A house sitter provides loving, full-time, home-based pet-care while you're away.
I've worked with chickens, horses, goats, and hogs doing their feeding, cleaning, and maintaining. I have also done milking on goats and a few cows in the past.
55, High School Teacher
53, Photographer, Design Artist
Hi there, it's Calvin & Nicole.
***Thank you for your inquiries. We have booked our house sits through the 2023 summer & autumn seasons & are therefore unavailable for any additional sits. The only remaining time we have for 2023 is 2 weeks beginning Dec. 23/23. For 2024 we will have all of July & August available, and if you are interested in having us house sit for you during that time, feel free to contact us ahead of time and we can plan it together. We are mainly interested in southern Vancouver Island between Victoria and Nanaimo, the Sunshine Coast, Kelowna, and SW Alberta from Cardston to High River to Banff. Thank you in advance for your interest and please continue reading the rest of our profile.***
Who We Are
I (Calvin) am a teacher with about 25 years experience, and have a part time job as a wine tour guide in the summer months when I’m not teaching. Nicole is a photographer, graphic/web designer (and artist generally), an office administrator, and a university student. We have two girls who are young adults, and we've been married 28 years. We're both non-smokers.
Nicole is passionate about people, learning everyone's story, and connecting on a deeper level. She enjoys warm beaches, walking/hiking and discovering new hobbies. She was born in Germany, & is therefore bilingual. She also speaks decent French.
Calvin is a proud Western Canadian who has an intellectual side to him, and enjoys engaging in discussion. His artistic side comes out in his hobby of record collecting and poetry writing. He enjoys campfires and water. He speaks passable German & French. Calvin takes comfort in being connected to land and is an avid gardener and makes homemade pepper sauce, salsa, sauerkraut, dill pickles, and many other things.
In most cases if we apply to your house sit, we are applying as a couple. However due to our different work schedules there may be times when we apply, but only one of us will do the house sit. In those cases we will tell you that in advance, and which of us is available to do the house sit. If we don't say anything about it, just assume we will come as a couple.
Our house sitting journey started with our beautiful Labrador named Cody who was with us for 10 years. Every heart in our family fell for him, so we completely understand that they are more than pets, but actual family members. Sadly, Cody developed brain seizures so we had to say goodbye to him. That was tough for us all.
We are dog people, but Calvin grew up with cats & hampsters as well. Some of Calvin's extended family had farms or ranches, so he is familiar with feeding, mucking, maintaining, and even butchering some of these animals. We have completed one house sit within this organization, and others outside of it. We have taken care of dogs, cats, and gardens. If you want references, let us know and we can provide them.
In both of Calvin's jobs, and on a yearly basis, he must provide proof to his employers of a clean criminal record check. Nicole works for an Anglican church and had to provide a clean record check when she was hired. We are both free of convictions and even charges/tickets by any police force, by-law officer, or level of government.
If you'd like to have a Zoom call, Facetime, or regular call when you are in the process of making a decision, just let us know and we can arrange that. And once a sit is officially booked we can trade cell numbers so that we can stay in touch while you are away as much as you want.
Our Beliefs about House & Pet Sitting
We find that clear communication at the outset regarding each party’s expectations leads to the best experience for all. From a sitter perspective, it is unfair to us to discuss sitting expectations with owners and then invest all the emotional & financial energy into taking time off from work, booking flights etc, only to arrive at a house sit and find out that there are new or altered expectations from the owner about the house sit. So that’s why we ask that communication be clear, before we are granted a house sit.
We recognize that owners who use house-sitting services are primarily concerned with the welfare of their fur babies, and we want to assure you that this will be our priority as well. And while we will take the utmost care of your pets, we also are not farm hands providing unlimited free labour. We view house sitting as a more authentic way of experiencing new communities and the people associated with them. We want time to explore & enjoy your community as well. The following are expectations that we have if we agree to do a house sit.
• In a 24 hour day, it is reasonable for us to have approximately ¼ of the day, 6 hours, to ourselves free to do what we want in your community while leaving your pets secure and safe on your property.
• The other 18 hours of the day we will be on the property with your pets (or walking them), talking to them, petting them, feeding them, playing with them, etc. Additionally we will also be cooking for ourselves and sleeping.
• Large dogs will get two walks per day of around an hour in length; medium or small dogs slightly shorter ones than that.
• Cats do not go on walks of course, but they will get attention and play time.
• Other pets and animals will get appropriate attention from us.
• We prefer not to have pets sleep on the bed with us. At least one of us is a light sleeper and unnecessary movement on the bed can disturb that.
• Gardening duties including watering and light weeding shall not exceed 45 minutes per day.
• Feeding pets shall be on a schedule provided by the owners. Any cleaning of stalls or cages shall also be according to a schedule provided by owners.
• Bathing pets is a reasonable task for us, as needed.
• We will clean the house before we leave so that it is in the same state that we received it in.
• We will purchase our own groceries unless otherwise indicated.
• We will take care of our own transportation unless otherwise indicated. If we do not bring our own vehicle, at the very least we will need bus transportation in your community to use. Additionally, you can register a vehicle with an online service (search for Turo dot com) and then we can rent it from you when we need transportation.
• Any issues in the house, we will notify you about. Minor break downs of appliances due to age are not our responsibility, though we will still inform you of it (i.e. coffee makers that stop working). Though we intend to treat your property with utmost respect, if there are damages caused by us, we will pay for those repairs.
Thank you, I hope you will pick us for your house sit.
Calvin & Nicole.