We love reminiscing about the unbelievable house sits we’ve completed over the years, as it helps us appreciate how much we’ve learned and makes us grateful that we get to call this crazy lifestyle our full time job! We also love sharing our experiences to help others understand just what goes into pet sitting, and some of the more unusual responsibilities we’ve had with the hundreds of animals we’ve cared for! If you missed Part One of our craziest pet sits, check it out for more tales from our wildest experiences.

A chatty parrot in Harrogate

Looking back on videos from our time with Murphy the African Grey still brings a big smile to our faces, three years on! His owners had taught him an extensive list of phrases and songs and he spent his days whistling the Great Escape theme tune or mimicking sounds on the radio, and could perfectly replicate the electronic Apple sound when we’d say ‘Hey Siri!’. Each evening when we bid him ‘Good night’ he would respond in turn with ‘Night night, see you in the morning!’. We learned on this house sit that African Greys mimic sounds, not words, and it was equally eery as it was incredible to hear him speak to us in the exact Northern accent of his owner!

Croft life in the Scottish Highlands

Our second ever pet sit, back in 2018, saw us caring for English Shepherds Geo and Trix as well as 5 outdoor cats on a sprawling croft near Lochinver. The pets themselves were not what made this an unusual house sit, but croft life itself – watching the sun rise and set over the surrounding mountains, having high wind, snow and hail whip through the valley and around our cabin home all in the space of a few minutes, made it an unforgettable experience. We’d spend our days roaming the croft with the dogs, keeping an eye out for any of the cats, who spent all day outside but magically appeared at dinner time… We saw wild deer running in their herd, scaling the steep hills and mountains, and at night we stargazed in the pure black sky, with no light pollution anywhere to be seen. We’re so grateful for the cosy days we spent there – it was a dip into a truly unique lifestyle that we haven’t managed to replicate at any house sit since!

Donkey twins in Winchester

Throughout the first couple of years on our pet sitting journey, we sought out as many unusual pet sits as we could in order to quickly gain care experience with a variety of animals. At a farm in Winchester, while also caring for dogs, a horse and chickens, we looked after donkey siblings Itchy and Scratchy! We loved visiting them each morning and evening across the yard, hearing their excitable braying when we came to give them their food. They were both so sweet, not moving a muscle as we brushed them both and carried out our cleaning duties in their stable. As our stay with them coincided with a rainy week in March, they weren’t allowed out onto the field as donkeys are susceptible to infections when their hooves get too wet. Itchy and Scratchy didn’t seem to mind though, and were always very friendly with us – especially when we brought them a carrot or two!

A menagerie in Yeovil

The largest amount of pets we’ve looked after at any house sit, 2021 saw us at a farm cottage caring for 10 different kinds of animals! In our care were 5 dogs, 6 cats, 2 rabbits, 2 ponies, chickens, geese, quails, doves, peacocks and cockatiels! Our daily routine was a packed one, including responsibilities like letting out birds, checking for eggs, feeding everyone, topping up all the water bowls and troughs, checking on the ponies, walking the dogs 3 times, cleaning out litter trays, playtime with the house pets, and repeating all feeding tasks for the evening before shutting in the birds and dogs at bed time. To say this house sit was a handful is an understatement and although we love our job, it was this extensive list of responsibilities that prompted us to write a post about why you should get a live-in house sitter for your pets while you’re away! As it was, the arrangement was perfect as each animal was able to stay in their own routine, in the environment they called home.

Miniature ponies in Ystragynlais

We love spending time in the Welsh countryside, and at this house sit in a tiny, peaceful village we had the pleasure of looking after 5 sheep, 4 ducks, and 2 Shetland ponies! We quickly settled into our routine of letting out and feeding everyone, and all the pets were incredibly sweet-natured. The ducks would come and peck on our front door in the afternoon in the hopes of scoring some bread, which always made us smile! However, it was Blaze and Billy who really stole the show. From day one they let us feed them by hand as we scooped the last few bits of hay and food from their buckets to make sure they got every last morsel. They’d excitedly trot to us when they saw us approaching their field, staying close as we topped up their water and picked their yard. We felt very lucky to form such a close bond with them during our short stay!

Lakeside cabin life in Sweden

Another pet sit where the lifestyle made this stay an unforgettable one! In the January of 2020 (way before we could even fathom a global travel ban…) we spent a week just outside Stockholm caring for elderly Westie Jackson and his two kitty cat roommates, Felix and Tiana. Our stay began by ringing in the new year at a public concert in the city, before heading to our home for the week the next day. Situated in a quiet residential estate overlooking a nature reserve, our days were filled with leisurely walkies with Jackson through the woodland around the large lake, breathing in the fresh Winter air and appreciating the beautiful scenery all around us. Halfway through our stay the temperature dropped so low that the lake partially froze, and we loved to sit by the water’s edge listening to the quiet crackling sounds of gentle ripples breaking apart the ice on the surface. When snow began to fall we headed home to cosy up with Felix and Tiana, with a sleepy Jackson curled up by our feet.

A Great Dane and a Chihuahua in Malmesbury

The definition of little and large, we gave lots of passers-by a chuckle as we went on our daily countryside walkies with Duchess and Poppy. The pair each thought they were the size of the other, with Duchess the Great Dane loving nothing more than turning around and backing up into our laps for a leg-crushing snuggle on the sofa at home, while her house mate Poppy, the Chihuahua, was as fearless as a dog ten times her size. Poppy would tease Duchess, nipping her ears or legs in an attempt to get Duchess to play, while all it took was a lazy swipe from her ginormous paw for Duchess to send Poppy away. Duchess was a real gentle giant, and while she might have looked intimidating as she vaulted fences and stiles with ease, her and Poppy were thick as thieves and we loved our time with them equally. And our legs did recover from the cuddles eventually…

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