Assignment details

Location: JAMBEROO 2533

Region: Illawarra

State: New South Wales

Duration: 49 days

Dates: 12-Jul-2016 - 29-Aug-2016

Requirements: We're seeking well experienced house and dog sitters (a couple preferred but experienced individuals considered), with sound references, to look after our home and Maremma sheepdog, Abbie, in this very beautiful and temperate part of Australia from approximately 13 July to 30 August 2016.

The house sitting will be the easiest part. There's no use glossing over the fact that caring for Abbie will be by far the biggest challenge. Maremmas are guardian dogs, brought to Australia from Italy to be left alone in the fields to bond with and to guard flocks of sheep and poultry and herds of cattle against foxes and wild dogs. Maremmas are therefore very independent and single minded. Abbie is bonded to us - we are her pack - and it takes a day or two for her to accept guests. She's big (38kg) and strong but when she gets to know and respect you, she responds lovingly to firm and fair handling. (Our last house sitter, a mature age woman, unavailable this time, loves her and the feeling is mutual. Abbie responds very well to mature age women.) Abbie also understands a large English vocabulary which is helpful in her everyday life with us and with her adult human friends. Our guess is that you will need to be quite experienced in handling large dogs to do this house and dog sit successfully and enjoy it thoroughly.

We're in a very quiet hidden valley not far from Jamberoo village, about 10km inland from beachfront Kiama on the NSW south coast, surrounded by rare native forest on one side and sweeping green dairy pastures on the other. We have one of the mildest climates in Australia and only very rarely get winter frosts. The nearest neighbours, dairy farmers who are very friendly and helpful, are out of sight about 200 metres away. We have a modern house on a landscaped acreage, with large enclosed vegetable garden from which you'd be welcome to harvest, and rely on rainwater for all purposes from our two large tanks. There's a spacious, very comfortable self-contained unit with outdoor area and BBQ facilities, in a lovely setting, downstairs. If you wanted to bring your own accommodation, there's a flat area for a caravan or motorhome close to the house upstairs, and power and water connections available. And despite the fact that we're in the country, we have WiFi internet. If this sounds like a warm winter getaway for you and you're up to the challenge, we'll welcome your inquiry. We will also seek to meet and talk with you before making our final decision. Graham and Ann

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