Just a few weeks ago I was staying steps from the Ocean in Marina Del Ray, California - sounds dreamy? Add in two small pups. . . even dreamier!! That's right - I was Pet Sitting Pico & Penny - one elderly and nearly blind pup - who enjoyed snoozing and walks on the beach and the other a spunky little lady up for whatever the day may hold. Both were so sweet and in need of a surrogate parent while theirs were traveling for eight days. So I volunteered myself and my pet parenting services. And it was amazing!! Living in a gorgeous location, with two new furiends. This is the ultimate vacation with free accommodation - in my opinion.
I'm not even sure how I stumbled upon this amazing resource. I was obviously daydreaming about staying in the mountains of California and up popped TrustedHouseSitter.com I had heard about folks that live a somewhat nomadic lifestyle and bounce from home to home. SImply caring for the house, yard, mail, fur-family (if they can't travel) and seemed like a really interesting adventure.
So I signed us up - it's all review based - similar to Airbnb or other services that are exchange based. And we got going. I booked us (the whole family Olive pup included) on a month sit outside of Chicago - right away - with no reviews - just some messages back and forth. And we had an incredible month and cared for Duke - a little pup that was pumped for life (he actually did these little twirly spin/jumps when he got excited which was hard not to laugh out loud each time). His family was traveling Asia for the month and living in a Chicago suburb in the fall was truly a beautiful gift for us.
(Side logistical note : While we are away we rent out our house - so it becomes a source of additional income.)
Then, I did some sits independently - flying in and out of Los Angeles, because, well . . . California. I've stayed with Della a few times in West Hollywood - Two Cats (Thor & Wim) and Two Pups (Jack & Stella) in Atwater Village (see Stella in the picture) While in town I am just seeing friends - taking some classes - but basically just loving on these furbabies and living (reading, writing, hiking) - It's become a very addictive side hobby.
I LOVE to travel + I LOVE everyone's pets. . . . this really works.
Here's another advantage. Time apart is AMAZING for a partnership.
As a business team #twopeepsandapup - my husband and I work together running a Pet Company and that is great. We can be anywhere (a complete gift) allowing us to spend SO much time together. . . traveling together. . . exploring together. . . working together. . . eating together. . . sharing together. . . (I'm feeling suffocated just writing this - just kidding . . . I'm hiding in the bathroom) You can see where this is going. Like with anything there can be too much of a good thing and there are a few obstacles to being constantly together. But I have found that pet sitting and traveling independantly has been a huge help in giving us more space. And you know the saying (occasional) "distance makes the heart grow fonder".
If you're anything like me and love to be traveling - exploring new or familiar areas and making more four-legged friends. Give this a try, there are a variety of sites available but we use Trusted House Sitter. They have international sits as well (if you fancy a few months in France. . . I mean) - and all over the U.S. - it seems more and more folks are trusting the site as their name implies. It is a paid service for both the hosts and the sitters - plus a profile must be completed but after that, you're ready to begin. What a winning way to spend your Vacay. Happy Travels.