exciting opportunities to metaphorically grow in the months since I said goodbye to a place I’d called home for around 15 years.

And perhaps the most fun of all in my TrustedHousesitters journey is the variety! From massive Great Danes to tiny Chihuahua mixes, from petite cats to a Garfield-size polydactyl, from the DC suburbs to the everglades of Florida, the only consistency across my sits is the joy of meeting new pets and living in new places.   

People ask how long this chapter of my life will last. I have no answer. New opportunities pop up in my TrustedHousesitters saved searches daily and I already know I’ll cross the country at least twice next year – and that’s before May! Unlike the uncertainty of 2020, 2022 contains an invigorating adventure. As I write this with a cat purring in my lap, I am deeply grateful for the TrustedHousesitting community, the homeowners who have entrusted me with their pets, and the opportunities ahead in this wonderful world of house sitting...

Written by Piper Hendricks

With thanks to Piper for sharing her Trusted Tale! Do you have a story from your house and pet sitting adventures to share with us? We'd love to hear it! Please get in touch by email or via our submission form.

If you're thinking of starting your house sitting journey with TrustedHousesitters, head to our explore plans page to get started. Or, pop on over to Community Forum to ask for advice, find support, and discuss all things house sitting, pets, travel, and more.

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