Case Study - A decade of home sitting
Posted on 21 February, 2017
Londoner Peter Green, who is in his early 70s, has been home sitting for almost 10 years since retiring from a job in retail where he worked for a major supermarket.
Peter took early retirement, but before he did, he wanted to plan something to occupy his time. His sister saw an advert for Homesitters Limited and thought it would be ideal for Peter as he is a great pet lover and is very sociable.
Not entirely convinced home sitting would be for him, Peter used his notice period at work to try it out. He applied for the role through Homesitters and once accepted, did some weekend assignments at first and was hooked.
Peter enjoys the responsibility of home sitting, but above all, loves looking after dogs. He finds that no two dogs are the same; they each have individual personalities and are good fun to be with.
Dog walking is also a great way for him to keep fit and enjoy fresh air, and he also enjoys talking to other dog walkers and has made some good friends over the years as he regularly sits for the same clients.
Having the opportunity to visit new places is another highlight of the job.
Peter says, “There is never a dull moment and I enjoy every minute. This job takes you everywhere. I often get to visit somewhere new. I am interested in historical places and find all sorts of interesting places to visit - particularly through my National Trust membership.
Even after 10 years, I still get surprised by some of the grand places I stay in. I home sit regularly at a palatial property with grounds and its own lake right next door to one of King Henry VIII’s hunting lodges.”
However, the majority of Peter’s clients are in London where he has lived all his life.He often sits in properties in Kensington or Knightsbridge – from large, grand houses set over four floors to small flats overlooking Hyde Park and this variety appeals to him.
In terms of pets, Peter has looked after cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, tropical fish, a hedgehog and even a parrot but he is particularly fond of the large dogs he looks after including Labradors, Retrievers, a Rhodesian Ridgeback – and even a Tibetan mountain dog.
Over the years, he has met lovely clients who have gone out of their way to check he is happy. At the preliminary client meeting set up by Homesitters, Peter makes sure he gets a list of emergency contact details for people such as vets and plumbers – although he has never yet had to use them. He also finds it reassuring too that Homesitters supports him on assignment - calling him regularly to make sure all is well.
Peter concludes, “One of the other advantages of the job is the flexibility. I can pick and choose when I work and how much work I take on and fit it around spending time with my family and friends. I am so enthusiastic about the experiences I have had that my sister has become a home sitter too. I think the ideal home sitter needs to love animals, come with an open mind and be confident. However, once you have done one assignment, it all comes quite naturally.”
If you want to find out more on becoming a homesitter, please click here.