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Stories I

House sitting assignments can be the fertile ground which inspires people (house sitters, pet sitters, home owners and pet owners alike) to write. This collection of stories, articles, poems and blog excerpts is loosely based around what happens when people get together to meet each other’s house sitting needs. Some of our contributors are writers and poets in real life, others have taken the opportunity to self-publish on their own blogsite. If you’d like to get your stuff published too, see Bloggers on Assignment and the FAQs listed under Community Area.

If it looks too good to be true…

Jon & Laurie from Canada wrote to us recently with the following story – we thought it would be great to publish it here.

No getting away from the cost of your pet’s vacation

A nifty piece of journalism by the Guardian’s Miles Brignall reveals how expensive it is to have your pet cared for while you’re away. That is, of course, if you haven’t discovered how to find a free live-in pet sitter through MindMyHouse yet. (But you knew I was going to say that.)

Home, but not alone

Carla wonders how her beloved parrot, Louie, will cope for three weeks with just a daily glimpse of an expensive ‘drop-in’ bird sitter while she’s away. Then Sandy, the Mrs Doubtfire for birds, shows up. But just how good was life with house sitters, Sandy, Chris and her husband, that Louie fell for another man (beside his usual human daddy)?

Note to the house sitters

Occasional house sitter and always poet, David Hernandez, has found ‘the stuff of life’ in a scrawled note from his family, the owners of the house he was sitting. Expect blood on the carpet.

The new barbarians: confessions of a middle-class nomad

Even the middle-class and middle-aged can go wandering looking for themselves on a kind of ‘walkabout’. Jeremy Atiyah’s tale of abandoning the trappings of modern life in the first world may inspire you to bust out of your own confines. Be warned.

Living the country life: our little pony goes to charm school

People who move to the English countryside tend to start an animal collection. Introducing Zoe, the miniature Shetland pony who was being ‘broken in’ while her humans were in a pool in a loaned villa in Tobago. Nice for some! The only person who missed out was Pam the professional house sitter (for the price of a bongo drum).

How I became an international house-sitter

maïa follows her path into an international housesitting lifestyle. She wasn’t seeking the job – it found her. Tag along with this philosopher to learn how the practice of caretaking properties can be more than just a cheap holiday – house sitting can become a route to self-fulfillment.

Putting pen to paper

Associate editor of Sojourner Magazine, Rose Marie Berger, has some lovely things to say about the poignancy of writing letters. ‘Where does house sitting come into it?’ you may ask. I’m only going to say two words: ‘Leghorn’ and ‘chickens’.

Home is where your passport is

Two years of short term housing has left this long term house sitter with ADHD (Attention Deficit and Housing Disorder). The question is: could his current transient lifestyle be worse than living at the airport?

The hoopy housesitter

Alan Sharp wants to be a mate-dad to his three kids. So when his little girl is left alone to house sit for her less stable mother, he can’t help but worry about her. What is it they say about teenagers home alone? Hmmmmmmm.

Beamer go poo-poo!

Craig (the house sitter) is minding his pastor’s dog. Only thing is, Beamer needs to hear a codeword before he can respond to the call of nature while he’s outside. Nobody say ‘Beamer go poo-poo’ because there might be a nasty accident!


More than the northern lights greeted Alaskan artist, Elise Tomlinson, when she got home from a holiday with her folks in Nebraska. Just how good is it to arrive home (to fat cats and a clean house)!

Olympia man’s house sitter coats apartment in foil

I wonder if a house sitting agreement could have saved home owner, Chris Kirk, from the bizarre state of affairs that he arrived home to. But would his house sitter have been foiled by the legally binding document?

How to wrap your friend’s apartment in tin foil: a love story

Companion piece to the Associated Press story of the wacky house sitter who foil-wrapped his friend’s apartment while on house sitting assignment one New Years Eve. Who would have thought! Writer, Rachel Elder, gets the inside story on the whole crazy episode from the house sitter himself. In her words: ‘Meet Lucas Trerice, the earnest Smurf-loving geek and aspiring dentist behind the biggest foil-covered prank of 2004’.

House-sitting – another way to travel – a solo travel report

When your flat is too small to offer as a home exchange, what do you do? Offer your services as a house sitter instead! Solo traveler, Marge Kelley, has had success and ‘un-success’ with her house sitting assignments in England and Canada. Find out how she made house sitting work for her.

Adventures in house-sitting

When the ‘new’ part of the house you’re minding was built circa 1825, the pipes are frozen, the water turned off, and the steam-fed oil furnace is on the blink what can a good friend and house sitter do? Call the nice man to fix the furnace of course! (He’s cute but he reeks of oil.) Luckily for Leslee, heat rises and dogs are warm-blooded mammals (good for snuggling).

A homosexual lady meets the Apostle Paul

He’s vegan, elderly and ailing with a stack of bibles on the table. She’s young, queer and proud and wants to put her underwear in his refrigerator. Then there’s the gay painter…

Bosco dog blog

Bosco always knows when her beloved human, Joan, is leaving home for a while. Sob! But Doris, Martha, Miguel, Roberta and Ellen all have their own ways of making life more bearable for Bosco while Joan is away. Take me to Camp Bosco! (Or just love me at my place).

Coupland (and Pepe’s) diary of a housesitter, part l

One evening, Coupland was asked by Beckett and Bonnie Blue if he’d house sit while they and Sancho Diablo travelled to a far off land to make friends with fishes. Coupland agreed. This is five days in the diary of a housesitter.

Your first day on assignment shouldn’t be this hard!

Coupland (and Pepe’s) diary of a housesitter, parts ll-lV

One evening, Coupland was asked by Beckett and Bonnie Blue if he’d house sit while they and Sancho Diablo travelled to a far off land to make friends with fishes. Coupland agreed. This is five days in the diary of a housesitter.

We’re four days into this roller coaster ride now: Coupland and Pepe start to really bond (like a wife-beater and his gently cowering lady).

Coupland (and Pepe’s) diary of a housesitter, part V

One evening, Coupland was asked by Beckett and Bonnie Blue if he’d house sit while they and Sancho Diablo travelled to a far off land to make friends with fishes. Coupland agreed. This is five days in the diary of a housesitter.

As Coupland prepares to slide back into his normal life, Pepe has a fond farewell gift.