In this post, I recount my time at the first of two different homes in Birdham, West Sussex where I was fortunate to be a pet sitter.
Pet sitter requirements for this sit
For my second sit of 2023, I found myself headed to the small village of Birdham. The sit happened to be around 7 miles from my previous sit in Bosham which was very convenient.
For this particular pet-sitting gig, the owners were looking for someone to look after 3 dogs, 2 elderly cats and 5 hens.
Whilst I’ve never personally owned chickens, I know that there isn’t really much involved with their care. Make sure they are fed, watered and clean out their coop daily.
Pet sitter diaries: The home/pet owners
The homeowners were absolutely fantastic human beings. I had 4 days between my previous sit, and their sit requirement starting. it was my intention to find a local campsite to go and stay on until I was due to arrive with them.
They were not having this and insisted that I come to them and park up on their driveway. This was truly generous of them and saved me the trouble and cost of finding a local campsite. Campsites around the West Sussex area certainly don’t come cheap!
To thank them for their generosity I accompanied them on the dog walks to take at least one of the dogs off of them to make the walk more enjoyable, and it also gave me the opportunity to get to know them and have some human company for a change 😊
I also painted their large wooden double garage with a wood protector as I felt I needed to do something to repay their generosity in allowing me to park up on their drive when I wasn’t actually required!
Pet sitter diaries: the animals
As mentioned above, I had responsibility for 3 dogs, 2 larger lurcher type (I’m not entirely sure of their breed) and a 15-year-old Jack Russel cross which was still unbelievably fit for his advanced age and was able to keep up with the far younger, larger dogs! They required one 40-60 minute walk per day.
I was advised when I arrived that the female dog would likely be offish as she wasn’t keen on men having had previously bad experiences.
It really did make me so happy when after just a couple of days at the home she would come to me for strokes and became very comfortable with me over my time there. It is always so rewarding to me when a dog that is insecure puts their trust in me and feels secure in my presence.
In addition, there were 2 older cats that pretty much kept themselves to themselves in the utility room and were not seen much at all besides at breakfast and dinner times. Very occasionally they would leave the comfort of their beds and come for a stroke.
And then the 5 hens. This was my fist time being responsible for chickens and as I assumed, it did simply involve checking their feeder levels daily, clearing out the coop, checking for any eggs (which I was told I could consume) and giving them any vegetable scraps. In addition, they had a taste for ham which I was instructed to give them as a treat on a daily basis. I never took chickens for carnivores, but every day is a learning day!
Birdham is a small, quiet village located in West Sussex, England, situated on the Manhood Peninsula between Chichester Harbour and Pagham Harbour. It is approximately 3 miles southwest of Chichester and has a population of around 1,500 people.
It is a fairly rural location that does have a Co-Op and a petrol station (which during my time there in February 2023 was closed for upgrade work). Due to its rural nature, the roads around the village can best be described as lanes.
There are no sidewalks to be seen so walking the dogs did mean you were walking on the road. Just remember, when walking on the road always walk on the side of the road so that you are facing oncoming traffic!
Historically, Birdham was an important farming community and had a long association with fishing and boat-building. Birdham Pool marina is definitely worth a visit at sunrise or sunset and many waterfowl can be seen here at these times.
Birdham is located within the Chichester Harbour Area of Natural Beauty and offers a multitude of outdoor activities. There are several walking and cycling trails along the coastline. During the Spring and Summer seasons, there are also several boat trips available for dolphin spotting in the area. It differently has a lot to offer to those who enjoy the outdoors and wildlife.
The historic town of Chichester is a 10-minute drive from Birdham and is definitely worth visiting if you find yourself in the area.
Check out this video of my time in Birdham
When my initial sit for this family came to an end, I had a week before my next sit commenced. Once again the couple offered that I stay with them until my next sit started. I honestly was taken back by their generosity.
Because I am travelling in my motorhome it does mean that when homeowners are generous enough to allow me to stay a few additional days, I don’t actually have to intrude on their privacy or be in their home at all.
As they had invited me to stay on, I suggested that they look to get away again. They took me up on this offer and arranged a short break to Budapest.
Below are the two references received from this lovely couple for the two sits I did for them. I also have a 3rd sit agreed with them for later in the year!
This was truly a great sit and I’m so appreciative of the opportunity to meet this truly generous couple and their gorgeous pets. I am already looking forward to revisiting them in October 2023!
Birdham, like most of West Sussex, is just gorgeous. It is very quiet for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life with loads of walks and cycling trails.
In short, this was a pet sitters dream sit!
Book me for your sit requirement
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I hope to meet you and your pet/s in the future 😊