Ride 'em cowboy
Two years ago we were both in full time employment continuing our careers of 35 plus years. If at that time someone had told us that in December 2018 we would be looking after a 60 acre stud farm with 28 horses, 12 cows and a farm dog we would have asked for a glass of whatever they were drinking and quickly moved along the bar.
But here we are, it’s only three months since we commenced pet sitting, and we are having the most amazing experience in a stunning location with a pet sit on steroids!
Luckily, all the animals here are very easy to look after, they all feed and water themselves, we just have to wander around to check none of them look sick and make sure that there is water in the various troughs around for everyone. The horses are very used to humans being around them as they are all polocrosse horses.
We are in the rolling hills of the Upper Hunter about 2 1/2 hours north of Sydney. This is probably the most peaceful place we have ever been to on the planet. There is very little noise out here except for the birds, frogs, cicadas and other wildlife, and an occasional moo!
We have learned to decipher the moos. “I’m getting a lemony, citrus taste with quite a dry finish” said Mavis, “Ooh! It’s too dry for me” said Rita, “ooh let me try” said Deirdre.
When we met Peter and Toni, the owners, they gave us a tour around the farm to give us an understanding of how everything works. The most memorable tips included:
Be careful when taking any food waste out to the green bin in the back yard, a black snake sometimes lives in there! (I can confirm throughout this pet sit we have NOT been within 100m of that bin!)
Don’t open the windows in the TV area upstairs as rats might get in!
Toni cooked dinner for us on the first night, we chatted as to why they selected us for this house sit. The reply included that they liked our profile on our web page and our photo, they thought it was “quite gay”! And there was us thinking that we had been chosen because of our undercover cowboy look and not just because they like the idea of two Village People types running the farm while they are away!
Maitland and the surrounds
Nearby is the city of Maitland. In the 1850’s this was the second largest city in Australia as a result of trade that was brought along the Hunter River. This brought a lot of wealth to the area and the building of many Victorian era buildings, which luckily are still here.
There is also a pretty good food scene in the area and of course wines as we are close to the Hunter Valley wine region, which is about a thirty minute drive away.
Dog of the year!
T Bone has to be one of the best dog names ever. He is a mastiff cross who is so friendly and obedient, he loves being around people, and we are his new best friends. For us he goes straight to number one as our all time favourite dog.
He spends most of his time around the house terrace. but he loves to go for a walk around the fields with us where he ducks under the wire fences and runs around the farm animals. The calves are as much interested in him as he is in them, it’s as though they think he is a small calf!
My boot scootin’ baby is driving me crazy
T Bone has been really impressed with our cowboy impersonations, in fact he thinks we are the real deal. A few dog treats haven’t gone a miss in helping him come to this decision though, or is it the Steps dance moves? “5,6,7,8”,
As the sun sets on another year we look back and feel truly blessed to have had the experience of this farm sit and all the other travel and pet sits that we have done in the last twelve months. Hopefully we have many more to come.
It’s time to head north to Ballina where we will be downsizing our responsibilities just a little, here we will be looking after little Romeo for four weeks.