Do you want to stay active after a busy career?
Posted on 27 March, 2017
People in professions such as the police retire relatively young at 60 years old and while some want to put their feet up, others prefer to stay busy and active. One option that suits retired police officers particularly well is to become a homesitter.
This flexible role is perfect for trustworthy and reliable animal lovers who are happy to move in to someone’s home and keep it safe and secure when the owner is on holiday.
Former police officer, Malcolm Horsup and his wife Sue from Colchester in Essex started home and pet sitting when they retired in 2013. The couple read about Homesitters Limited, the UK’s leading home and pet sitting company, in a magazine and thought it would be the ideal way to spend the long winter months in the UK.
Malcolm told us: “We have a boat in France so during the summer we spend our time there or travelling in other countries. We’re both very active and didn’t want to be sat twiddling our thumbs in the winter.”
The Horsups applied to become homesitters and following a rigorous interview process, they were accepted.
One of the big attractions was the prospect of looking after lots of dogs. Whilst the couple have never owned a dog together, Sue had owned a couple of Dobermans in the past.
Malcolm explained: “We’d love a dog of our own, but we travel too much. However, since becoming homesitters, we get our ‘dog fix’ every winter and all our assignments involve looking after dogs. We’ve had German Shepherds, Labradors and three Italian Spinoni, one of which whom was a former show dog.”
Now the couple do around ten assignments per year, have many regular clients and have stayed in some fantastic homes. These have included multi-million pound mansions with swimming pools and gyms and Grade 1 listed houses dating back to the 12th century, as well as typical family homes. They have also looked after other animals including eleven chickens.
Malcolm believes the role is ideal for retired police men and women because of the high level of trust needed.
He says, “Being a policeman comes with a high degree of responsibility and trust and it’s the same for home and pet sitting. Clients trust their homes and beloved pets to you and must have faith that you will look after both responsibly.”
He adds that to be a good homesitter you need to be able to occupy yourself and as most policemen and women are self-motivated, this aspect of the role will suit them.
He says, “You can’t leave a home unattended for more than three hours and one hour after dark when on assignment so you need to keep busy. You don’t want to just be sat watching TV all day and having a hobby is important.”
“My wife enjoys cooking so she loves to try out different recipes. I enjoy IT and tinkering around with computers. We also spend a lot of time planning our travels and bring maps and guide books so we can plan where to go and what to see on our next trip.”
When they are not home and pet sitting, the couple travel all over the world and love France and the Far East.
We are currently recruiting for reliable and responsible homesitters and would love to hear from you if you think you could fit the bill.
Just take a look at our section on becoming a homesitter to find out more.