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Sitter available

Experienced, reliable and responsive pet, plant and house sitter back after pandemic hiatus

United States

Testimonials

They have 6 testimonials (view below)

Pet experience

Dog(s), Cat(s), Chicken(s), Bird(s), Fish, Rabbit(s), Tortoise/Turtle(s), Guinea pig(s), Rodent(s), Reptile(s), Farm animal(s), Other animal(s) – In occassions, I take pitures and make short videos for the owners of the pets I take care of.

Police check

They have a police check

Availability

From: 28 May 2024
Until: 31 July 2025

Occupation

Not stated

References

They have referees/references (view below)

About this sitter

My name is Laura, but people sometimes call me simply "Elle" or "L". I split most of my time between the vibrant Big Apple, and the slightly quieter atmosphere of Berlin, both fascinating cities, with bustling cultural scenes, a love for furry companions and, surprisingly, also abundant wildlife!

I've been an on-and-off house and pet sitter since 2009, with memberships in two different pet sitting websites, but most connections acquired by word of mouth. Unfortunately because I did not renew my memberships since the start of the pandemic, my profile and references have not been saved in either site, with a few exceptions here, retrieved with the help of the webmaster.

I have just re-joined Mind-My-House today, and I will be posting pictures, as well as references, when I can take time to retrieve screenshots of past testimonials and references from the past in this site. Just be aware that, while my account appears to be new, I was an active member from 2013 to 2020, if I remember correctly.

I'm excited to be back to Mind My House!.

I love animals. Ironically, my concern and love for them is what prevented me from becoming a veterinarian or a biologist, two noble professions which, however, implied being in close contact with them at their most vulnerable, and I was not sure that I could do that for a living. Instead, I got a graduate degree in psychology, but most of my working career has been spent in my second profession, as a legal and medical interpreter and translator.

Currently, I'm immersed in my dissertation and a film project for a new Master’s degree in visual anthropology, media and documentary practices, in addition to my work as a language access provider for LEPs.

Through my life, I have cared for a variety of animal companions as well as wildlife that are permanently, or temporarily, housed in sanctuaries and rehab shelters.

I grew up with dogs, cats, hamsters, turtles and silk-worms. Altogether with literature, learning to care for them, observing them, loving them and being loved by them, was one of the fundamental experiences that shaped my life, believes and world-view.

As a pet sitter, and a wildlife rehab volunteer, I have helped with rabbits, hamsters, dogs, cats, ducks, geese, chicken (right in the center of Brooklyn!), turtles, fish, snakes, poisoned frogs, squirrels (including a flying squirrel), raccoons, parakeets, pigeons and other small birds, and also, a variety of plants and gardens… ah! and an Airbnb. (see below)

I have experience with animals with special needs. I have injected insulin in cats and dogs, applied eye drops and cleaned injured eyes, tended to traumatized dogs with three legs, or who needed to stick to particular routines (such as being placed into a soothing pressure blanket at certain moments), removed ticks, treated for fleas, strengthened and splinted broken limbs and wings, removed hooks.

I have volunteered to walk rescued sheltered dogs in the heart of NYC, and, most recently, at the "Rendezvous mit Tiere, Pro Animale", in the Berlin and Brandenburg area. In the latest, I have often helped clean the barns and lay new hey for rescued cows, ponies and horses (and a llama too!) and contributed to the enrichment and habituation of feral rescued cats to humans, for prospective adoptions.

In 2014, I volunteered for two months at a wild-life refuge in Aspen Valley, Ontario Canada, rehabilitating mostly squirrels, raccoons, and other small wild mammals.

While I embark on house sitting adventures solo most times, occasionally, my husband—a mathematical researcher—joins me. (This is always discussed and arranged in advance with the home/pet owners, of course!). We are both in our mid 40’s.

The preservation of the environment and green spaces has been our major concern over the years, even if that is neither of our main fields of work. We're both passionate about finding ways to reduce our carbon footprint in everything we do, and in our choices as consumers. We are both non-smokers, and vegetarians (eat the random egg and yogurt), and plan our commutes and long-distance trips by bike or public transportation whenever possible. We strive to avoid intra-continental flights and usually manage well with trains and buses. We only take transcontinental flights when there is no other choice.

We do not own cars, but we both have driver licenses (mine from New York, his from Germany) and can drive stick, if needed. I also have a bit of experience driving the "British way", as I did so in New Zealand and Australia.

We do not have children, and, unfortunately, at the moment we do not have pets either, because we spend a lot of time away from home. We do have, however, numerous houseplants, and seasonally, a kleine garten, where we grow veggies and wildflowers, and we might at times need a house and garden sitter as well.

We are quiet and find solace in nature and books. We love hiking (that’s how we met), swimming and diving, and we are good with handy-work and DIYs. My husband is also an amazing carpenter, who learned the trade when he was young, before he started the University.

I speak English, Spanish and French fluently, as well as a little bit of Italian and Indonesian and a tiny bit of German. My husband is a native German speaker, who is also fluent in English, and manages pretty well in Spanish and Portuguese.

I lived in Jersey City for almost 15 years and, in New York, I have worked in 4 of the five boroughs, so I know both cities on either side of the Hudson River as the palm of my hand. I have also lived in Argentina (where I was born) and Germany, and for shorter periods of time, in Belgium, Portugal and Indonesia.

Living in NYC can be a challenge with the sky-high housing prices, and because I spend a lot of time away, it currently does not make sense for me to have a place just to myself, therefore I share a very small space with a friend in the Upper West side when I am in the City, (whose cats, of course, I watch when they are away on business).

Nonetheless, I prefer my independence, so I often house sit in NYC and NJ. This also gives me the opportunity to spend some time with animals I otherwise would not be able to, due to my semi-nomadic lifestyle.

Countries I have pet and house-sat include the United States (New York - Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Ithaca, Utica, New Jersey, 28 times), Belgium (Brussels), Spain (4 times), France, Germany (Nuremberg and Berlin), New Zealand, Argentina (5 times), Chile, Canada, Singapore.

From February to September 2022, I was a volunteer at the Berlin Hauptbanhoff, helping refugees coming from Ukraine right off the trains, with the essentials, including access to housing, food, and medical attention. I also spent a lot of time tending to their animal companions, and cats and dogs which were brought across the border in rescue missions by courageous volunteers (as a volunteer with Tiere Hilfe Berlin).

As a long distance thru-hiker, I have spent several weeks and months hiking and climbing by myself (or with a partner or close friend) and I am used to living with the essentials: my tent and my backpack being my home, and my boots and two feet, my best and greener, mean of transportation. Therefore, living-off-the-grid and off-the-beaten-path is not an issue.

With us, your beloved pets and cherished spaces will be in safe hands while you're away.

I am looking for a SAFE and CLEAN, cigarette-free environment.

Pictures and references to be uploaded soon!

Why they want to house sit

I love animals. I considered getting a degree in Biology right out of high school, but I felt uneasy with the type of manipulations over animals needed to pursue that career path. Birute Galdikas, Diane Fossey and Jeane Goodall were my idols growing up, as well as ethologist Konrad Lorenz and marine biologist Jacques Cousteau. I daydreamed of traveling to far-flung places to study and provide care for animals and protect their ecosystems.

Things did not happen that way, but I have created my own personal version of that dream as life opened in a different direction.

I also love traveling. I grew up with the National Geographic Specials, the Globe Trekkers (with Megan McCormick), and the Great Railway Journeys in the 80's and 90's.

All these experiences caring for animals, visions of distant lands, and desires inspired my dreams. And what could be better than combining them? House and Pet sitting allowed me to do a bit of both.

House sitting we can visit places and live like "locals" and get to have a "pet" for a duration of our stay.

Their experience

I grew up with dogs, cats, hamsters, turtles and silk-worms.

Learning to care for them, observing them, loving them and being loved by them, was one of the fundamental experiences that shaped my life, believes and world-view.

As a pet sitter, and a wildlife rehab volunteer, I have helped with rabbits, hamsters, dogs, cats, ducks, geese, chicken (right in the center of Brooklyn!), turtles, fish, snakes, poisoned frogs, squirrels (including a flying squirrel), raccoons, parakeets, pigeons and other small birds, and also, a variety of plants and gardens… ah! and an Airbnb.

I have some experience with animals with special needs. I have injected insulin in cats and dogs, applied eye drops and cleaned injured eyes, tended to traumatized dogs with three legs, or who needed to stick to particular routines (such as being placed into a soothing pressure blanket at certain moments), removed ticks, treated for fleas, strengthened and splinted broken limbs and wings, removed hooks.

I have volunteered to walk rescued sheltered dogs in the heart of NYC, and, most recently, at the "Rendezvous mit Tiere, Pro Animale", in the Berlin and Brandenburg area. In the latest, I have often helped clean the barns and lay new hey for rescued cows, ponies and horses (and a llama too!) and contributed to the enrichment and habituation of feral rescued cats to humans, for prospective adoptions.

In 2014, I volunteered for two months at a wild-life refuge in Aspen Valley, Ontario Canada.

From February to September 2022, I was a volunteer at the Berlin Hauptbanhoff, helping refugees coming from Ukraine right off the trains, and their animal companions, and other cats and dogs which were brought across the border in rescue missions by courageous volunteers (with Tiere Hilfe Berlin). I contributed to finding foster homes for pets who could not be placed with their owners or in shelters, due to housing limitations.
I often volunteer with Rendezvous mit Tiere, Pro Animale", in the Berlin and Brandenburg area.

I have vast experience spending relatively long period of time "living-off-the-grid" as I have covered long distances on various trails in Europe, North and South America.

I have experience caring for house-gardens as well as small orchards and veggie patches, as I have a collection of various houseplants, an indoor wall-garden and a small plot with seasonal vegetables, kitchen herbs and flowers.

One-year experience caring for an Airbnb (2 rooms) in Brooklyn, NYC, whose owner lived out-of-state. Receiving guests, cleaning rooms and common spaces, and solving all sort of issues that would come up with this type of assignment, stressing safety, security and comfort.

What can they bring to the assignment

True love and compassion for all sort of animals (the purest, most innocent, and most grateful of beings).

Vast experience caring for a variety of animals, including some with special needs. Send me your inquiries regarding the health issues of your pets to see whether I can help personally or refer you to somebody else who might be able to help as a pet sitter.

Considerable experience (and quite a bit of trial and error), caring for delicate indoor plants (with an emphasis on herbs, low-light varieties, ferns, palms and orchids) and small vegetable and herb gardens. I'm currently in the process of building a ceiling and wall garden with upcycled wood and ice cream containers, in a kitchen with very low levels of light (north facing window) which is an interesting challenge. I am also growing organic lemons, kumquats and pomegranates from seeds indoors, and palm trees, which have survived already 3 winters. I hope to be able to give them a more apt environment by the time they are ready to bear fruit.

Last updated: 28 May 2024

Available to house sit

, Africa, Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burma, Cambodia, Canada, Caribbean, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Laos, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Middle East, Monaco, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, North East Asia, Norway, Panama, 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, Vietnam

Availability dates

From: 28 May 2024
Until: 31 July 2025

Do they charge?

They don't charge for house sitting services

Membership

MindMyHouse member since 2024

Personal details

Total sits

Total completed house sits: 1

Testimonials

Responsible and Responsive Catsitter

L. was a wonderfully caring Catsitter for our sweet kitty and she also took very good care of our home and plants. She was communicative and reliable and seemed to genuinely care about Freddy. I highly recommend her as a Catsitter to others!

Julia, United States, 08 June, 2024

  • Tidy
  • Good at pet care
  • Reliable
  • Kept in contact
  • Friendly
  • Good in the garden

Kind, caring, trustworthy

Laura is an amazing house and petsitter. She genuinely loves all animals and will go out of her way to to make them comfortable and happy. Our animals thrived under her care and so did our home. She is very conscientious and reliable, kind and smart. If she responds to your listing thank the petsitting gods because you are very lucky!

sandra, United States, 24 May, 2019

  • Tidy
  • Organised
  • Good at pet care
  • Kept in contact
  • Friendly
  • Handy around the house

Kind, caring, trustworthy

Laura is an amazing house and petsitter. She genuinely loves all animals and will go out of her way to to make them comfortable and happy. Our animals thrived under her care and so did our home. She is very conscientious and reliable, kind and smart. If she responds to your listing thank the petsitting gods because you are very lucky!

sandra, United States, 15 May, 2019

  • Tidy
  • Organised
  • Good at pet care
  • Kept in contact
  • Friendly
  • Handy around the house

Absolutely wonderful house and pet sitter!

L house- and pet-sat for us for two weeks in August 2017, and she was phenomenal. L is very professional and easy to work with, and she is also incredibly kind and a lovely person. She is completely trustworthy. L cared for our 3 aging cats with such love! We could tell the cats were well taken care of by how calm and healthy they seemed upon our return. L also took great care of our home and garden- everything was clean and in great shape. We would definitely have L return to house sit again- in fact, we've already booked her for next year!

Rachel, United States, 25 September, 2017

  • Tidy
  • Organised
  • Good at pet care
  • Reliable
  • Kept in contact
  • Friendly
  • Good in the garden

Wonderful house sitter

Responsible, reliable and caring house sitter - wonderful with my cats and everything else - highly recommend - would have her return in an instant.

Sara, United States, 10 August, 2017

  • Tidy
  • Organised
  • Good at pet care
  • Reliable
  • Kept in contact
  • Friendly
  • Good in the garden
  • Handy around the house

Great sitter!

Elle was a perfect house sitter! when we got back our chubby cat was very happy, the house was very neat and everything was in order. Would definitely have her again!

Zuriel, United States, 05 January, 2017

  • Tidy
  • Organised
  • Good at pet care
  • Reliable
  • Kept in contact
  • Friendly

References

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About this house sitter

MindMyHouse member since May 2024