Where is Killearn? I thought, and went on Google Maps to see, if this house sit would be something for us. We had been contacted by a mother of three children which house sitter had let her down near term. Luckily we had a gap in our house sitting agenda and were able to help out as we were already in Scotland. ‘Oh wow!’ I exclaimed. ‘It’s only half an hour drive and almost in Lochlomond And Trossachs National Park. That’s awesome!’
The four-bedroom house was in a complex with two other houses of her in-laws. A pond surrounded by big trees, lawns and meadows offered spacious playground for the dogs. The two Labradors, Maisie and Sana, made friends with Vlou and us immediately.
But there were not only the dogs to care for. Furthermore a flap eared, black-white angora rabbit was in competition for attention with the dogs and five chickens.
The feathered members of the family were not allowed to get in the house (luckily). Don’t laugh at me! – they had all names! (which I don’t remember). That’s the first step to get into the house, isn’t it?
Last but not least – may I introduce you to the queen of the house? The whole top floor is her kingdom where she chose bedrooms and beds for her rest ad libitum.
Maggie was very well-behaved and liked to lie on her sofa in the reception room observing what was going on in the kitchen. She had a melancholic look on her face which only lifted when we took a walk. Then she would run and play excitedly like a puppy with Sana, herself being only eight months old.
Sana being the opposite of Maggie not only in colour as she was black as the night but also in her naughty behavour. We were told to lock her up in her puppy cage in the night and if we left the dogs alone at home. ‘She would otherwise destroy the house’, Nicola, her owner said laughingly. We got some examples as she managed to get at anything desirable from the kitchen counter (and that was not only food!).
Nonetheless a most lovable chewing monster – we were not able to be angry with her. Look at that face!
Other than that, we enjoyed both dogs (all three with our traveling Beagle, Vlou, of course!) on extended walks in Lochmond and Trossachs National Park. You can go in either direction to find stunningly beautiful landscapes with lochs (lakes), mountains and rivers.
We were able to visit the famous Falkirk Wheel – a rotating boat lift in Scotland, connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. What an engineering marvel!
Falkirk in Scotland is also home to The Kelpies, the largest equine sculpture in the world. It are 30-metre high horse-head sculptures, a monument to Scotland’s horse-powered industrial heritage. The dogs were not very interested in our cultural trip though – see their long faces!
After a fortnight we welcomed the family back from their holiday and drove off to our next house sit all the way to Southampton in the south of England. ‘Sana has been always very quiet when we drove somewhere’, George stated thoughtfully. ‘Yes, surprisingly she was always very quiet,’ I replied. ‘I know now why!‘ George looked at me and made a face. ‘She was chewing contently through all the safety belts of the backseats during our trips and we didn’t even hear it!‘
What ‘lovely’ surprises did you encounter during your house sits?