Housesitting in Beautiful Dorset
My husband and I are retired and live in beautiful northern Dorset, a designated area of outstanding natural beauty, between Ashmore and Fontmell Magna both about 11/2 to 2 miles away. We live in a group of 3 houses and a farm in a wooded area within a short walk to the Downs. The nearest shop cum post office is in Fontmell Magna, the nearest small towns are Shaftesbury, Gillingham and Tisbury. About 50 minutes away is the cathedral city of Salisbury and Dorchester. The coast is around 40 mins away where we have the wonderful Studland beach and the sea-side towns of Poole and Bournemouth. We are blessed with a huge variety of country walks and fabulous scenery.
We spend our winter skiing, well about 3 months of it, in Canada. Due to the length of time away we wouldn’t put our cat and dog in kennels. We have had a wonderful house sitter up until now, a really lovely woman, whom the animals adore. She also cleans for us and would continue to come in once a week to clean during our absence throughout the winter. Any weeks she is away I would pay the house sitter the equivalent wage. She is totally familiar with the house, the area and all things related to the house, so is a mine of useful help and information....
Freddy is an Italian rescue dog, who is about 7 years old and a darling. He goes to agility once a week to socialise with lots of other dogs and to have something to do which engages his brain. He needs a good long daily walk, which is the highlight of his day. He then spends much time relaxing and sleeping and checking out our little bit of woodland and the garden. Joey the Burmese cat sees himself as ‘top dog’ and likes to be acknowledged as such. He has about 3 small meals a day now - he is 14, but having a cat flap and access to the garden all day (he sleeps in at night) he does not require much effort. We also feed the garden birds and a family of hedgehogs.
Whoever comes here should love animals and be willing to give them loving and responsible care during their time here. They can be left for short periods of time, but never more than 4 hours and preferably much less than that on any regular basis. Joey is fine as long as there is a supply of food, and Freddy enjoys going out for lunch etc and behaves well. He can not be left in the car or tied up outside shops due to the number of dog thefts in this country. We would always be contactable via the phone or email, bearing in mind there is an 8 hour time change.
It is quite a long period of time that we are away and our place in Canada is a one hour flight from Vancouver + car journey on top of that, so we would ask please for as firm a commitment as possible for the time period.
We would be only too willing to discuss via the phone, FaceTime or in person anything you should wish to know. References we are able to follow up are vital as well. + More info
Our Home & Location
Your bedroom here would be a double room with a queen size bed and small ensuite bathroom with shower. There is a bath available in another bathroom if baths are preferred. There is a television in the sitting room with Sky TV and Netflix etc. We have full central heating, the windows are double glazed and there is a fire place in the sitting room. There is an AGA in the kitchen which is always left on, as well as a normal oven and hob, a microwave and all the usual amenities. My old Subaru car may be used for dog walking and general use.
From here one can visit the Jurassic coast and the beautiful beaches. Stonehenge is about 45 mins away as is Salisbury. Other attractions are Monkey World, Longleat Safari Park, The Tank Museum and the ruin of Corfe Castle. There is a theatre in Salisbury and cinema as well as the famous cathedral and many shops.
Responsibilities & Pets
Our prime concern is the welfare of our dog Freddy and Joey the cat. They will need love, attention and time spent on them every day. Freddy needs a good daily walk of about 11/4 to 11/2 hrs a day and hopefully visits to Dog School where he does agility once a week. Joey the cat needs regular feeding and attention, but being a cat it is at his discretion ! We would also hope that the house would be well treated in our absence.
The house will be cleaned once a week for 5 hours, so housework should be minimal. Our lovely cleaning lady would probably be willing to come in for an occassional day if an excursion were planned, but this would have to be by arrangement well in advance. We would be willing to pay for this. Unless our cleaning lady is here the animals should not be left on their own for any length of time and never throughout the night. The maximum time Freddy can be left is 4 hours and then not often. Being a rescue dog he does need to feel secure....
We'd much like our housesitter to feed the garden birds and hedgehogs.
Our nearest village and the one we feel most connected to is Ashmore about 11/2 miles away, as my husand lived there prior to our marriage. It is very picturesque and has a dew pond and old Church. The people in Ashmore a delightful and friendly. It is the highest village in Dorset.
We would hope that our housesitter would come at least two days before our departure to familiarise themself with the house, the area and last but certainly not least the animals. + More info