© 2021, The McGees

Our First Gig

November 22, 2015

This is it - a leap of faith! We sign up to be Trusted Housesitters, peruse the available sits and decide that the gig in Uintah Utah looks pretty cool. We apply and are accepted. Yikes!

It feels like a big deal, flying to Utah, meeting people we do not know and volunteering to stay in their home and care for their pets. What if they don’t really exist? What if it just doesn’t feel right? What if?? We decide that, together, we can manage anything. We even come up with contingency plans.

But our worries end up being unwarranted. We connect easily with the homeowners. They take us to dinner in Ogden, put us up in a hotel and run us through the routine in the morning prior to their departure. Here we go.

We’ve taken on a lot here - multiple chickens or “chooks”, 4 cats (black) and Jasper, the really big horse. The chickens have a beautiful walk-in coop and there is no problem handling their care and clean up. The cats are a variety of rescues and we enjoy their company. We are told that we will likely not see one of them, but Tim, being the cat whisperer that he is, soon has the cat coming close for petting and attention.

We do not have a lot of horse experience but feeding Jasper and picking up after him is certainly doable. There is a step by step, gate opening and closing procedure for feeding chickens and Jasper in the mornings. On the first morning, I somehow miss one gate and look up while feeding the chickens to see Jasper, the really big horse, INSIDE the walk-in chicken coop. He is interested in chicken feed.

I know enough to get myself out of that coop quick and go for Jasper’s hay. He follows me without incident. Whew! Lesson learned about gate vigilance.

Toward the end of our stay, Tim steps up to repair a wire fence that Jasper manages to knock down in pursuit of fresh grass. Horse escape averted.

In the meantime, these train buffs have the supreme pleasure of visiting the Golden Spike National Historic Site on a quiet day in the middle of nowhere. It is as if we have stepped into the past. Awesome!

We depart Uintah and our furry, feathered and hoofed friends amidst fresh snow. We are hooked on this house sitting thing. Where to next?

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Written by Julie and Tim McGee who live in Sonoma, California, USA and frequently elsewhere...