One half hour before our friends were due to pick us up for a barbeque – three of the four adorable/bratty dogs we are taking care of scaled the 7-foot fence and took off down the road in full stride to frolic in one of the neighborhood farms.
This has happened before and we usually just wait for them to return, but in light of our deadline, Pete took off in full pursuit. He ran two miles each way, and sent the culprits home in a staggered procession. Pete finally returned haggard, muddy, and cursing at another dog who had nipped at his ankle.
We left one hour late for our barbeque. The whole debacle had us thinking later about some of the crazy situations we’ve gotten into while housesitting. After approximately 450 days over the last three years spent taking care of other people’s property and fur-babies, we’ve definitely had some interesting and quirky adventures along the way…
1. We’ve had a black bear prowling around the deck of one house, knocking over the barbeque and garbage cans, looking for food just prior to hibernation.
2. Two houses we have taken care of have had no address! They have only been known by their color – the “yellow house” and the “green house“.
3. We once had to fix eight tire punctures in one week, courtesy of driving down the rough road to our house.
4. We were completely without running water for a couple of days once, when heavy rain caused landslides and a shift in the ground beneath the house, resulting in the water cistern breaking off.
5. A particularly adventurous kitty (appropriately named ‘Demon’) darted between Pete’s feet and outside while the door was momentarily open. Pete searched for a couple hours to no avail, and even slept on the couch, waiting to hear any meows in the night. Demon wandered in the next day nonchalantly, as cats do, completely unaware of the panic he caused. (When we later heard from the home owner, she said: “Don’t worry! He does that all the time!”)
6. Some houses were without modern appliances – two houses without microwaves, and one without a shower. (Okay, so maybe this isn’t so adventurous, but it definitely required some adjustment.)
7. While in town one day, we got a stressed phone call from a neighbor we knew that our house alarm had gone off. Pete flew back home around windy roads and was panicked to find a van parked in front of the house, wary of what it was doing there. It thankfully turned out to only be one of the neighbors we hadn’t met yet! We never did find out what set the alarm off, but were happy to know we had people looking out for us and that everything was safe.
8. Pete has had to dispose of one dead chicken, a dead cat (courtesy of a dog we were taking care of), and a live mouse caught in a trap we set.
9. Two weeks into one of our favorite house sits in beautiful British Columbia, I tore my achilles tendon. Because of our remote location we had to drive 1 hour to the nearest clinic only to be told that we needed to turn around and drive to another town 3 hours away (including a ferry-ride) the next day. Needless to say, it was a painful night and 6 weeks thereafter.
So maybe things haven’t been all rainbows and ice-cream, but we consider it all just a part of the adventure! And these things could have happened anywhere, to anybody, at anytime – we might as well endure them when exploring a fabulous new location across the globe.
Especially when it gives us amazing moments in locations such as these…
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