How my pet bereavement helped me start a world-wide adventure

John and I are often asked how we got started on our house and pet sitting journey and exactly why do we do it after all it’s certainly not a conventional lifestyle, we travel the world looking after other people’s homes and pets.

And so we tell the story of how Holly our Springer Spaniel “heart” dog started it all.

I have an absolute love for all creatures great and small for as long as I can remember the unconditional love of loyal pets has given me joy, comfort and peace like no other. I have so many stories about the animals I’ve owned, rescued, worked with and cared for that I could write a book but for the purposes of this article I need to somewhat reduce the word count!

Holly was my sixth Springer and John’s first ever pet. She came into our lives quite unexpectedly, in 1993. I took her from England to North Africa as an eight week old puppy and in her short life, fourteen years is such a short time, she clocked up more air miles than most people, travelling with us around the world to North Africa, India, Canada, France, Germany and the UK.

We nearly lost her through illness three times through following her nose whilst in the woods twice. She had adventures and stories that could fill a book, like the time British Airways “lost” her in a 747 jet, 32,000 miles in the air, she’d never actually left the ground but that’s a story for another time! How she and I were the source of great curiosity when living in Bombay, me driving a truck with her riding “shotgun” not done by too many women, especially westerners AND with a dog as a passenger! Then the time, because of work commitments in Singapore and Vietnam, we had to leave her in India for 9 months. I cried worried that she’d forget us but of course she didn’t.

Losing our girl broke our hearts she was part of our family, a beautiful, cherished member. About a month after she left to find her Rainbow* I was asked to look after another Spaniel in her own home for two weeks. I won’t lie I had reservations, was it too soon after losing Holly? But I felt empathy for this owner who needed to know her pet was safe, secure and happy at home, just as I had with Holly, it would be her peace of mind and to be truthful I missed the light and comfort having a pet brings.

The experience was healing, cathartic and a joy and broken hearts started to mend. Since that first pet sit we’ve been privilege and trusted enough, to love and care for many beautiful animal souls. Each one different, each teaches us something new and helps lessen the pain of losing Holly, that’s why we continue to care for other owners, beloved pets

Financial gain has never been our motivation, we pet sit for free. Since October last year we’ve looked after eight dogs and four cats, every one a rescue pet. These very special animals never cease to amaze both John and I, for in spite of their often traumatic pasts with many suffering long-lasting effects and requiring gentle care, which only home and our special brand of TLC can provide, each and every one still has the capacity to love and trust humans …. we can all learn so much from the animal world just by opening our hearts and minds.

Keeping pets in their own home is without a doubt the very best option if you have to go away, engaging a house & pet sitter removes any anxiety, worry or stress. Contented, happy pets, a secure home, constant communication and updates is the recipe for total peace of mind and guilt free travel. Imagine being able to take last minute getaways or plan once in a lifetime trips without the worry of your precious pets well being. At you’ll find your perfect sitter, the sitter you choose to come into your home for free, simply because they have two passions, animals and travel. Our pet and home owners allow us to indulge both.


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Mother of three grown-up daughters I am the ultimate multi-tasker and am passionate about my role as Silversurfers Website Editor and Social Media Manager. Always on the lookout for all things that will interest and entertain our community. Fueling fun for the young at heart!

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