Other People’s Houses

Posted: January 9, 2016 in Blogs
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So far in 2016 I have looked after four dogs in three different houses. Some people find it hard to understand, but I enjoy it immensely. In the summer of 2015 it was often a necessity and sometimes a luxury, to take a break from full time van life in an actual house. Despite having a small place of my own over the winter, warm, Wi-Fi and washing machine complete I am still spending plenty of time in other people’s houses. I suppose if it was just me, rambling around in a strange house, it would be odd. With a dog, or two, it’s not; they are my priority focus. Working all day with dogs has been my substitute for not being able to have my own. But looking after dogs in houses, in their houses, is very different to caring for dogs in kennels.

I am now at the stage where I keep finding myself in familiar houses, coming back for more! I might be in the kitchen and go to the drawer for the tin opener and have to stop myself and ask myself, “Which house am I in?” before I manage to locate it. I like to think of it as a break in routine. Now I am someone that thrives on routine, but at the same time I hate monotony. It’s a win win situation! I am also quite nosey, so I enjoy finding things for myself. That’s not to say I’m rifling through people’s drawers! What I mean is, I find it interesting how other people live. Why they have what they have and don’t have in their houses, how it’s arranged, as well as what’s stored in the fridge.

Different folks, different strokes – always apply! Personally I would never keep honey, bananas or onions in the fridge, that’s just weird. I would never leave ketchup or HP sauce out of the fridge, that’s weirder. I like houses with cafitierres and fresh coffee or even better a coffee machine I can work. I like under-floor heating and dishwashers. I don’t like weedy curtains and wearing an eye mask to bed. I’ve come to terms with dogs that sleep on beds. I like dogs that run. I’ve met so many that are not early risers; they laze in bed while I get ready for work and some I even have to force out the door in the morning. I like it when people leave me cake, I don’t like it when there is too much nice food that I eat and then have to replace, sometimes twice. I like trying out different washing powders!

It’s not just the in the house bit either, there’s obviously the walks but I also spend a lot of time pondering where I might like to live, If I ever become a proper person and buy my own house. Location wise, I don’t like being too close to a shop but I don’t like being far away from shops generally. I hate on-street parking and front doors that open into the living room. I hate commuting so I like being close to work. I feel like I’m trying before buying in so many aspects. Maybe what I like most is that I don’t have to decide; I get to live all these different lives in different places without being tied down to specifics. It’s very freeing. In fact I’ve been asked how I don’t find it unsettling but if anything, the idea of the same house, everyday and the same routine sounds unsettling to me! When I was young I used to move my bedroom furniture around, a regular occurrence. Otherwise boredom would set in.

As much as it’s fun, it’s a huge responsibility; other people’s animals and houses. Being of an anxious mind set I can let that run away with me easily. I’ve often been standing at front doors, keys in hand, checking they are the right keys and also testing that I will be able to get back in again, for several minutes before being able to actually leave. I am also an absolute soft touch – even when I know a dog is used to being left I absolutely hate doing it! I often take time off to keep dogs company or be able to walk in the light. One thing I can’t complain about is the dogs themselves, all with their varying personalities and energy levels, they are so well behaved. I shouldn’t speak too soon I guess but I have managed to avoid most dramas; loose dogs, being locked out and vet trips. I’m sure a time will come.

Right this minute I am listening to a snoring, tired Staffie. There has been somewhat of a toy massacre and an element of tidying will need to take place – this, my biggest worry for the evening. Other than that there is food in the fridge, the heating is on, I have the pick of Sky TV and a comfy bed to look forward to. It’s a hard life.


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