Posts or Comments 30 June 2022

joydeanlee | 27 Jul 2009 01:20 pm


House/pet-sitting isn’t my first or chosen profession, but it is one that evolved from my being asked by close friends and family to safeguard their homes and pets while they vacationed. I was not a “pet person” (I didn’t like them much!) during either my own childhood or during the time I was raising my two daughters.


Feeding the chickens and gathering eggs were part of the responsibilities of this house/pet-sitting gig in the north Georgia mountains. Ten feral cats, one indoor/outdoor cat and one indoor/outdoor dog also awaited their daily feeding.

One daughter periodically pleaded with me to allow her to adopt a pet. NO! I stood firm. After I began freelancing (book publishing, my third or so career), I had a flexible schedule and could say yes to the pleas of “Please house/pet-sit for us!” All the unqualified love shown by the cats and dogs under my care won me over.

For slideshows and stories of the pets I’ve cared for, select House/Pet-Sitting or Pets–Grandcats in the Topics list on the right.

I’ve now adopted a vagabond lifestyle, traveling coast-to-coast house/pet-sitting, sightseeing, and enjoying the opportunities that this vast country of ours offers. My goal is to visit all 49 continental states; only eight remain on that list.

To obtain needed information from the people for whom I house/pet-sit, I’ve developed a detailed house/pet-sitting form for homeowners to complete. Many travel out of the U.S. and cannot be reached by mobile phone. I thank Becky McColley (one pet owner and a former student of mine) for providing me with the idea. When I first stayed with Max, her Maltese, she provided me with index cards containing most of the info that later appeared on my form.

Note: Max’s story is under House/Pet-Sitting in the Topics column on the right.

That form provides me with all the information I need to take care of any situation concerning either the animals or the home. Driving homeowners to/from airports is another service I provide.

I’ve been interviewed over the last few years by two different freelance writers, primarily about house-sitting (house caretaking) and have been quoted in the articles they wrote. One article, by Billie Cohen, appeared in The New York Times.

The other article, by Megan Stacy, appeared in the San Antonio Express-News. Stacy’s article also includes references to sources of information for people interested in becoming caretakers or house/pet-sitters.

Need a house/pet-sitter? Email me at and write House/Pet-Sitting in the Subject line.

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