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How home and pet sitting has been rewarding for this Broadstone couple

PUBLISHED: 16:02 09 February 2017

Gavin and Paula Rose on assignment as homesitters

Gavin and Paula Rose on assignment as homesitters

Archant

From nursing hedgehogs to walking dogs, we talk to a couple from Broadstone about how home and pet sitting has been a very rewarding and interesting experience

The New Year is often a time when we think about gaining new experiences – perhaps through a new activity, learning something new or travelling to locations we’ve never visited before.

Retired people, especially those newly retired who often have more time on their hands, are often seeking fresh challenges and ways to spend their time. Trying something new can open up fresh possibilities and offer a break from the usual routine.

The opportunity to become a homesitter ticks many of these boxes. This very rewarding occasional employment gives people the chance to stay in new places and explore new surroundings, whilst taking care of a client’s home, and any pets they have, when they are away.

Paula and Gavin Rose from Broadstone in Dorset, both 51 years old, joined homesitters Ltd, the national pet and home sitting company, over three years ago when they no longer needed to work full time and wanted to try something new.

Paula takes up the story. “We wanted a lifestyle change - to live in different parts of the country and meet new people, we discovered homesitters and it sounded perfect. We love animals and are keen walkers, and being a homesitter involves travel and the new experiences we were looking for.”

Following an interview, the Roses became homesitters and now take on around 12 assignments a year. They usually look after dogs and cats, although they’ve also looked after chickens and a tortoise. But that wasn’t the most unusual request.

On one assignment the couple were asked by their client if they would help out at a hedgehog sanctuary while they were looking after the client’s home and their two dogs and a cat. The job involved feeding rescued hedgehogs that were sick and weighing them to check they were progressing well. “It was a really interesting homesit,” says Paula. “We enjoyed learning to handle and care for the hedgehogs, it’s not often you get to see these little creatures close up and we took great pleasure in helping with their recovery.” Once the hedgehogs recovered they were reintroduced to their natural habitat.

Whilst the couple live in a small bungalow, the places they stay are often far grander. Many of the homes they stay in are surrounded by land or woodlands where they enjoy walking. Sometimes, there are swimming pools or pool tables, so there is always something to do whatever, the weather. And during a stay someone from the homesitters Head Office calls them regularly to check they are happy and comfortable and they can also provide help if required.

Paula recalls one of her favourite homes, “It was like staying in a National Trust property, the gardens were very well kept and there were ponds and statues. It was such a pleasure to stay in that beautiful setting.”

Paula concludes, “We speak to a lot of people about homesitters and how much we enjoy the role, we are always recommending it to other people.”

Want to know more

If you are interested in becoming a homesitter or are interested in booking a homesitter to care for your home and pets while you are away please visit homesitters.co.uk or call 01296 630730.


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