​With everything packed away and no home to go to I was reminded of a story by dad told us as children. When he and mum were in a similar position driving around the suburbs singing ‘we haven’t got a home.’

Thankfully one of my clients runs House and Pet Sitters. The owner, Jenny, who is also a friend from way back was happy to offer us the opportunity to housesit for the three weeks prior to us leaving on our adventure.

House and petsitting

After filling in the appropriate paperwork we received our assignment and met with the client to see if they liked us and we liked them.

It was at that moment I realised the enormous responsibility house and pet sitting is. People that do not know you, open their home and trust you/us to take care of their beloved pets and home. That’s a big deal.

Thankfully our assigned sit was a fit.

On departure day I arrived at the agreed upon time and met family members. Then they were gone and we were faced with Fupi the Jack Russell, Cleo the cat and Millie the cat plus a pink and grey Gallah and an aquarium of fish.

The pets looked at us expectantly like ‘Who are you? What have you done with our people?’

There was a bit of crying and whimpering the first couple of nights as Fupi adjusted to having us in his home.

He got plenty of attention, lots of sniffing time on his walks to the park, we spent ages throwing the ball for him to chase and retrieve.

When he needed a rest he would sit next to one of us on the couch only to jump up whenever we moved thinking we were heading outside to throw the ball for him again.

Okay, he was a bit OCD at times, sniffing each place the ball touched on the ground, grass, shed wall or fence.

It kept him busy while I talked to the galah or patted or brushed Cleo.

The galah was about 22 years old and a decent head banger!

I mean it, he would chat away and then throw his head backward and then forward.

I thought he was going to fall off his perch the first couple of times I saw him do it.

Then he would add in flapping of his wings to go with the head banging to really show off. He was a riot!

Plus, he would randomly squawk five to seven times in a row, I thought it was to get our attention.

Just imagine the dog trotting around the back yard sniffing or barking at crows, the galah squawking and the cat meowing for even more attention. It was like animal farm at times.

Feeding time was entertaining as well. Cleo and Millie demanded to be fed at 7am and 4pm sharp and were VERY verbose when we made them wait.

Whereas Fupi had to have his ball with him before he would eat.

He would try his luck and roll the ball at our feet in the hope we would throw it, again and when that failed he would place the ball either next to his food bowl, or in it while he ate.

Having pets is just like having children, except you can’t necessarily communicate as clearly with pets.

But they certainly have their own personalities, nuances, likes and dislikes. For example, if Fupi bought one of his four balls inside meany-Kim would take it off him for 10minutes.

Well, the dirty looks I would get – ha!

There were even times he just wouldn’t look at me and focused intently on Steve hoping he would return his ball.

After the 10 minutes were up and his ball was returned he was happy as larry again and all would be forgiven – phew!

After three weeks we had the routine down pat.

Everyone was happy, healthy, fed, brushed and loved.

It was sad to say goodbye but it was certainly a privilege to look after the house and pets and it’s not an experience Steve and I will soon forget.