House Sitting in Toronto

After Burlington, we made our way to Don Mills Toronto where our next house sit was for 3 older dogs. In spite of the medication required by all three dogs, this turned into a fun sit.

As you can imagine, Toronto is a very busy area with a population of just under three million in 2017. The area we were in was Don Mills (population over 25,000) – which happens to be where my husband grew up and went to school – and although it backed onto a busy street, it was a lovely area.

Don Mills was developed to be a self-supporting town and was located outside of Toronto proper until 1998 when it became part of Toronto proper. It is bounded by York Mills Road to the North, Canadian-Pacific Railway to the south, Leslie Street to the west (the street we backed on) and Don Valley Parkway to the east.

Meet The Family

OUR HOSTS

Vicki and Barry are wonderful people to sit for. You could tell they loved their dogs dearly but we knew they felt comfortable with us taking over the reins while they travelled abroad. We had scheduled a meet and greet a few weeks before and the dogs remembered us.

Their home is large, beautiful and bright, very well maintained and sparkling clean. Our bed was extremely comfortable. Vicki and Barry provisioned us well with lots of food and beverages. They are truly a terrific couple.

THE PETS

BOOMERANG

Boomerang (sometimes called Boomer) is a 14-year-old Westie. You couldn’t help but love Boomerang. We never knew what to expect from him. For example, he would bark to go out, then as soon as the other two dogs followed him, he would turn around, come back in and head for the food dish. It was almost as if he was saying ‘haha, fooled ya!’

Although Boomer liked to come upstairs at bedtime, he had his favourite bed downstairs where he would sleep whenever the urge took him which was quite often or, sometimes he would just lean against a wall and have a little snooze – being older has its perks!

A dog sleeping in his bed and against a wall

Boomerang Having A Snooze

Boomer required 3 different eye drops three times a day and he was an exceptional patient. I am sure he was wondering when this strange lady was going away so that his ‘mom’ could come back and do the drops the way he was used to getting them!

He also had pills that he got on certain days that were administered in his food.

Although he enjoyed his walks, there were times when one walk a day was enough for him and he was content to stay behind.

KIPPER

Kipper is also a Westie but a rescue and is 10 years old. He is spry and loved his walks stopping only long enough to sniff a tree, actually many trees, or do his business, often getting far ahead of Boomerang and Charcoal. He would gladly go out twice a day, more if you had a mind to take him. He only required a preventative eye drop once a day and was very good about it.

Dog laying on pillow

Kipper In His Favourite Spot

Kipper’s happy place to curl up was on the end of the sofa in the TV room.

Dog watching TV

Kipper Watching TV

He also had a ‘thing’ for TV – especially if there were dogs, other four legged creatures and even two-legged ones – getting very animated, vocal and up close. Sometimes, he would want to go behind the TV to see where these animals or people were.

On sunny days, Kipper and Boomer loved to hang out on the deck.

2 dogs, lying on a deck

Kipper And Boomer Sunning On The Deck

CHARCOAL

Charcoal is a lovable 8-year old Shetland Sheepdog (Shelti) and was a favourite of my husband as he would curl up under the table where he was working and place his chin and paw on the rung of a chair, content to be close to him. He was also a rather quiet dog.

Dog lying under a table

Charcoal Lying Under The Table

Charcoal also had regular medication, morning, noon and night, but never gave us any issues.

Where’s Our Food

Feeding time was interesting and a little hectic as we had to make sure each dog ate out of his own dish due to the medication that was in a couple of them. It was not unusual for Kipper to try to eat Boomer’s or Charcoal to try and eat Kipper’s. Barry had warned us about this so it certainly kept us on our toes!

3 dogs standing in a kitchen

Patiently Waiting For Breakfast

Exercise and Playtime

Vicki is a very patient owner and would lovingly play with the dogs in the morning and run them through a series of exercises to keep them limber and in shape. Before we left, she demonstrated the routine she put them through every day.

Unfortunately, they weren’t so keen to do this with us, however, they loved to romp and play with their toys and wrestle and would have great fun!

Man playing on floor with three dogs

Playtime

Slumber Time

All three pets were excellent at going to bed, often giving us the eye around a certain time as if to say “ok, it’s bedtime, let’s go.” They all had their favourite sleeping spots upstairs, not far from us, and slept through the night.

Final Thoughts

Although Boomerang, Kipper and Charcoal required a fair bit of care, they were such good, well-behaved dogs it made our sit a lot easier. It is so much fun to see how three different dogs can interact and get along with one another and to see how much personality they actually have. Any pet owner will know what I mean.

It was wonderful to see Barry and Vicki on their return from their trip and how much their beloved pets missed them.

We were very surprised and touched when they presented us with a gift certificate to the Keg and a nice bottle of red wine.

We keep meeting such interesting and kind people and their beautiful pets. If this is something you would like to try, check this out. It might be just what you are looking for!

Have you any experience with house sitting? Was it good or bad? Feel free to share your experiences in the comment section below, whether you are the owner or sitter.

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I love to travel and my biggest regret is that I waited so long to do it, thinking I just couldn’t afford it. I have had some crazy fun, some scary moments, such as getting locked in a shower at a campsite, and met some amazing people. For our trip to Mexico we were able to save money by house sitting, which was something completely new to us. If this is something that interests you, then check out TrustedHousesitters. We hope you visit often.

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