Case Study - The Bells: A couple getting the maximum benefit out of retirement
Posted on 9 October, 2017
Meet two of our lovely homesitters, Martin and Kristine Bell from Nottinghamshire. They decided to become homesitters after they both retired - Martin at the age of 60 from a career in industry and Kristine from her job as a legal secretary.
One of their goals was to spend more time together and after losing their beloved West Highland Terrier in 2016 and deciding not to get another dog, they thought home and pet sitting would be the ideal role for them.
They both love animals, particularly dogs and this was the perfect way to spend time with animals without the commitment involved in being a dog owner. The couple also didn’t just want to sit around doing nothing during their retirement and wanted to meet new people and visit new places.
The couple were inspired to become homesitters by Martin’s brother-in-law who, after a career looking after some of the Queen’s race horses took on temporary assignments looking after people’s horses whilst they were away. He enjoyed it so much that the Bells decided to look for a similar role looking after pets.
After an internet search they came across Homesitters Ltd and felt it was the best company for them.
Kristine explains, “We like the fact that we’re employed by Homesitters – rather than being contracted out by an agency. We wouldn’t want to work through an agency where you just see a picture of the place you’re going on a website and have no support.
“We know that we can contact Homesitters at any time as they have a 24/7 support service. We find it reassuring that if there was an emergency, Homesitters could find someone else to take over the assignment and there’s insurance cover should anything go wrong,” adds Kristine.
In February this year, the Bells took on their first assignment with us, a 17 day homesit in a lovely rural converted granary. This however, wasn’t without its challenges and the Bells really did get thrown in the deep end.
Martin says, “We were home and pet sitting in a very rural location when Storm Doris hit and the power went off for 12 hours. One of the dogs we were looking after is very elderly with poor eyesight and usually the lights are all set on a timer for him, so he can wander around without bumping into anything.
“In the absence of electricity, we found as many torches as we could, so that the dog could see where he was going. Everything in the house ran on electricity so we had no cooking facilities, but the next door neighbour kindly brought round a thermos of hot water so that we could make a cup of tea – it was quite an adventure!”
The Bells are enjoying their new homesitting lifestyle, as its gives them time to enjoy hobbies too. They spend the evenings reading or doing crosswords and suduko puzzles, and Kristine enjoys knitting. In one home there was a large dining room table, so they did a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle over the course of their stay.
Martin says, “The best way of spending the evening is having a dog on your knee or by your feet to stroke while you’re reading, it gives us a great feeling of contentment – and the dog too!”
“We’re just ordinary people doing ordinary things and getting the maximum benefit from our retirement. You’d be surprised how many people aren’t aware that home and pet sitting is a job and we’d recommend it to anyone who’s retired. Where else would you get the opportunity to stay in different homes, in different places and experience other people’s pets and lifestyles, and not have to pay lots of money to do it?”
If you are looking for a flexible role in retirement that lets you spend time caring for animals and staying in some amazing homes, then give us a call today on 01296 630 730 or click here to find out more.