About Monique & James
Jim and I are a happily married non-smoker couple in our mid-fifties living in Canada. We are lucky enough to have both worked for the Canadian government for 33+ years and are retired since January 2018. Still young (ish), mentally/physically healthy, we decided to start this new chapter visiting new places.During a trip to Costa Rica a few yea...
Jim and I are a happily married non-smoker couple in our mid-fifties living in Canada. We are lucky enough to have both worked for the Canadian government for 33+ years and are retired since January 2018. Still young (ish), mentally/physically healthy, we decided to start this new chapter visiting new places.During a trip to Costa Rica a few years ago we met a wonderful couple from the USA that introduced us to the concept of house/pet sitting. They had been moving from one sitting assignment to another for the past 15 years!! My husband and I were immediately hooked. It was the perfect fit for our love of travel, animals, and gardening.We are both very active and have a passion for the great outdoors. Jim grew up on a farm with large vegetable and fruit gardens, as well as livestock. He joined the Canadian military at a young age and spent many years outside alternately shivering soaking, sweating and/or covered in dust in Canada and abroad. I am more of a city girl having grown up in Montreal but after nearly 30 years with Jim you would never know it!!Pets and animals have always been a big part of our lives. We’ve had cats, dogs (Beagles and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers), tropical and non tropical fish, hamsters, rabbits, chickens, and the hoards of birds, squirrels, and groundhogs we have in our backyard. Experienced and knowledgeable animal lovers, I have lost count of the pets we have loved, owned and cared for over the years. The numbers may have blurred but their names and the joy they gave remain. Every one a character, an individual, with personalities to match.We are avid animal watchers. Long hikes in the woods/jungle and fishing expeditions have let us observe many native animals here and abroad in their natural habitat.Over the years, we have come to realize that we prefer to travel on our own, renting houses and cars which allows us to explore and experience different cultures and meet truly authentic local people. Although we currently live in an urban setting we have a tendency to gravitate to less known destinations when travelling.Besides traveling, gardening and the great outdoors, our hobbies include cooking, wood working (building furniture), photography, hiking, snorkeling to name a few.We are both fluent in English and French … with a little bit of Spanish on the side!
Pet care:- Unfortunately, Minou (our cat) and Coffee and Mocha (our 2 Chesapeake Bay Retrievers) have had fairly serious conditions (cancer, epilepsy, pancreatitis, cartilage erosion) requiring oral medication, injections, post surgery support and therapy. As a result we are both fairly comfortable administering medication orally or via injection and dealing with limited mobility, epileptic seizures, and severe vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration.- We also do our own grooming e.g. nail cutting, brushing, bathing, ear cleaning, and teeth brushing.- Besides growing up on a farm, Jim was a first aid instructor for many years. This experience is mostly transferrable to pets.Home maintenance and care:- We both have done extensive home renovation such as kitchen redesign (including all the plumbing and electrical), living room refresh, deck and gazebo construction. This means we are fairly comfortable with tools and building code requirements, we also know what we don’t know.- Our current home is not hooked up to city water or sewage therefore we have lots of experience dealing with septic tanks, weepping beds, and water wells.- We also built and now maintain an “off the grid” log house and guest cottage on 13 acres of land on an island in Georgian Bay. As a result we have lots of experience with solar power, batteries, propane, generators, chainsaws, tractors, water pumps, motors of all kinds …and power boats.Lawn and garden care:- We currently maintain fruit, vegetable, shrubs, and flower gardens, as well as many indoor plans including a collection of orchids and herbs in our house which sits on a 2 acre lot. Oh yes and the grass … we use a combination of lawn tractor, push mower, weed eater, and propane weed torch to keep the lawn, walkways, and driveway looking great.- Having such a large wooded lot we are adept at using chainsaws, wood chippers, pruners (tree and shrubs)- We also had a pool for many years but have now converted that area into a fire pit.- Living in Canada, we have lots of experience dealing with snow, ice, and cold related issues.- We are stable, mature, responsible, and trustworthily individuals that will treat your home, pets, gardens, neighbours, and community with the same respect, compassion and attention we would give our own.- Having had pets all our lives, we understand how importance your pets are and how they form an integral part of your family. We understand how their companionship and unconditional love can enrich our lives and, when returned, theirs.- We can provide you with the piece of mind and assurance that your home and cherished pets will be looked after as if they were our own. As home owners we understand the importance of entrusting a substantial investment, financially and emotionally, to the right people.- Knowing how to care for a sick or fragile pets and bring them comfort in their time of need.- We will make sure you are provided regular updates regarding your home and your beloved pets via social media or email and will include pictures.- I am somewhat of a clean freak, so you can fully expect both the inside and outside of your home to be maintained to the highest standards.- We are comfortable travelling to various locations, climates, and cultures. Past travels include: most of Canada and the USA (including the Artic), Costa Rica, Panama, West Indies, New Caledonia (South Pacific), Mexico, Cyprus, Italy, Belgium, France, Germany, Bosnia, Croatia, Norway, Iceland, and short stop overs in New Zealand and Australia.- We both have undergone rigorous security and police checks, have drivers’ licences, are very well organized and self-sufficient.We are you best choice for your peace of mind. We are honest and reliable with lots of common sense. We hope you will allow us to house sit for you!Monique and Jim