What We Do

In exchange for safe, clean accommodation we gladly provide the following free services:

For Your Pets

  • Love and affection first and foremost
  • Special attention to dietary needs
  • Routine walking and exercise
  • Lot’s of play time and companionship
  • Medications and vet. visits as required
  • Regular grooming with love and affection
  • Weekly communication with you, including photos and all the news from home

DSC01863

The Home

“We have found that a one or two days overlap at the start of any house sit works very well to allow us to become acquainted with your pets, their needs and your home”.

  • the peace of mind that having someone in your home brings
  • Always keep your home clean and tidy and in top shape

(Having both owned big properties in Canada and the US we are very a costumed to the habit of daily chores)

  • Pay bills and provide a regular spread sheet of your costs
  • Interact with staff and lend a hand when needed
  • Small repairs and maintenance
  • Manage any unexpected emergencies with your direction

And Property

  • Be present and ever mindful of security against theft
  • Gardening, watering and light landscaping
  • Pool maintenance: salt water and fresh
  • Be most respectful of your neighbors and community
  • Manage your rentals as needed

DSC04631

DSC01645 DSC01728 DSC01557

 

Click for References

Please feel free to contact us if there are specific services that you require.

                                                                the joyful travellers

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

 

Our Sitting Experiences

Our first visit to Barbados:

RAINER AND CHRISTINE (2)

*******

Tranquility on the Windward Side of Saint Vincent:

Saint Vincent

*******

Saint Vincent in the Grenadines:

Pratice (2)

*******

Samara, Costa Rica -April,2017

Walking the dogs daily on one of the most beautiful beaches we have ever experienced.

 

Los 3 Amigos

 

LOS 3 AMIGOS- Zila, Zephera, Zulu

Put Samara on your must visit list!!

                *****

 

Celestun, Mexico – 6 days with Marvelous Beach Friends

DSC03995

DSC03960 DSC03986 DSC03979

 

March 2017: This was lot’s of fun, a wonderful, Canadian family is restoring a hostel on the beach in remote Celestun.

*****

 

Back to Merida – 6 Weeks

Jan., Feb.  2017: We are so spoiled by being at this colonial home within walking distance of everything that Merida has to offer.

DSCF4502

The lovable Nala and Tesa

DSC03588Acat

Mickey                                                                                                          Felix

*****

 

On the Nandiame Road, Nicaragua – 5 Weeks

DSC03402

Dec., 2016: Heading out of town and beside the Mombacho Volcano. From here we were able to explore this pastoral country side.

DSC03346 (2)                                                                                          DSC03409

Bear, Lady and Mia Ling (a lovely bred)

and Little Risa

 

 

DSC03317

 

We were even able to hook up with House Sitting Comrades Jody and Nat.

 

 

*****

 

Granada, Nicaragua – 1 Week 

DSC03294Dec., 2016:  A very quiet and comfortable home in a subdivision on the edge of the city. We were able to reconnect with the wonderful friends we have in the dynamic expat. community.

DSC03297             Sad Kitty

DSC03323

Lacy and Lady

(what lovely animals)

 

*****

On to Ometepe Island – 5 Weeks

dsc03054-copy
Nov., 2016: Ometepe is a mesmorizing place removed from the rest of Nicaragua because it sits in the middle of Lake Nicaragua.
We had a  wonderful house sitting assignment that allowed us to become immersed in Island Life. “Oh what lovely pets and kind owners”.

dsc03216

dsc03056
Cappy the Joyful Wanderer.

 

 

Ocho and Queenie

*****

Merida, Mexico – 2 Short Term Sits

Sept., 2016:  We were very fortunate to have the pleasure of minding two families in the heart of Merida. These mini sits looking after  charming cats and dogs allowed us to enjoy everything that Merida has to offer.

dsc02253

dsc02648

 

Mucho Gracias

****

 

Playa Sisal, Mexico- 18 days

Sept.-Oct., 2016:  What a joy it was to discover this isolated corner of the Yucatan.

When we first contemplated the opportunity of pet sitting for 12 rescue dogs we had a lot of questions. How will this work, who feeds them, how do you walk 12 dogs, what are we saying yes to?

a-j-and-d-with-dogs

The Beach Crew

Actually it worked very well, Karen has done a wonderful job of providing a loving home for these beautiful animals. Overall, the dogs are very well behaved and it was a such pleasure to spend time there.

Thank you to Karen and her mom for sharing the joy!! Hugs

If you are looking for a very cool place to escape to, take a look at Karen’s vacation rental property directly on the beach. A more peaceful place would be difficult to find.

Our Friend Karen’s Vacation Rental

***

Merida, Yucatan, Mexico – 1 week

Sept.,2016.  We had the pleasure of sitting for our new friends Vikki and Carlos in Caucel, a suburb of Merida. They have a successful property management business and are pet sitters themselves, so they knew what is important to owners who leave their property to house sitters.

  • oscar-and-co3 playful cats
  • 1 lovely rescue dog
  • Oascar the rescue turtle
  • beautiful song birds

 

We were amazed at how much fun turtle watching can be!

“Thank you again for a job well done with heart and soul”

Vikki and Carlos, Merida

Laguna De Apoyo – 4.5 months

April. to Sept., 2016: As we were leaving, we found it was very difficult to say good bye to our newly adopted family. Yes, house sitters do become attached to the pets!!

Dogwalker

  • 5 dogs
  • chickens, turkeys
  • birds
  • and a lovely cat

There were so many happy moments spent caring for this crew.

This is one of those very special assignments that will always be close to our hearts.

We hope to return often to visit with the wonderful owners and their pets.

Pica, Bella, Simba and Teddy the inhaler.

DSC01537

“We highly recommend Doug and Johanne for any and all house/pet sitting positions. Doug and Johanne took wonderful care of our 5 dogs, 1 cat, paraketes, chickens and turkeys while we were visiting with family in the United States for 4 1/2 months”.

Dave and Linda, Laguna de Apoyo

The Kind Words Others Have Shared

 

the joyful travellers

To Drive or Not to Drive in Central America?

dsc03277

Is it safe for me to drive in Central America?

 

I have recently been confronted with the above dilemma and you may well be too.

dsc03277

 

Let me share with you what I experienced when I mustered up my nerve and got behind the wheel of a car in Nicaragua.

Chaos like you cannot anticipate meets you as you pull out onto the road. All of your senses come to full attention, adrenalin rushes in.  I don’t remember this being on my driver’s test – ever!!

Be prepared for a myriad of massive trucks, barreling buses, taxis, horse carts, tuc-tucs, scooters, bicycles and pedestrians all vying for the same narrow ribbon of concrete that is misnamed  a highway. To me there is no rhyme or reason, but somehow it all seems to have a flow.

dsc01884

 

dsc01760

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The road way itself is littered with the pesky pot holes and heavily camouflaged speed bumps. Don’t be looking for signage or directional arrows for guidance as they are most often forgotten or misplaced. Sometimes what you think is actually a road headed back to town will instantly morph into a goat trail or alley into someone’s yard.

dsc02062

Oh and that one way that I headed down in the wrong direction? The locals were generally amused and forgiving.

 

 

I have yet to mention the living moving obstacles which will include; dogs, chickens, horses, cows, lots of cows, and the old guy pushing an ice cream cart.

 

Little kids laugh and play unsupervised along the sides of the road and the buses load and unload at will.

dsc03082

The other day I found myself in the driver’s seat staring down a very large bull that had little interest in giving way to little old me. In good time he and his buddies shuffled along down the road.

dsc03434.

 

Of course this is what you see in the light of day;   don’t even consider venturing out after night fall, lighting is optional.

 

So did I answer the question?

Not really but maybe you get the picture.

the joyful travellers

Our Cuban Honeymoom

ahabana

Johanne and I were very thrilled to have the opportunity to travel to Cuba in October to celebrate our wedding. It was a little break between our  steady House Sitting assignments.

I have always had a lot of questions and curiosities about the island and Johanne was eager to explore with me.

When you start contemplating Havana, people will say “it is noisy, dilapidated and the air pollution is bad”.

Yes it can be all of that but what we also discovered was a vibrant city full of magic, colour and cultural surprises.

aband

arolling-stones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even Johanne who is adverse to the  crowds of big cities, thoroughly enjoyed our meanderings up side streets and down wide shady boulevards.

aboulivard-copy

We were told to be prepared for a country economically on it knees after 57 years of a crippling US blockade however we did not see that at all.

The quality of life appeared to be higher than most other Latin America countries, and the expected shortages were not obvious to us.

dsc02900Many  pre-revolution buildings are crumbling, at the same time the government is doing their best to restore what they can.

astreet

 

 

Cubans are very resourceful and are quite accustomed to making due with what is available.

 

We were warmly welcomed and everyone was so polite.

click on A Day in The Life Here

And then there are the cars:

acars

See more Yank Tanks Here

Most obvious to us after just one week was:

-how  squeaky clean the streets are with virtually no litter in the cities or on the beaches. (Being poor is not an excuse for throwing trash everywhere).

-the level of education of the population with 99.8% literacy the 10th highest globally

-the family unit seems to be well in tact with the average family having just 1.4 children

 

We also to a side trip to Varardero which makes for a wonderful beach vacation.

So after just one week I would say a few of our questions were answered but many more are yet to be answered.agreatcar

Put Cuba on your list!!

the joyful travellers

 

 

Johanne y Doug

 

House and Pet Sitters Extraordinaire

DSC02184 (2)

      *Reliable          *Resourceful

       *Flexible          *Experienced

  *Caring            *Energetic

hsa-graduates-badge We are committed to providing the best house/ pet sitting experience possible.

Originally

Doug is from Niagara Falls, Ontario and Johanne from Montréal, Quebec. After many diverse adventures and experiences we came together in 2011 and  continued to live out our dreams in beautiful British Columbia, Canada.

On February 6th, 2016 we sealed our love in marriage, and set upon our new path together.

DSC01329

Crescent Beach Pier

Our Dreams

We are very excited about this new phase of our lives and are eager to find house and pet sitting situations where we can be helpful and apply the skills that we share. We find it very fulfilling to assist  home owners by providing them with the assurance that their home, pets and property will be well cared for while they are away.

We both have explored the globe widely and our acquired experience ensures that we are able to easily adjust to  a variety of situations. We are well aware and accepting of the fact that local comfort levels vary widely.

We strongly believe in community and we have a sincere desire to contribute in a positive manner to the areas we visit. Hopefully we will leave places we visit just a little better off than before we arrived.

We travel light and are able to work around your dates and needs. We prefer to over lap our stay a few days ahead of your departure to become familiar with your home and pets.

We are very pleased to offer pet care tailored to your animals needs such as medications, special diets, exercise etc.

Our Services

Staying healthy is extremely important to us both, we are non smokers and have no bad habits. ( Johanne does savior an occasional glass of wine with dinner and Doug really likes peanut butter gelato). We take enjoy every opportunity to hike and swim enjoying nature.

House sitting assignments in remote locations are always considered.

Our Past Lives

We have spent many long and glorious hours cruising the B.C. coast on our 36 ft Islander sailboat. Being on the water has taught us to adapt and to calmly handle critical situations as they sometimes arise. Doug is also a Canadian Yachting Association Sailing Instructor, and has had major offshore experience.

1

SWAN

Johanne devoted her career to child care working in and managing Childcare Centers in California and Vancouver. Her calm and ever cheerful personality served her very well in this field. 

Doug  built a very successful career a real estate consultant and in management. He has also built sail boats, houses and was the Lead Surveyor on  Vancouver’s rapid transit system.

Skill Sets

Johanne, being totally bilingual (French and English) is also functional in Spanish; Doug is determined! We study every day, building our vocabulary and practice whenever the opportunity arises. “Poco a poco”.

AJoJohanne is very good with all animals and has lovingly cared for many different pets over the years. Doug loves taking the dogs for long walks.

We both enjoy landscaping, gardening, and Doug has experience in wood framing, concrete work,  simple finishing and basic electrical and plumbing.

 

RotaryMBS_RGB

Doug is a long time dedicated Rotarian and has had the pleasure of serving as President of two very successful Rotary Clubs. ” Being a Rotarian provides me with the opportunity of contributing to others in a small way, even as we live aboard”.

He was formerly a  Board Member of Big Brothers and Big Sisters in Langley and as a youth mentor was a positive role model to kids.

 

Our Introduction Video

 

Drop us a note and to determine if we are the best fit for your house and pet sitting needs.

Skype is also a great way to become acquainted.

References and Criminal Record Reports are available.

Cheers and Cheese!

 

Contact Us:

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message