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Dog(s), Cat(s), Chicken(s), Bird(s), Fish, Rabbit(s), Tortoise/Turtle(s), Guinea pig(s), Rodent(s), Pig(s), Goat(s), Reptile(s), Farm animal(s) – Like humans, each animal has its own personality even within the breed. There are nuances and idiosyncrasies in looking after all animals.
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From: 7 July 2023
Until: 31 December 2025
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I am a retired Canadian who is blessed to be a fit, healthy, young senior. I do not smoke and usually limit alcohol consumption to a celebratory type of drink, or maybe a cold beer on a hot day.
I am normally looking for assignments that are greater than a couple of months (exceptions considered). Longer is better if only to offset travel expenses. I am quite flexible as to the type of housesitting and animals that may need my care. Please read on for further details.
House and pet sitting allow me the opportunity to travel affordably while experiencing different cultures and continuing my new career as a fiction writer.
I love cats and dogs and most animals and am delighted to have them in my life, even if only on an irregular basis. They add a measure of comfort and are often welcome companions. Even watching a busy anthill in action can fascinate me. I think we could learn a few things from them.
And I get it when a pet owner attempts, almost as if in desperation, to describe how important it is to them to find the right kind of loving, caring person for their special friend. All pets are a gift.
My duty as a pet-sitter is to do my best to carry those feelings forward as if there is no transition; the pet is never without love, and always feels secure and cared for.
I like to keep things clean and tidy (just ask my sisters - but maybe not my mother). I take pride in maintaining or improving where I live, especially if it's someone else's pride of home. Respect - I give it and I expect it in return.
My experience with pet sitting especially with dogs and cats is quite good, maybe even particularly good. It's worth keeping in mind that it is far more challenging to walk into an environment cold, where the animal doesn't know you than it is to raise an animal from birth or early on. The former takes patience, love, and, sometimes, a bit of courage. The latter depends on who's running the show.
Two sits that come immediately to mind occurred in Edmonton, Canada, not long before I retired. In the first case, there were two Whippets, one a purebred, the other a Doberman mix that I looked after for three weeks. Fascinating dogs that could sprint like your butt was on fire. One time I was walking both of them together, as usual, when the one that had a bit of Doberman in it - muscular legs and blazing fast - saw a grey squirrel go scampering by and went absolutely berserk. He wanted more than anything to give chase and to that end was frantically twisting about, churning his head every which way trying to free himself from his collar. Of course, this set off the other guy as well. So, for a few moments, I must have looked like this giant puppeteer with my arms stretched out fully to my sides with these two madly dancing marionettes whirling about at the end of their leashes. It was interesting watching the instincts kick in.
The other sit was for my good friend and Doctor who also had two dogs. One was a young spaniel, the other an old beagle who was on his last legs but had so much heart. I loved them both dearly. We used to have these evening howling sessions together. It kind of confused the spaniel a bit at first, but the old guy loved it right away and would throw his head back and match me howl for yowl. They were great fun. As in both sits, I always took them for two walks every single day without exception despite being told that I only needed to do so once per day. The simple reason I went more often and for much longer (sometimes as long as 2 hrs) than I was asked was because I loved it. I love animals and they tend to love me which is why I got along with my oldest sister's cat Chutney so well. (See references)
The size and strength of an animal or breed (with exceptions, albeit very few) are of no real consequence. It is always a case of attitude. With any animal, I am always their loving leader. Thinking particularly about the larger dog breeds such as Staffies, Dobermans, and Pits, it is a shame how they have been given, all too often, terrible, and undeserved reputations. It is almost always the owner, not the dog, which causes problems.
Interestingly, the most challenging dogs I have come across were golden retrievers. They are such beautiful dogs. My partner, Gail, and I spent many a weekend at her older sister's country property (twelve acres) where they usually had a dozen or so purebreds on-site with a litter ready for sale worldwide. It was quite the operation. Anyway, I found that breed to require lots of loving attention making them more challenging, in some ways, than the stronger breeds.
Also, while I was looking after a good friend's small dog in British Columbia, Canada, for a month, she introduced me to Cesar Millan (the dog whisperer) via numerous videotapes. Watching those shows many times and applying those techniques to real situations has helped me in my efforts to care for dogs, including fearful or reserved ones.
My Life in a Numbered Short-Story: (Brian Pineault) - April 2019
1. Early years are mostly highlighted by athletic accomplishments with lots of awards and trophies
2. Grade 10 – won extemporaneous speech competition Grades 10 to 13 students – Ottawa, Canada. Won the right to represent St. Pius X High School in the City of Ottawa Championships. As I recall, I did not fare too well, but it was a great experience nevertheless, particularly at that age against much older students
3. Grade 12 NGHS graduation: (1967 – 68, New Glasgow, Nova
a. Won the Grade 12 regional public speech competition
b. Elected High School Valedictorian
c. Male athlete of the year 1968
d. 17-year-old guest speaker at the city’s monthly Rotary Club luncheon (What’s that? Well, it was a bit of a big deal if you’re 17 facing a roomful of businessmen dressed to the nines while having lunch. I had to borrow a sport jacket, and for some reason, despite the free meal, I didn’t have much of an appetite )
e. 1967, Captain, Canadian Maritime Juvenile Hockey Champions
f. I was scouted by the Detroit Red Wings hockey club and invited to their summer training camp, offered a full athletic scholarship to the University of New Hampshire, the USA, and awarded a bursary to Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS (Canadian Universities did not allow athletic scholarships back then, so they hid them under the guise of bursaries for those who were considered both financially needy as well as deemed accomplished athletes)
4. Before I completed my third year at Dalhousie U, I was hired by the Canadian Federal Government as an Air Traffic Controller, Moncton Centre, 1971 – 1981. I achieved the highest level attainable as a journeyman controller in the second busiest Air Traffic Control Centre in the country.
5. I resigned from ATC and moved to Florida. ATC has been described as 90% boredom followed by 10% sheer terror. That’s a reasonably accurate generalization. Because, eventually, I could no longer handle the tedious routine; in fact, the only time I was content was when it was busy.
6. The years in Florida were an exciting adventure that held so much promise. I bought into a trio of businesses with two transplanted locals which included a Restaurant/Bar with the Ramada Inn chain, a transportation company, (an 18-wheeler and two large dump-trucks), and a 26' fishing/pleasure boat. It kept each of us busy for many years. And I loved it. Unfortunately, one of the partners, who was responsible for the finances, a personable fellow originally from Wisconsin, stripped the company of all assets and then disappeared. I went to the restaurant one morning only to find a sheriff’s lock on the door. From there, things got considerably worse — tough lessons.
7. On to the next venture! After the Florida debacle, I decided to get an accounting diploma so that sort of thing could never happen again. So, at age 40, back to college. I did very well again scholastically despite being the old fart in the program. I was an Honour’s student and placed No. 1 in the course (I mean, at that age, what else am I going to do but study?) And for the second time, I was a Valedictorian. A tremendous honour considering my age and the fact that the first time, in High School, I was elected by the graduating classes, but this time I was chosen by the faculty who had no knowledge that I had been a high school valedictorian.
8. Immediately after graduation, I was hired as a payroll auditor for Revenue Canada Taxation allowing for extensive travel opportunities. The travel kept the job interesting.
9. Ten years later, the Government of Canada was going through a major downsizing and was offering several types of buy-out packages. I grabbed this opportunity, retired from Gov’t service for good, nailed a shingle above an office window, and went into private accounting practice, retiring a few years ago.
Although divorced many years ago, the union produced two beautiful daughters, Natalie and Carrie. And, as one of the great gifts in life -despite sometimes forgetting this - Natalie has two teenage children, my grandkids, Daniel and Victoria. Big D, as I call him, is a handsome, cool character and gifted musician on several instruments. Tori is an elegant, gorgeous young lady who also has been gifted with wonderful, creative talents. - this unbiased report has been brought to you by their grandpops.
Nat and her husband Brian and I spent a spectacular day together (Feb 2019) in the jungle near Playa del Carmen, Mexico. What a blast! (Evidence through pics available, but they are not for the faint of heart.)
Both parents are deceased. Elizabeth at 89 and Edmund at 93. (My paternal grandmother lived to 104 years, my Uncle Len to 101, my maternal grandmother 90+)
Three terrific sisters who spoiled me terribly: Sharlene, Barbara, and Kathryn. All four of us were born in July, August, and September confirming that Canadian winters are long and cold. There was also a fifth child in the family, aka, my father. In many ways, I take after him.
And, finally, the usual accumulation of suspects including nephews, nieces, cousins, and other outlaws.
Africa, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burma, Cambodia, Canada, Caribbean, Central South America, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Laos, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Middle East, Moldova, Monaco, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, North East Asia, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South East Asia, South Korea, South Pacific, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vietnam
From: 7 July 2023
Until: 31 December 2025
They don't charge for house sitting services
MindMyHouse member since 2017
Age: 66-75 years old
Family status: Couple
Total completed house sits: 1
Brian was our housesitter for 3 months in Jan-Mar 2020. Brian, first and foremost, is a gentleman. As such, he treated our home and two kitties with the utmost respect. Brian loved our kitties and they soon grew to love him. I could tell by the many numerous photos I'd be sent with Brian covered in a warm and luxurious "cat blanket". And by the many emails describing their adventures. Brian was very reliable and we depended on him to care for our home and kitties in the same way as if we were home. He never disappointed us. He managed a few minor household issues very nicely, after getting our feedback. He made sure to notify me when cat food supplies were low so it could be reordered. Nothing was broken or out of repair when we got home. He always kept in touch with regard to the mail and seeking advice on forwarding anything we required. His linens were washed and placed on the bed in the spare room when he left. Our adult children met him and they had nothing but good things to say about him. They found him quite personable and friendly. Due to COVID-19, our travels were cut short and we were required to return home sooner than expected. Brian was very understanding of our situation and need for self-isolation and did not hesitate to make other arrangements. We both consider Brian a friend and there would be no doubt in our minds that we'd love to have him back should we travel in the future. Thank you for everything Brian.
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