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Our First House Sitting Assignment

Having registered with a couple of the major house sitting websites in February, we secured our first house and pet sitting assigment just a few weeks later in mid-March. The house was a beautiful converted mill set in four acres of gardens close to the Cornish Coastal path. What a stunning house and glorious location it turned out to be!

More challenging were the additional tasks of dog sitting a 10 week old Pointer puppy and looking after a dozen chickens, even more crazy ducks and four stroppy geese. The homeowner told us it used to be six geese but one was eaten at Christmas whilst the other was safely tucked up in the freezer awaiting its ultimate fate. In the hour and a half before departure, the laid-back homeowner quickly ran through the feeding/watering routines for the various animals, how to clear the drains in the three ponds to avoid flooding, how to herd the poultry back into their enclosure at nights, how to set the electric fence to protect them from foxes and then drove off leaving us to it.

Despite the puppy learning the hard way not to pee on an electric fence (a shocking experience all round) and the geese launching formation attacks on Lynn each time she entered their enclosure to clear out the drain in their pond, we had a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining time. Lynn, who is a bit of 'townie', eventually learned how to face down the geese who then lost interest once they realised she was no longer scared of them. Taking the bucket of feed out in the early evening is one of life's more entertaning duties. I defy anyone to not laugh aloud while watching a comical gaggle of free-range geese, ducks and chickens, with very different lengths of leg, race each other back to the enclosure, furiously pecking at whomsoever has the temerity to overtake, even if the act of pecking causes them to lose their position near the front.

It was a stunning introduction to house sitting, dog sitting and pet sitting for us and, to top it all, we have been asked back for a month in September. Can't wait!!!

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