Honest, Professional, Caring House Sitting Couple

We are recently re-married after 20 years apart. Jim lived in Australia for those 20 years, while Shelly lived in Denver, Colorado, USA. We remained friends all that time and late in 2016, we realised that we had made a mistake: some people cannot remember why they got married; we could not remember why they got divorced. When you realise you have made a mistake, you fix it.

We have now to Australia (October 2017) and want to see as much of the country, and the world, as we can before we choose a place to settle. House sitting seems the perfect way to both do that and contribute to others.

People looking for house sitters need to be able to leave their home, their possessions, and, frequently, their beloved pets, with someone honest, reliable, responsible, and conscientious.

We are that!

Both of us have owned homes, both together and with other partners while apart. We both grew up with pets, mostly dogs and cats, and Jim, with four brothers and a sister also had: hamsters, gerbils, white mice, ducks, frogs, and rabbits as pets in the family home. And most importantly, both have had long successful careers that have shown them to be honest, reliable, hard-working, and people who get along well with people. Shelly has done years of volunteering at rescue shelters for both dogs and cats and is really good with pets that have special needs. Jim is excellent with dogs, loving walking them, and if requested, training them or helping them to break bad habits.

We can provide references, identity documents, police clearances, and additional information as required so you are completely comfortable leaving your home in our capable hands.

Send us a note and let us know what you need. We look forward to hearing from you.

Jim and Shelly Vincent

House Sitting Assignments

Completed House Sitting Assignments

Location
Cobaw Shoot, Pastoral East, Victoria
Dates
20 October 2017 to 25 November 2017
Description
The location is a 700 acre sheep farm, with a main home and two cottages, one under renovation. For the first 10 days, we stayed in the cottage, called the “Shoot Room”. It was a nice place with two bedrooms, a living room with a wood-burning stove and a compact kitchen. We then moved to the main house, the “Hill House”. This is a modern two-bedroom home, with a large lounge room with eating area, and a separate large dining room. There was a fireplace in the lounge and a wood-burning furnace in the utility room. There was a modern kitchen.

 

 

 

The nearest town is Kyneton, about 25 kilometres away. The nearest large town is Bendigo, about an hour away.

Animals
There was a nine-year-old dog, Maurice who was partially deaf. He loved to go out in the mornings and evenings, we said, to chase the kangaroos.

There were three sheep who were recently shorn. For the first two weeks, because of the cool weather, they needed to be put into the barn at night and let out to graze in the morning.

There were about 60 partridges. When we first arrived, they were all in an outside coop. But they were entering the laying/breeding season and needed to be put in separate pens so the eggs could be collected and prepared for incubation. This entailed catching them, determining the gender and moving them to four converted horse stalls that served as the laying pens.

There were also kangaroos, wallabies, echidna, and wombats on the land, as well as a large number of native parrots and other birds.

Duties
In addition to keeping the house neat and house plants healthy:

  • Feed Maurice morning and night
  • Let Maurice out in the morning and evening
  • Take the sheep in at night (first two weeks)
  • Make sure the sheep have water
  • Feed and water the partridges once a day
  • Check for sick or injured birds and separate any found
  • Prepare antibiotics for flock for one week when sick bird found
  • Collect the eggs once a day
  • Prepare the eggs for incubation morning and night
  • Use the tractor to slash the grass paddocks (about 20 acres total)
  • Collect firewood for the furnace
Location
Golden Bay, Western Australia, a small town about an hour south of Perth.
Dates
1 December 2017 to 26 January 2017
Description
The location is a three-bedroom suburban home in Golden Bay, about an hour south of Perth and 20 minutes north of Mandura. It had an open kitchen, dining, lounge room plan, a covered fenced veranda and a small backyard with some children’s play equipment – a swing set and a trampoline.

 

 

There was a small raised garden with mostly herbs and small vegetables. There were several potted plants, a small grass lawn, and a perimeter garden with fruit trees, succulents and some additional herbs. The perimeter garden and lawn were watered with a timed watering system. The potted plants and raised garden needed to be hand-watered.

The nearest village is Golden Bay, about 2 kilometres away. The nearest town is Secret Harbour, about 15 minutes away. The nearest large town was Rockingham, about 30 minutes away. And Perth was an hour away both by car and train.

Animals
There were two dogs and a cat. One of the dogs was blind but did not seem to be limited by that. He went on walks, could be taken off the lead in the park, knew his way around the house, etc. The other dog was a young Staffie who was a bit wild – pulled hard on the lead when walking and was prone to barking, for example – and needed a bit of training.

There was a calico cat who came and went as she pleased.

Duties
In addition to keeping the house neat and house plants healthy:

  • Feed the dogs and cat morning and night
  • Two-a-day walks for both dogs
  • Train Cosi to not pull on the lead and not bark
  • Water the raised garden
  • Mow the small back lawn
  • Collect the mail and packages from the post
Location
Springfield, Western Australia, near Port Dennison.
Dates
26 January 2017 to 28 February 2018
Description
The location is a quail farm, with several bird pens. There were one duck pen, three chicken pens and seven quail pens. The house was simple, with two bedrooms, a lounge room, a kitchen separated from the dining room by a cupboard with food prep countertop.

 

 

There were also two outbuildings, an equipment shed which held the stock of bird feed, and a large barnlike building with a poolroom, a large sewing room with quail brood pens, and a large garage with quad bikes, mowers, etc.

The nearest town is Port Dennison, about 10 kilometres away. Dongara is a further five kilometres. The nearest large town is Geraldton, about an hour away. The location is about five hours north of Perth.

Animals
The major assignment was caring for the approximately 30 quails. The quail eggs were collected and pickled. The owners sell the pickled eggs locally. Thus, it was important to keep the quails healthy and the eggs collected. The quail were contained in seven pens, one having the seven cocks, one having three first generation (older) hens, and the other five having seven to ten second generation (younger) hens each.

There were three pens of chickens. One pen had the current laying hens (approximately 10 birds) and two pens of younger, not yet laying, hens (approximately 12 birds each). The pens each had a brood shelter and an enclosed open-air fenced area.

There was one pen of approximately 40 ducks. About half of the ducks were the first generation, with the rest the second (younger) generation. The ducks were let out each morning to graze in the yard and paddocks during the day. They were then let back into the pen each early evening.

Duties
In addition to keeping the house neat and house plants healthy:

  • Ducks
    • Let them out each morning
    • Check for hurt or sick birds
    • Collect any eggs (rare)
    • Put them back into the pen in the late afternoon / early evening
    • Feed dried wheat each evening
    • Change their “pond” (a converted bathtub) each fortnight
  • Chickens
    • Collect eggs each afternoon
    • Feed each pen fresh greens cut from the garden each afternoon
    • Check for sick or injured birds each day
    • Make sure the watering system is active
    • Make sure the feed buckets are full
  • Quail
    • Collect eggs each afternoon
    • Refresh feed and water each day
    • Check for sick or injured birds and separate as necessary
    • Clean the cages (replace the 1-2 cm sand base) each fortnight
    • Prepare the eggs for pickling (hard boil and peel)
  • Garden
    • Water twice a day
    • Collect tomatoes, giving any damaged fruit to the chickens
    • Collect chillies and save for the pickling process
    • Cut silverbeet leaves and feed to the chickens
Location
Maylands, Western Australia, an Eastern suburb of Perth.
Dates
3 March 2017 to 11 April 2018
Description
The location is a two-bedroom suburban home with a dog and a cat. The home is a short five-minute walk to Maylands and from the Maylands train station, five stops to the Perth CBD.

 

 

The home has two bedrooms, a lounge room, an office, a bath and a kitchen. The yard is enclosed with a large mango tree and many plants, about equally divided between those on an automatic watering system and those needing hand-watering.

There is a young Staffie, and a Blue Russian cat.

Animals
The major assignment was caring for the approximately 30 quails. The quail eggs were collected and pickled. The owners sell the pickled eggs locally. Thus, it was important to keep the quails healthy and the eggs collected. The quail were contained in seven pens, one having the seven cocks, one having three first generation (older) hens, and the other five having seven to ten second generation (younger) hens each.

There were three pens of chickens. One pen had the current laying hens (approximately 10 birds) and two pens of younger, not yet laying, hens (approximately 12 birds each). The pens each had a brood shelter and an enclosed open-air fenced area.

There was one pen of approximately 40 ducks. About half of the ducks were the first generation, with the rest the second (younger) generation. The ducks were let out each morning to graze in the yard and paddocks during the day. They were then let back into the pen each early evening.

Duties
In addition to keeping the house neat and house plants healthy:

  • Two-a-day walks (up to 45-60 minutes each) walks for the dog
  • Feed the dog morning and night with required medications
  • Feed the cat in the morning and night
  • Play and cuddle both animals
  • Allow the animals to sleep on the bed with us
  • Water the plants needing hand-watering and check the automatic watering system

Future House Sitting Assignments

Location
Bozeat, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
Dates
2 November 2018 to 18 November 2018
Description
The location is a 3 storey townhouse, with 3 bedrooms, one of which is the dog’s room, one spare and the top floor is the main bedroom and en-suite. The cats at the moment tend to spend most their time in this room but we are hoping that they will start to integrate! Bozeat is a lovely village with a great local pub. It has a local shop also, and the main towns close by are Wellingborough and Olney, then Northampton and Milton Keynes are about 20 and 30 minutes away, respectively. It has a good few fields to walk them on. Silverstone is close by if you’re a fan of the Grand Prix! There is a small garden with a patio and furniture, and a shed with a new gas BBQ.
Animals

The cats are shy but like attention, and feeding! They are 12 years old this year. Eddie and Rosie will both be 3 this year, and we are looking for some special person/people to give them love, attention, food and exercise. Eddie has 3 legs!! He is a terrier cross from Romania, and Rosie is a pointer cross from Cyprus. They are loving and friendly, and playful. They are also crate trained to sleep at night and when we work. They are happy running around and playing with each other, Eddie has no limits really!

  • Cat(s): Ollie is 11 years old, Cooper is 11 years old
  • Dog(s): Rosie B is 3 years old (Mix-breed), Eddie is 3 years old (Mix-breed)
Duties
In addition to keeping the house neat and house plants healthy:

  • Pets
    • Walk the dogs each day
    • Feed and give attention
Location
Kettering, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
Dates
219November 2018 to 20 December 2018
Description
The house sits in the unspoilt countryside about 1.5 miles from a village which contains an open-every-day shop, doctors’ surgery, pubs etc. The area is quiet and beautiful. We are opposite an old country house and have only four other neighbours.

The nearest town is Oundle, ten minutes away, a picturesque market town with supermarkets and a range of shops including two butchers, a wine merchant, pharmacies and so on. Kettering (30 minutes) and Peterborough both have train stations from where you can travel to London (1 hour) and the rest of the country. You will need a car as we are in a rural location.

Animals

One cat, six chickens and six alpaca.

Duties
In addition to keeping the house neat and house plants healthy:

  • Cats (2)
    • Feed as needed
  • Dogs (2)
    • Feed
    • Walk twice a day
  • Chickens
    • Feed and water
    • Collect eggs
  • Alpaca
    • Feed and hay daily
    • Water
  • All animals
    • Attention and care as needed
Location
Rosyth, Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom
Dates
21 December 2018 to 1 January 2019
Description
Rosyth is a town on the Firth of Forth, three miles south of the centre of Dunfermline. According to an estimate taken in 2010, the town has a population of 12,850.
Animals

To feed and take care of Abbey, the cat. She has an auto-immune disease which is triggered by stress so we have to be careful with her care. Otherwise she’s a very healthy happy cat. She is a fussy eater so her food intake does need to be monitored but full instructions will be given. She’s really not hard to take care off, she just needs some tender loving care.

Duties
In addition to keeping the house neat and house plants healthy:

  • Cat
    • Feed and give attention
    • Keep stress-free
    • Prepare and administer any medications

House Sitting Profiles

We are active members of several house-sitting websites. You are welcome to visit there to see the information there. Much of the material is duplicated on the sites, but some are unique. Of particular interest may by the testimonials there as each of the sites has its own particular way to handle references from others. While we have put the references on this page, you may wish to see them in their “pure” form.

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