Being a city girl I had very little experience and exposure to farm animals, except for the mandatory Sunday afternoon drives my Dad insisted on taking the family on, which inevitably found us lost in a cow paddock or caught up in a flock of sheep across the road. These occasions are not amongst my most favourite childhood memories. Though well intentioned as quality family time, I likened it to slow, repetitive torture, but fortunately it didn’t leave any irreversible impressions of cows and sheep.
So it was with a sense of adventure and desire to experience country life that we accepted a house sitting assignment on a hobby farm, on approximately 3 acres, in a rural area. There were 2 cows, 1 sheep, 1 horse, 4 chickens, a cat, 2 dogs and a budgie.
The cows, Wallace and Gromit, were young and surprisingly cute with their big brown eyes. The sheep was obstinate and always fighting with the cows over the food. He was not very popular and earned himself the name of “Sunday Roast”. (No prizes for guessing his future!)
Jazz the horse was a majestic black, gentle giant, which was lucky for me as I volunteered to take care of rugging him. Needless to say I was a little nervous at first, standing behind him and threading straps between his legs to secure his rug. That is truly a position of trust for any male allowing a stranger to handle their back end! But such is the new experiences of a House and Pet Sitter.
Being quite short, as I am, was also a bit of a challenge to throw the rug over the top of his back, but he was very patient, and I improved over time, and with the help of a few carrots we became good friends. Fortunately the duties didn’t extend to riding him, as that was reserved for the owner, much to my relief.
Even though we had written instructions for the care of all the animals, which we highly recommend, it was wonderful to spend the day with the owners, before they left, to be shown how to do everything, so that when they left the next day we all felt confident about our ability to handle all the house and pet sitting duties, so the owners left with peace of mind and comfort knowing everything would be taken care of.
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