Imagine you house sit on a farm with three giant dogs who love to try to sit on your lap after they played in the mud. Their little sister dog, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, is totally crazy in love with Vlou, the traveling Beagle, and shows this by rubbing her body along his side and placing her bum on his head while he tries to have a nap.
We were pleased to get to our house sit in Seething near Norwich in the beginning of March. It was surprisingly rural and the farm was only neighbored by a few other farms in little distance. Four horses were grazing peacefully on the fields around the main house. When we arrived the Staffie, Mabel, run to us with great excitement and made immediate friends with Vlou. From day one she wouldn’t leave his side as she’d obviously lost her heart to him – truly love at first sight!
With a bit of a queasy feeling we saw the three huge dogs locked away in the kennel. “They are perfectly fine”, the owners said with confidence. And already they’d opened the kennel gate for them and they stormed against us delightedly. Oh my …! I thought, keeping a straight face to the owners. I just hope they accept Vlou. But all concern was in vain as these sincerely awesome dogs didn’t react aggressively towards Vlou (or us) at all, although two of them were males. Neutered, but anyway not completely self-evident as Vlou isn’t spayed. They are of the gorgeous, quite unknown breed Spinone italiano, which we encountered for the first time.
There were also two cats to care for – black and white, not only the colour but also their character like day and night. The black cat was a bit reserved but from the second day on she was following us all over the place. The white cat was very old and was happy to be left alone as long as she was fed early enough in the morning. She woke us up every morning like clockwork with a pervasive “Miaaaaaaauuuu!”
We didn’t have to muck out the stables for the four horses which we appreciated as the weather was very ghastly during almost the entire eleven days of our house sit. We only had to bring them in to their stables in the evening.
We didn’t have to walk the dogs as they were able to run around over the whole property of the farm only stopped by a signal on their collar which kept them from leaving the farm. Only Vlou, the traveling Beagle, figured soon that he’d actually be able to leave as he hadn’t a special collar. The dogs weren’t amused, neither were we or the neighbor, who brought him back. Vlou wasn’t bothered and went again the next day which brought us to shame. After that we kept an eye on him every time when he was outside.
Most exciting was to see how much Mable, the Staffie, enjoyed walks in the surroundings. Well, it weren’t exactly walks for her as she was running all over the place tirelessly. What a bundle of energy!