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Adventures in Pet Sitting

Adventures in Pet Sitting: Woofs & Wine in the South of France

It’s impossible to regard housesitting as a job when the rewards last a lifetime.

By Jane Thomas

When nursing a broken heart—or a severely dented ego—three things are essential to recovery: a stunning location, free-flowing wine and dogs. A brutal twisting of events saw me spending a new year’s eve scouring the Internet for the holy trinity of heartache cures and it was through this morose meandering that I stumbled across housesitting. While everyone else in the world slept off their new year hangovers I chatted with an English lady in the south of France who needed somebody to look after her two dogs.

Everyone knows that France and wine go hand in hand and here I was landing the jackpot: a month on a vineyard in the far south.

I remember arriving in the dark, seeing hints of vines stretching off into the distance—and the silence being shattered by a dog who was singing. “Oh yes,” the lady confirmed, “Nina sings. Nobody believes me when I tell them but...” and she trailed off with the typical French shrugging gesture she had adopted after years in the country. Nina and Madge, two rescues of no discernible lineage, wagged their whole bodies in greeting.

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