Mirror Online - Retired couple take up caring for strangers' dogs and parrots as housesitters
Posted on 8 April, 2019
Funeral directors Sue and Roy Strangeway have jacked in their jobs to tour the country caring for pooches and parrots.
The couple, who are in their 60s, are the latest retirees to become housesitters, who babysit strangers’ pets while they are away.
Sue said: “We mainly look after dogs and cats but love to learn new things and are open to looking after all creatures, great and small.”
Sue from Lincolnshire, added: “We recently looked after 17 parrots and a dog.
“Most of the parrots were in aviaries but there was one in the house.
“He was beautiful but every time we went in the room he’d bombard us with questions. ‘Where are you going?’ and ‘What are you doing?’
“He didn’t take the slightest bit of notice of our answers.”
Almost half of Brits own an animal and many prefer to have someone looking after them at home rather than be at a strange kennel or cattery.
But while most owners hire a cat or dog sitting firm, Homesitters says its staff also care for more bizarre pets.
Many are retired and use pet-sitting money to help top up pensions.
Half said they had chosen to look after an unusual pet including bearded dragons, tortoises, peacocks, alpacas and pygmy hedgehogs.
Chickens are popular too, with a third saying they were their favourite to care for.
Tim and Jill Clark, both 72, have been home and pet-sitting through Homesitters since 2003.
Tim was raised in Kenya and had pet monkeys and snakes growing up, so exotic animals appeal.
Tim, from Gloucestershire, said: “We’re an adventurous couple. During my career in international sales and marketing we were lucky enough to live in South Africa and America.
“Homesitting lets us combine our love of animals and nature.
“We’ve looked after many different breeds of dogs as well as race horses, emus and even a pig that lived in the kitchen that we had to tuck up in a blanket before bed.”
For the original story, please visit: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/retired-couple-take-up-caring-14244757
For more information on pet-sitting, see www.homesitters.co.uk .