LIGHTLY FLEXIBLE DATES - Active sitter(s) for 1 dog, 6 cats, 3 outdoor cats in northern Italy village
We are seeking an active, independent couple or single to care for our 7 pets (1 medium sized dog, 6 cats) and 3 garden cats in our home in a quiet village in southern Piemonte region, Italy.
**FLEXIBLE DATES** Sit could start/end a few days earlier/later, possibly.
Sitters should plan to arrive the day before start of sit to get to know animals/walking routes etc.
This sit **requires a car**, and we will reimburse sitters up to 200 euro for a rental....
Please be comfortable in a non-English speaking environment (very few people in the village speak English, but everyone makes an effort to communicate!), or speak a little Italian (or be a proficient Google Translate user).
Please plan to return our home to us in the condition in which we hand it over to you (we'll clean it just before you arrive).
Please love dogs *and* cats! and be willing to walk our dog at least 1.5 hours/day. (There are lovely country walks right from our door.)
Please be prepared to offer contact details for references.
Our house is not child-proofed and our dog George is sweet but sometimes nervous; for these reasons this sit is not suitable for children younger than late teens. + More info
Our Home & Location
Our home is two stories, built on a slope. Ground floor (garden/driveway area) enters to 1 bedroom/1 full bath, laundry area with washer/dryer, and office. Staircase leads to on the ground floor, which exits onto street. Here is 1 small bedroom with full bath, sitting room with working fireplace, dining room, small but well-equipped kitchen (NO microwave, NO electric coffee maker), and wrap-around balcony overlooking garden and wooded valley behind the house.
The house is bright, sunny and quiet; though the front entrance is right on the street the rear of the house faces onto woods. WE HAVE NO NO TELEVISION OR CABLE/SATELLITE but Wifi is strong and dependable; we stream TV and download with no problem....
We are convenient to 3 airports: Genoa (45-90 minutes depending on traffic), Milan Malpensa (90 minutes) and Turin (90 minutes).
In our village are two cafe-bars, a small alimentari with fresh produce/small selection of charcuterie and cheeses/milk etc and daily staples, a post office, a pharmacy and a once-weekly produce market. An agriturismo with restaurant (weekends only) is a 20-minutes walk/5-minute drive. 5 minutes by car to a neighbouring village with butcher and nice osteria/bar. 5 minutes in opposite direction to another village with an excellent pastry/bake and sundries shop.
Fifteen minutes to Ovada, a lively town with everything you could possible need: grocery stores, butchers, fishmongers, boutiques, a large twice-weekly outdoor market, restaurants, pizzerie, cafes etc.
Our veterinarian, who speak limited English, is 35 minutes by car and offers emergency service as well as regular visits by appointment.
Please note that our village, while lovely, is quiet at night --- no night life here!
WEATHER: Winter in Piemonte is traditionally foggy, cool, and with rain. Last year over this time period we had a mixture of sun/daytime highs in the low 20s celsius, a little fog, and a bit of snow. + More info
Responsibilities & Pets
Our 5 year-old dog George is active and needs plenty of walking -- we usually do 1.5-2 hours in the morning and another 30 minutes in the late afternoon/evening. We'd like him to have 1.5 hours outdoors daily *at a minimum*, though sitters are free to vary the timing to suit their own schedules. As long as he is out twice a day (with another quick step outside before bed to pee) we're fine with it.
Walks are right from our front door (we track walks on the Strava app), and mostly off-road. We walk him on-leash in some spots, off-leash in others. Pet sitters who feel more comfortable with him on-leash are welcome to go with their instinct. George is not a runner, but he doesn't seem to mind being on leash....
We feed him a combination of kibble and canned wet food.
The cats are indoor-outdoor, though much less outdoor in cold weather. They eat dry food, which is always kept out for them. Only one of the cats is allowed in our bedroom and this needs to be maintained. He loves to sleep with whomever is in the bed.
We have three garden cats. They need to be fed twice a day and their bedding tended to (to make sure they will keep warm at night). We are evaluating bringing them in at night during the winter, to be decided.
Sitters will need to restock any pet foods that may run out, though we can most likely manage to be fully stocked enough to see you through the sit. Also to bring in the mail and alert us if we receive anything that looks like it should be opened.
Our landlord lives about 2 hours away, but is responsible and responsive to issues that might arise in the house (it is over 200 years old so issues do indeed arise on occasion). He does not speak English but we have managed to communicate with him through Google Translate.
George the dog sleeps in our bedroom with us, on his own bed on the floor next to ours. One of the cats (and only one) sleeps on the bed with us and is very affectionate. Please give this sit a pass if you don't want pets in your room at night. Thank you. + More info