House Sitting, UK

A trio of Jack Russells


Mid June we arrived in Bramshill, house sitting a very large house and gardens with three tiny Jack Russell bitches and two chickens for 10 days while the home owners were away on an Arctic cruise.

A little bit about our new family:

IMG_20170620_114715895 reducedSpider is 1 year old and is full of energy and very bossy too.

She is a super fussy eater. To make meal times easier for us, the owner arranged for Spider to be given fresh mince and chicken.

Mouskie (L) and Spud (R)

Spud is 10 years old. A dear little lady and would always be bringing me one of her favourite soft toys. When Spud would do her ‘business’ she lifted both of her back legs up – quite an amazing feat to witness.

Mouskie (Spud’s mum) is 13 years old and is our ‘daytime boarder’. Mouskie would arrive each morning at 7am when Sophie (the owner’s daughter) would arrive to work at the Livery (horse stables) that was located at the property.

Mouskie is also deaf and when we walked our trio of Jack Russells, we took a whistle with us, to get Mouskie’s attention in case she wandered in a different direction to us.

Bed time with Spider and Spud was always ‘cute’ as after taking them out for their nightly stroll around the orchard for their evening ‘pee pee’ they would retire to their individual little sleeping bags. We hadn’t come across these before but our little charges loved them.

Spider in his sleeping bag
Spider and Spud ‘fighting’ over their soft toy

We also had two chooks to look after. Each day, Glenn with the assistance from Spider would let them out of the pen to roam the grounds and again in the afternoon, Spider would help ’round them up’ back to the pen so they’d be safe from foxes overnight.

The chooks rewarded us with two eggs each day.

The gardens were full of colour with roses and geraniums in particular. We spent many pleasant hours in the garden pruning and dead-heading the flowers.

IMG_20170620_101832279_HDR reduced
House and extensive gardens

This home also had a swimming pool – something unusual for an English home. Maintaining the pool was one of our responsibilities on the sit but didn’t present any problems as we have performed pool maintenance on previous sits in Spain and France. During the first few days of this house sit England was experiencing a lengthy heat wave so we were able to enjoy a few swims in the pool.

In all of the house sits we have done to date the property has been empty, excluding us and the pets, but this time we also had 2 tenants that lived on the upper floors of the house. As mentioned earlier, the owner’s daughter ran a Livery (horse stable business) from the property so it was quite a busy place with the comings and goings of many people.

Our main responsibilities:
– Spider, Spud and Mouskie required a 30 minute walk in through the woods and fields the morning and another shorter walk in the afternoon around the property.
– Spud also needed medication each night for her epilepsy.
– Maintain the pool
– Keep the garden tidy and watering the flower beds and many pot plants. They needed extra attention due to the unseasonably warm weather
– Chickens: Let them out daily to free range, collect their eggs and ensure adequate supplies of food & water.

Cuddle time on the couch

During this sit, we caught up with our English friend Tim. We had arranged this with the home owners before the sit and he came up for the weekend from Teignmouth, staying at a nearby B&B and joining us on our morning dog walks.

With Tim we visited the nearby town of Reading and explored the roman walls at Silchester. This is the site of an old Roman town that was abandoned in the 6th or 7th century, but disappointingly there was very little to see. And of course no visit to local villages would be complete without a pint or two at the local pub.

All too quickly our 10 days passed. We enjoyed spending much of our time around the house with our ‘little’ friends and exploring walks close to the house.

What the home owners said“…They are the most professional couple, and it was a pleasure to have met them and hopefully we can have them again. We highly recommend them for all pets and garden. The house was immaculate.....”

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