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Long haul (10+ nites) sitters - how do you fill the "down" hours?

I'm primarily an overnighter. A good percentage of it in the 10+ night category. I'm curious how others prepare for the longer sit, and what you do with your off time. I live in the hi desert of SoCal so I can usually find a place to hike for an hour near the client's home. And I always carry binoculars on my sits as well to just do backyard wildlife watching. I'm curious how others spend the precious moments we have to ourselves.

5 Replies

Re: Long haul (10+ nites) sitters - how do you fill the "down" hours?

My time is usually divided up into different visits/walks, so that keeps me busy. In between time I just watch tv (regular or Netflix, Hulu, etc.), read on my phone or play games. If the house I’m sitting wants their dog(s) walked I’ll fit that in too. If weather allows, I sit outside with pups as long as they want also. Usually most clients that book long stays with me give me enough leeway to do all of this and even go home if I need to. The only houses I’ve done (so far) where the client didn’t want me to leave at all, have been short stays like a night or two. But I kill time the same ways. I cook sometimes too to kill some time and feed myself


Re: Long haul (10+ nites) sitters - how do you fill the "down" hours?

I believe if the pet parents are paying for you to watch their pets, then ask them what their expectations are and what their normal 24 hour routine is for their dogs or cats.  During doggie sleeping time is a great way to get caught up on reading, or doing personal work from home. I had a sitter while I was gone for a long trip and she worked part time and then did her routines and errands and social engagements and didn't get it that my dogs really love companionship and having someone around the house.  She won't be back. 

Dog fanatic

Re: Long haul (10+ nites) sitters - how do you fill the "down" hours?

Hey 👋 I just completed a 2 week stay with a senior beagle. My boyfriend was with me at about seven every night. He really can cook 👨‍🍳 I enjoyed taking the dog 🐕 for walks, as the house was positioned right next to a golf course. It’s such a wonderful area on the coast of San Francisco, NoCal. It’s chilly out there, and there are coyotes every where; but, that only adds to the adventure.

Dog fanatic

Re: Long haul (10+ nites) sitters - how do you fill the "down" hours?

When I house sit, I basically move into the client home and use that as my base of operations, depending on how far away from my home they live. I always discuss expectations and owner requirements at the M&G. I just follow my normal routine but at their home, not mine. While I am at the client home, I cross stitch, watch TV/Netflix, read, play with the dogs, and work at my online transcription job. I also write cards and letters to military overseas, so a house sit gives me plenty of time without distractions to do that as well.  If the client is close to my home and they give me permission, I will leave during the day to take care of personal business at home, run errands, etc.

Dog fanatic

Re: Long haul (10+ nites) sitters - how do you fill the "down" hours?

I always bring my computer, notebook, or something to do some writing or photo studies. While I  have usually other clients at the time, there have been times I will have a 30 day stay out of state. I try to explore, if possible, in a sense making it a vacation for me. 

But, my best advice is Blog or Vlog your experience doing what you do. Names can be left out, or changed. Get permission from the owners to post pictures. Include the adventures of being a house-sitter. A friend is house-sitting internationally, now and is doing photographic studies of all the places she's been. Castles in Scotland, Villas in Italy, etc., and she uses social media to share the stories and history of the places she goes. 

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