About Emma & Robert
We are a young, fit retired couple (from mechanical lecturing/ training backgrounds) with lots of experience with looking after a variety of animals and properties - our own and other peoples. We also love to travel within the UK and overseas and are always looking for new and interesting places to visit and discover. We adore all creatures gre...
We are a young, fit retired couple (from mechanical lecturing/ training backgrounds) with lots of experience with looking after a variety of animals and properties - our own and other peoples. We also love to travel within the UK and overseas and are always looking for new and interesting places to visit and discover. We adore all creatures great and small.
Why we want to house sit
We appreciate that when you are away you want to feel reassured that all is well back home, especially if your fury or feathered friends are not travelling with you.
We can provide the reassurance that your home will be cared for, kept clean, tidy and secure for you in your absence. Canine cuddles and feline frolics all come as part of the package as we are passionate about all animals and their well being.
We have both previously owned dogs and cats for 40+ years and have donkey, horse, goat and poultry ownership experience as well. As we don't currently have any pets of our own, we have a lot of love to give other peoples.
We love to travel and discover new places and we find that housesitting gives us an opportunity to continue this, stay totally immersed in local communities and meet a wide variety of interesting people and fabulous pets. We have found in many cases we have shared interests and experiences with THS homeowners.
As business owners ourselves, we know how tricky it can be to leave a business to go away.
We have gained experience through this site of managing Bed and Breakfast accommodation for homeowners and are quite happy to undertake this added responsibility as part of a house sit. Please contact us to discuss your individual needs so that we understand your requirements, can deliver to your expectations and agree terms.
We are used to taking responsibility for all aspects of rural and urban properties having owned houses for 30 years in the UK and more recently overseas.
We own a UK based property portfolio which we manage remotely from where-ever we happen to be in the world. A reliable internet service would be needed for us to work when house-sitting. Our work commitments mean that when we are housesitting a reasonable amount of our time is based 'at home'. We fit in our sightseeing around house sitting and work commitments.
We have a few home bases in the UK but mostly divide our time between a rambling Victorian town house in Newport and a country smallholding just outside Caerphilly - so we are happy in city or rural environments.
Our 5 story Victorian town house retains many of its original features including a lack of a central heating system so we know how quirky houses can be! We have a great interest in maintaining architectural features whenever possible in all of our properties and strive to restore these at every opportunity.
Our smallholding consists of a managed woodland, permanent pasture and extensive vegetable/ flowering gardens. We are passionate about our garden and other peoples as well. We would be more than happy to carry out some light garden care during a house-sit as we both have experience of owning and using a variety of garden machinery (petrol and ride on mowers, strimmers, hedgecutters etc).
At the smallholding we have a detached property with wood-burning stoves so are more than familiar with their use and the safety aspects needed when using them. We are familiar with using Aga's, Rayburns and Everhots for both cooking and heating. We have a great interest in renewable energy sources having a bank of solar panels and rainwater harvesting facilities at our smallholding.
We have a great interest in older, listed and unusual homes, their architectural features and their histories and have been lucky enough to house sit several that fall into this genre. We have been fortunate enough to sit at several mills (some working others not). Many of our housesitting assignments have been at remote/ isolated houses often with a business attached, so we are used to this type of environment where security is as important as the care of any pets for the homeowner.
We have owned a property overseas for the past 14 years which we use for holidays throughout the year. We fully understand and appreciate the challenges that a property in a far away place can bring, not least dealing with language barriers and cultural differences.
We are also experienced sailors (we own a sailing yacht based in South Devon), so houseboat sitting would also fall within our remit.
We are quite happy to deal with minor household issues that arise whilst housesitting so that you can enjoy your holiday without worrying or trying to deal with issues while away.
Coming from a farming family (beef cattle - Herefords and Welsh Blacks) background, we have extensive experience of animal ownership and care including dogs: cocker spaniel (Jill - who only had one eye) and border collies (Buddy and Lady) were our last pooches. We have also owned a dalmatian (Judy), an English setter and poodles (Mitzi x2). All adorable in their own individual ways. Cats love us and we love them. We have owned a rescue tabby (Harvey - who has sadly gone to the big cat basket in the sky) and now look after a barn cat called Fergie - he lives on the tractor seat - hence the name.
Our experience of horses, donkeys and goats is lesser but having owned and cared for all of these in the past, we fully understand the commitment needed to ensure healthy and happy animals. We have house-sat several horses through this site - from miniature ponies to 16+ hand Welsh cobs. This has involved feeding, grooming, administering a variety of medications and liaising with scheduled veterinarian visits.
We have also house-sat for chickens, ducks and geese. Robert is now unofficially 'The Duck Daddy'. Many years ago we owned our own chickens to provide fresh eggs so have an appreciation of poultry care including managing poultry within recent strict DEFRA guidelines. Lastly, we have also owned for many years a fish tank with catfish, sharks and oscars.
Our housesitting opportunities have enabled us to expand our experience of pet care even further. We now have a good understanding of Labradors, Lurchers, Bassett Hounds, Retrievers, Springer Spaniels (these have become our specialty), Yorkshire and West Highland terriers, Border terriers, JRT's, Pugs and Great Danes along with their associated behaviours. Our catsitting/ care experience is also varied; from Ragdolls (some of whom needed to walked on a lead) and Siamese to the humble mixed breed moggie! Basic needs: the same, added needs: very different and on occasion demanding but appropriate to their breed. All of our dog sitting assignments have been for multiple dog households where the walking and exercise needs can be quite demanding.
We also have housesitting experience of Kune Kune, Gloucester Old Spot pigs, sheep and pygmy goats (we have a real soft spot for these and if we were at home more often I would have my own heard!)
In addition to managing the furry members of the family, we are experienced in liaising with any gardeners, cleaners and housekeepers that the homeowner employs to ensure continuity of service and standards during your absence.
We have also completed several family housesits we have looked after a completely mad Chinese Crested dog named Jasper, a very characteristic short haired dachshund - Atticus and the most recent addition to our furry family - a cocker spaniel puppy called Honey.
We are both non-smokers and would never invite anyone else to your home whilst housesitting for you and we would never publish details/ photographs of your home or its location on any social media website.
We updated our CRB checks to coincide with joining Trusted Housesitters and are more than happy to provide a copy to prospective home owners. You can be assured of total confidentiality and discretion with regard to all aspects of any housesitting arrangements as I have signed any number of confidentiality agreements and the Official Secrets Act on several occasions throughout my career and am happy to continue to be bound by them.
We have traveled widely in both Northern and Southern hemispheres and would like to add new locations to our travel map and what better way to do that by enabling others to do the same?
We have our own transport and have plenty of experience of driving in continental Europe, Canada and USA.
We are flexible with dates for sitting and are happy to meet up prior to a sitting assignment (if local) or do a Skype video call if each party is further afield.
Please take time to read all of our reviews (rather than just looking at the star ratings especially the one that appears to be just one star) as some of the lovely homeowners we have sat for don't always click on the stars when completing the reviews. This unfortunately does influence our overall rating.