About Sandra & Linda
We are a recently-retired female couple of 29 years. We are experienced sitters with references from owners in England, Wales, Scotland, Canada, and New Zealand. We still miss all the dogs, cats, horses, fish, sheep, and even the chickens, geese, parrots, and rats we have looked after! We are trusted by owners, some of whom we have sat for several times in NZ, England, and Wales. Owners tell us they like the stability of having two women as sitters, and they feel their pets and property will be safe in our hands. Apart from references from owners, we also have a house-renting reference as I (Sandra) rented when I worked away from home for about a year at AUT University on accessible tourism for people with disabilities and seniors. Finally, we have character references from friends who have known us for a number of years. We are active (kayaking, biking, walking, gardening......
We are a recently-retired female couple of 29 years. We are experienced sitters with references from owners in England, Wales, Scotland, Canada, and New Zealand. We still miss all the dogs, cats, horses, fish, sheep, and even the chickens, geese, parrots, and rats we have looked after! We are trusted by owners, some of whom we have sat for several times in NZ, England, and Wales. Owners tell us they like the stability of having two women as sitters, and they feel their pets and property will be safe in our hands. Apart from references from owners, we also have a house-renting reference as I (Sandra) rented when I worked away from home for about a year at AUT University on accessible tourism for people with disabilities and seniors. Finally, we have character references from friends who have known us for a number of years. We are active (kayaking, biking, walking, gardening), own our own home, are financially independent, and have previously owned much-loved pets and animals (cats, dogs, chickens, horses, cows). We are non-smokers and proficient computer users (we can send you regular updates and photos of your house/pets while you are away). I was born in London but brought up in New Zealand. I have "owned" cats since childhood and dogs as an adult. I am retired from a research career in universities and polytechnics in Canada and New Zealand, where I also taught (and so am used to being in charge of a caring environment where patience is needed). I spend a lot of my spare time advocating for inclusion in society for seniors and the disabled, and am involved with many international organizations working in access advocacy. For more of an idea about me, Google my name (Sandra Rhodda) or see my Twitter account (@accesstourismnz). My partner Linda was born in Canada, but is now a Kiwi. She is retired from the business side of the automotive industry (in Canada and NZ) and has been a dog and cat-owner for most of her life. She grew up on a dairy farm with a father who owned race horses and farm animals and had her own horses so is well acquainted with a variety of animals. She also has work experience in carpentry, and knows how to fix a leaking tap! Very occasionally, I house and pet sit by myself when Linda is visiting family in Canada. We seek housesits in NZ, Australia, and elsewhere in the southern hemisphere in the southern spring, summer, and autumn. Then we return to the northern hemisphere to do sits in the northern summer. This year (2018), we have repeat sits in Wales and London (it will be our fourth time at these sits) and three new sits.
Why we want to house sit
We like to house-sit as a way of getting to know different areas better. We both like a variety of places to visit, including out-of-the-way places and experiences. Housesitting gives us an opportunity to explore local culture in depth at a slower pace than just hectic touring around. House sitting is a win-win situation because it is an affordable way for owners to have their property and pets looked after and for us to see the world. We know how standard pet-sitting services can be very expensive if pets are left for any length of time, and pets don't usually enjoy being in a strange place when they are used to their own home and "one-on-one" attention, which we can give them. Having pet lovers such as ourselves look after your home and pets is a great solution as we also benefit from experiencing different places in depth without huge expense. While we do that, home owners can have peace-of-mind that their property will be well looked after. Best of all, we love caring for other people's pets as it allows us to enjoy a variety of animals. While we do that, we get lots of clucks, neighs, baas, purrs, squeaks, licks, tail wags, and cuddles from the pets we sit. What could be better?
House and pet sitting involves trust on both sides. As home owners and gardeners, we both are aware of the responsibility that having property entails and why looking after a house and maintaining a garden is important. We guarantee that we will be at your house for the duration of the sit, and - as we are not night owls - when we do any trips during the day, we always return late afternoon, never leaving animals for more than a few hours. If we have the use of a car , and you have dog(s) who like car travel, we would take them with us if suitable and with your permission. We have done this at sits in the past using our own car (in NZ), or where owners have lent us a vehicle (in the England, Scotland, Wales, and Canada). We guarantee that we will look after your pets and property following your rules. Have only vegetarian or vegan food in the house as we did in Kingston-Upon-Thames and Leicester (see references)? No problem! Lawn and garden need mowing, weeding, and watering? It will be done. Dogs not allowed in the lounge? No problem. Cat needs medicine twice a day? We will do it. Pets prefer to sleep on the bed with people? Hugs guaranteed! Need brushing daily? You will return to find them sleek and clean! The aim is to disturb your pets routine as little as possible. As past pet-owners who loved them dearly, and as animal managers, we are fully aware of the importance of animals in people's lives, and why looking after them properly is important. They are, after all, part of the family. For an idea of some of the pets we have looked after at sits, or looked after for friends and got to enjoy over the years, see our photo album, which includes a video. We have looked after pets (and farm animals) in a variety of situations, from urban apartments (10 minutes by train to central London), to rural isolation - no neighbours for miles, from one-bedroom tiny apartments, to multi-story mansions, from modern, to hundreds of years old. If you like - and if we are not away housesitting - we can give you a Skype tour of our property, to show we are careful owners and keen gardeners. We are both practical people and know how to screw a screw and hammer a nail (we built our own 6mx4 greenhouse in spring 2014), and have just re-floored our conservatory. We can be trusted to look after other people's property with the same care and attention we have used to look after our own, and to love their pets as they would.
Please note: because we have sat for some owners more than once (see "References"), and because we have done sits through other house-sitting websites, we have completed more sits than we have references for on this THS website. Thanks! :>)