12 things I’ve learnt whilst Animal Sitting!

My folks are currently having a lovely time sunning themselves in Crete. To help them relax even more & not worry about the animals I volunteered to house sit & look after the two horses – Barley & Jonty, & our very excitable Sporting Lucas x Sealyham Terrier Alfie. I might not have lived at home for a decade, but I do help in the evenings & weekend. How hard could it be looking after our own animals?

6 days in & we’re all still alive…. here’s what I’ve learnt so far:

Looking after animals is tiring. 5.40am alarm calls to start the morning routine & Alfie is the equivalent of the Duracell bunny on the go from the moment he wakes until he’s put to bed in his cage.

My mum was right about the cockerel. Crowing at 3.41am on my first morning was a shock to the system. 3.41am!! That’s just obscene.

I appreciate everything my Dad does. The mucking out, feeding the horses, making up hay nets, helping walk the horses up & down the road. & at the age of 66 & still working as a full-time architect, if he could fly, he’d probably be Superman.

Alfie loves attention. There’s no chance of getting any time to yourself with Alfie around. So much so, I’m typing this blog from the bedroom.

Ticks are in abundance this year. & you can’t leave them clung to the animals for fear of Lyme Disease. The O’Tom Tick Twister has been my best friend, once I found the pack instead of using my tweezers!!

Haylage bales are heavy. It took me & my best friend, Rachel, to give the bale a good heave ho into the barn. [Note: small child was not fed to the horses!]

Don’t leave anything you value unattended. Otherwise, they might just get chewed. Amongst a sea of tat from the tack room, Alfie took a liking to my French Connection sunglasses & ¾ of them are still missing in the garden somewhere?!

No need to go to the gym. Every day is a workout from squatting to pick up poo, lifting haynets to running after Alfie is a workout in its self. On the plus side, it means I don’t have to worry about eating an extra cake or biscuit this week.

The horses are well behaved around children. On Saturday, we had a fun morning introducing Evie & Jack to the animals. The horses were impeccable, less said about a very excitable Alfie the better. Jonty was on licking form & a shy Barley was happy to pose for photos.

Running for errands. Trying to fit in an evening run has been tricky, so I tied it in with a short run to the field to hunt for Jonty’s fly mask.

Riding out is even more blissful. Escaping for 45 minutes on Barley or Jonty is not only good exercise but also for the soul. It’s great to get a moment of peace & quiet before heading back to the mad house.

Jordan from Hounds & Hooves is fab. Thankfully I’ve had a helping hand during the week turning the horses out in their field & walking Alfie at lunch. Not only is she brilliant with all the animals, but a jolly lovely person too!  

I’m sure by the time my folks return on Wednesday the list will have grown with more tales from the mad house!

Does anyone else have any fun tales from looking after pets?


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