Case Study - Home and pet sitting fills retirement void for Oxfordshire couple Anne and Cliff Law
Posted on 21 March, 2017
Anne and Cliff Law from Kidlington in Oxfordshire have been home and pet sitting since taking early retirement in 2010. Cliff had worked in the motor industry for thirty-three years and Anne was a care assistant in a pharmacy. When the couple stopped working they found that retirement left a big void in their lives.
Anne first heard about Homesitters Ltd when she met a couple employed by the company who were looking after her employer’s home and dogs while she was away. She told Cliff about it and they decided that they would enjoy the role of homesitters themselves.
Anne and Cliff are both keen animal lovers but don’t have room for a dog of their own at home so for them the highlight of home and pet sitting is spending time with animals, particularly dogs and cats. Keeping fit and getting exercise taking the dogs for walks is also a big attraction.
Over the years the couple have carried out 112 assignments and looked after 60 different dogs, 30 cats as well as chickens, budgies and hamsters.
The couple do many repeat visits which they enjoy as they become quite attached to the pets and get to know the neighbours and other dog walkers in the area. They find dog walking very sociable and often get chatting to people. The couple have also become great friends with some of their regular clients and keep in touch with them throughout the year.
Cliff says, “If we go on a repeat assignment the dogs always remember us and come running straight over to greet us when we arrive which gives their owners confidence that their dogs are going to be well cared for and happy while they’re away.”
Cliff recalls an assignment where the dog’s owner was really worried about leaving her beloved pets to go on holiday but was soon reassured when she saw her dogs happily enjoying Cliff and Anne’s attention.
Cliff comments, “Home and pet sitting is a fantastic hobby, we receive a remuneration and expenses which is useful but the main benefit is having the chance to visit different places, spend time with dogs and cats and the exercise we get taking the dogs for walks.
“We also get to stay in some very special places. We recently did an assignment in a huge old rectory in the Cotswold countryside with stunning views. Sitting on the sofa with a dog either side of me resting their heads in my lap was just idyllic.
“Most of the houses we stay in have beautiful gardens which are usually maintained by professional gardeners so we’re able to appreciate them without doing any of the work! Some of the homes also have swimming pools or cinema rooms which can be a real treat.”
The couple feel reassured that as employees of Homesitters they have 24 hour support should they need any help or advice. Also, if they had to leave an assignment for any reason, Homesitters would be able to replace them immediately. They know they are not on their own but that they have a whole organisation behind them which is just as important to them as it is to the client.
Anne and Cliff tend to home and pet sit within a 100 mile radius of their home and carry out quite a few assignments within their home county of Oxfordshire, in fact they’ve stayed in one or two homes in the county which they say were like stately homes. Anne particularly enjoys the opportunity to cook in the large farmhouse kitchens they often have access to including one kitchen that was so big that they could have fitted their whole bungalow inside it!
The couple spend their evenings on assignment relaxing by reading, doing crosswords and watching films. They always take their iPads with them too and modern technology means that they are always in touch with friends and family no matter where they are in the country.
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