I am a retired field botanist, graphic designer, and landscaper who is adventurous, loves to travel and explore new places, especially in the Pacific NW mountains and the deserts of Eastern OR and Northern CA, NV and AZ. I have been to Europe, Australia, China, Mexico, and most recently in spring of 2017 I spent 5 weeks traveling through SE Asia (Thailand, Cambodia and Laos). Prior to that I spent three months (mostly solo) on a road trip to Baja Sur, Mexico during the winter of 2014/15. I have lived in many places — Florida, California, Alaska, Washington and Oregon, and I spent 5 winters in Nebraska hunting upland game birds with a falcon. While living in Alaska I volunteered at a wild bird rehabilitation and education center, hunted snowshoe hares on snowshoes with a red tail hawk, skijored with my dogs, cross country skied in the winter, and hiked, camped and fished avidly in the ......
I am a retired field botanist, graphic designer, and landscaper who is adventurous, loves to travel and explore new places, especially in the Pacific NW mountains and the deserts of Eastern OR and Northern CA, NV and AZ. I have been to Europe, Australia, China, Mexico, and most recently in spring of 2017 I spent 5 weeks traveling through SE Asia (Thailand, Cambodia and Laos). Prior to that I spent three months (mostly solo) on a road trip to Baja Sur, Mexico during the winter of 2014/15. I have lived in many places — Florida, California, Alaska, Washington and Oregon, and I spent 5 winters in Nebraska hunting upland game birds with a falcon. While living in Alaska I volunteered at a wild bird rehabilitation and education center, hunted snowshoe hares on snowshoes with a red tail hawk, skijored with my dogs, cross country skied in the winter, and hiked, camped and fished avidly in the summer. From 2002 -2012 I owned a ranch in eastern Oregon with a plethora of animals and attendant chores. For the last few years I have been wintering near Tucson, Arizona, and spending my summers in Bend, OR with my son and his family.
I love ALL animals, birds, insects, fish, reptiles and amphibians, and this has been true for me all of my life. As a child growing up I had a variety of pets, from the usual dogs and cats to ducks, rats, mice, hamsters and gerbils, iguanas, turtles, snakes and tropical fish. I’ve rescued squirrels and birds, and handled many small birds, water fowl, and large and small raptors while working for the Bird Treatment and Learning Center in Anchorage, AK. As a ranch owner I cared for 2 horses, a pony, a small herd of Boer goats and Belted Galloway cows, and a large flock of chickens that I raised from chicks. As a falconer I handled and reared large birds of prey, managing their daily training, feeding and care, and transportation when needed, all of the time meeting stringent requirements by State and Federal authorities. Over the years I have had several dogs of my own including hunting and herding dogs, a few cats, and exotic birds (cockatiel, parakeets, blue crowned Conure). I have handled African grey parrots and Macaws, Bald eagles, numerous hawk species, Gyr and Peregrine falcons, American kestrels, Merlins and numerous owl species.
As an experienced former home and ranch owner I understand how important it is to maintain and manage a place in an orderly fashion, to be responsible in electricity and water usage, to keep a home clean and sanitary, yet livable and comfortable. I know how difficult it can be to find responsible, dependable and conscientious house/pet sitters, especially when you have difficult to manage animals, older pets, or ones with handicaps/infirmities. I always knew that whomever was house sitting for me wasn’t going to take care of my animals the way I take care of them, but I wanted to find someone who was at least going to try! Friends and neighbors aren’t always available and I wanted someone to be there full time for my “babies” and not just coming in once a day to feed, walk and/or stroke for a few minutes. And, I’ve had to leave my hunting dogs kenneled at commercial facilities several times and that was the worst feeling ever! My philosophy extends the pet to the family, as part of the family. I’ve allowed my dogs and cats on the bed and furniture, but respect a homeowner’s wishes to keep pets off. For the most part, and within reason, animals come first, because they depend on us for everything, and as a house sitter my goal is to make the animals feel secure and as comfortable and happy as possible while their owners are away. I have dealt with separation anxiety and know how easily depressed animals can become when left alone, or during extended time away from owners. I want to be able to reassure the home/pet owners that their pets are getting the best personal and high quality care that is possible, that their pets and home are safe with me, and that any emergency will be handled immediately with integrity, professionalism, and competency. I can follow instructions, and I also have good common sense, am self sufficient and have good mechanical aptitude, carpentry, plumbing, electrical and construction skills. I’m not afraid of the dark or bumps in the night, and I am not prone to drama, gossip or embellishment. I have good work ethics, am well educated, talented and a well rounded person. I keep a very clean house, am a non-smoker, do not drink, except the occasional glass of wine, and I do not use drugs. I prefer to stay home reading, writing, meditating, cocooning in front of the television and cooking in the evenings. I am an avid bird watcher and a self -described naturalist. I walk and exercise daily, and during the summer I am very active hiking, camping, kayaking, rock hounding, botanizing and gardening.
My most recent house and pet sit sitting experiences in 2018 consisted of a 3 day weekend with an active Golden Retriever in Bend, OR. Her care included 2 daily walks, playing fetch, and cuddling in front of the tv at night; 3 days in Bend, OR with 2 large dogs. Their care included daily walks and playing fetch; 7 days during Thanksgiving week in Bend, OR caring for two households, one with 2 cats and a dog, and the other house with a cat and a dog. I stayed at the first house and kept the dog from the second house with me and made daily trips to the other house to feed the cat, change the litter box and make sure “Susie” had plenty of lap time and petting. I walked both dogs together (they are friends and their owners were vacationing together) once a day, and made sure they had lots of love, petting and brushing. Treats were handed out generously and eagerly received! During this week I also walked a friend’s dog 3 times a week while she was out of town.
In July of 2018 I ranch sat in Burns, OR for 10 days, and prior to that for a week in December of 2017. I have ranch sat numerous times at this place over the last 15 years and I am quite comfortable in this environment as I have owned my own ranch, and was employed here as a ranch hand for a few years. At one time the owners had over 300 Boer goats, 6 dogs, several “barn” cats, horses, pigs and llamas, all of which needed daily feeding and managing. Theses days though the goat herd has been replaced with a 20+ cow (with calves) herd, a bull, and there are only 2 dogs, 4 cats, 3 horses and 2 donkeys. I have ranch sat here in the winter and summer, and while the herd of cows and other stock mostly just need checking in the summer, it’s quite different in the winter. Hay has to be distributed twice a day, water tanks checked and occasionally ice has to be chipped out so the animals can drink. While goats were on the ranch I assisted with kidding in the spring (sometimes in adverse weather conditions) as an employee, and occasionally while ranch sitting. Besides assisting with deliveries I also kept the “jug” pens raked cleaned and made ready for the next doe and her newly born kids. If I was ranch sitting during this time some of my other responsibilities included making twice daily rounds to ensure no goats had their heads stuck in the fence, and occasionally herding an escaped animal back into the pasture!