In this blog post, I discuss my time in a gorgeous house on the banks of Chichester Harbour where I was engaged as a pet sitter for two lovely dogs. I will also provide a brief overview of Birdham and provide the references I received from this sit.
Pet sitter diaries: the requirements
The requirements for this sit were fairly simple. The couple was looking for someone to look after their two dogs and keep the house safe as they took a trip to Kenya for a safari. I was not jealous at all!
Due to the health conditions of both dogs, there were looking for someone experienced with older dogs and able to provide medication.
Pet sitter diaries: the pets
As mentioned above, there were only two dogs to take care of during this sit.
One, a 15-year-old Poodle who was completely deaf and also quite blind. I have to admit that it took me several days to get to terms with the fact that she was deaf often finding myself calling her or talking to her before remembering how pointless that was. She was a very affectionate dog always happy to be on your lap or snuggled up as close to you as she could get. She was still fairly fit for her age but her walks were pretty short.
The other was an 8-year-old (she seemed older to me) chocolate labrador that had severe mobility issues due to problems with her elbows and shoulders. As a result, she didn’t go on walks much at all and it was an achievement to get her to walk to the end of the driveway and back (about 50 metres round trip). I was also informed that she was not a fan of men having only been with a female owner. This was very evident on my initial visit to the family prior to my sit commencing. She barked a lot when I first entered, settling down about 10-15 minutes later however would immediately start barking again as soon as I moved.
I am pleased to report that after our first day alone together and putting special efforts into making her feel safe with me, we soon became buddies and she would regularly come to me for strokes and cuddles in the evenings at telly time.
The above image was taken on day 2 with the dogs and shows me sitting on the floor so that I’m not towering above the dog who was sceptical of men. This really went a long way into making her feel comfortable with me and soon after this image was taken she came closer allowing me to stroke her. From then on we were buddies.
Pet sitter diaries: The home
The home was truly amazing. It had ample space on the driveway for me to comfortably park my Hymer motorhome on which is crucial to my current situation as I undertake my long-term photography project. The house was located on the banks of Chichester Harbour in an Area Of Natural Beauty.
The views from the property were simply spectacular with sunrise and sunsets especially a sight to behold.
From the back garden, you looked out across the harbour where several boats were moored. The inlet water level differed greatly between high and low tides with many of the boats resting on the bottom during low tide.
Each morning provided its own beauty as the sounds of nature echoed out across the water.
It really was a privilege to get to stay in such a beautiful home and location for 2 weeks.
Birdham and the local area
This was my second sit in the quiet village of Birdham. So I won’t go into too much detail about Birdham here again. Please check out this post if you’d like to know more about Birdham.
Suffice to say, this property backed onto the coastal path that runs all the way around the Chichester Harbour Area of Natural Beauty. There are several walking and cycle trails in the area for those who enjoy the outdoors.
Nearby there are many beaches, the most popular for both locals and those visiting the area is West Wittering beach. If you wish to visit this beach in the Spring and Summer periods, especially so on weekends or during holidays, it’s highly recommended that you book online ahead of your visit.
West Wittering beach is a sand beach (a rarity in England) with sand dunes and lakes to enjoy along your walk. It is used by a lot of dog walkers and dogs tend to be off-lead here so if you have a reactive dog, please ensure that it is muzzled because unfortunately, I witnessed many dogs running around that had shockingly poor or no recall whatsoever.
If you find yourself in the area, be sure to also check out the historic town of Chichester and pay a visit to Chichester Cathedral.
Reference for this sit
I’m happy to report that I received another 5-star review from the homeowner for my pet-sitting services provided.
And like my previous pet owners, they have invited me back to sit for them again arranging their holiday around my availability.
As someone who finds it difficult to talk positively about my services (I know, I’m working on it!) reviews like this, and the fact that every homeowner I’ve sat for so far has asked me to return seriously does a lot for my confidence.
So far I have been blessed with meeting truly great people and have had the privilege of spending time with some lovely animals of all shapes and sizes.
Melanie and her partner were no exception. They permitted me to stay on their driveway for an additional couple of nights which allowed me to go and explore the area before my next sit started.
Their home and its location were simply stunning and I look forward to returning there in the near future.
Book me for your pet-sitting requirement
Are you planning a break or travel for work? Would you like the reassurance that your pets will be in safe and loving hands allowing you to fully immerse in your holiday? Then use the form below to get in touch with your required dates, location and number of pets and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can with my availability.
I hope to have the pleasure of meeting you and your pets in the future 😊