How an 8-day Dog Sitter Job Turned into a Full On Doggy Bromance

Dog Sitter Bromance hero image

The orders were in. I had just been given my next assignment. My editor had just read how a dog sitting couple had stayed in a beachfront villa in Thailand for a month. Breakfast on the beach, amazing sunsets and all free of charge because the villa came with a Great Dane dog they had to dog sit. My editor wanted to know more, truth be told, so did I.

I’m not going to go into the details about how you find these sort of dog sitting opportunities as that is a process in itself. What I will say is I used Trusted House Sitter, a service that promises to connect home and pet owners with a pet sitter. I recommend you read their help guides on what to look out for prior to considering taking on a pet sitting opportunity in an exotic location.

The Opportunity to Dog Sit in Amazing Homes

First, let me set the scene. This was my first professional dog sitting job. I say professional, which is not strictly true because I never received a penny. However, what I did receive was benefits and memories in kind,  something that money can’t buy. Whilst not paid, I did my take to my dog sitter role with a sense of responsibility and accountability. Heck,  I had 3 fluffy mouths to feed so in that sense I was a true professional.

I had the pleasure of a beautiful 3 storey,  5 bedroom Victorian home with original features and great decor in the beautiful town of Reigate, Surrey (UK). It was complimented with gadgets galore and a fully stocked fridge. Hard work, right? :-).

The house was within walking distance to town and was surrounded by beautiful parks and woodland walks. It also came with a Golden Retriever named Parker and two cats named Basil and Ben, who all made me feel very welcome.

dog sitting house

Rather appealing kitchen/dining area.

dog sitting in lounge

Parker my wingman relaxing in the lounge room. We had many chilled out night’s here together.

On the day of arrival, I was greeted by Parker with Ben and Basil nowhere to be seen. No big deal regarding the cats, they pretty much did their own thing the whole time anyway, except when they wanted feeding of course.

One thing that soon became apparent and something I was not expecting at all was this sudden sense of adventure. I felt like I was on holiday. That sense of excitement of a week away staying in a lush holiday home, yes…I settled in and in no time began to enjoy what the experience had to offer.

House sit, look after some animals, job done. Little did I know it would be a great 8 days with my new best friend, Parker the Golden Retriever.

So What Does a Dog Sitter Do?

For us bachelors, whatever we wanted.

The morning ritual was regular, breakfast for all then Parker and I would review the morning papers to catch up on global news and the markets. Here I was thinking Parker was a simple well kept house dog. Seems he dabbles quite a bit in the markets, with a broad stock portfolio from the FTSE 100 to riskier ventures down in the AIM. He offered all sorts of advice on options and how he is killing it with some very healthy returns. Little over my head, but I know who to talk to when I need some stock advice.

dog-sitter and dog reading papers

So what are the options Parker, what about these ones?

dog sitter and dog reading paper -2

“Okay, getting bored now. Let’s go for a walk”, I said.

After the mind was exercised, it was now time for the body. With dog walking collar in hand, Parker certainly knew what time it was. Reigate is a great place for walking a dog. Access to the beautiful countryside and woodland trails is a very short walk and even shorter drive away!


The amount of local dog walkers we ran into was crazy. Turns out Parker is quite the playboy around town. He introduced me to all his bitches, lovely girls and so full of life. Their owners were equally as pleasant.

parker the dog

Parker the playboy checking out the ladies

This time of the year is particularly pleasing as with the changing of the seasons comes days that are full of sunshine and crisp cool air. Daily dog walks were a way to clear the mind and get a serious dose of Mother Nature.

parker and me in the park

Legs in the air like you just don’t care.

One Man Wolf Pack Games

Boys love games and games it was in the back garden. We played a little one on one basketball.

golden retriever dog playing basketball

When was the last time you played on a trampoline? Trust us when we say, it has been too long. Relive the fun.

What started out in the spirit of a John Lewis Christmas commercial soon ended up as man-on-man, wolf-on-wolf. It got super competitive and our little trampoline jump soon became an open version of a no-holds-barred UFC octagon cage fight. I think it started because we both wanted to be Wolverine.

“I’m Wolverine”

“No, I’m Wolverine”


dog sitter and dog on trampoline

It always starts off as fun and games until someone gets hurt

Let’s just say the trampoline moment was not mentioned until some days later when both of us could eventually laugh about it.

It’s All Gone to the Dogs

Now let’s be clear, Parker is a kept dog with little to do. I on the other hand are self employed and whilst I have the freedom to dictate my own hours, I still have to work. So whilst it may have seemed like all fun and games, I was working as well.

This was something I am very disciplined at.

However one day the weather outside was awful, we missed our morning walk and come 4pm i think we were both getting a little stir crazy. Not only that, Parker was constantly distracting (disturbing) me on purpose. He thinks I didn’t notice, yeah right. There was only one solution.

Poker Time…..

This was serious stuff, as much as I admired Parker I was not going to let him beat me. I should have known better as it seems that everything he touches or does, he does well. Part of the man love really. ….

dog playing poker

Parker collecting his chips

goledn retriever dog playing poker

Yes, I’ll sit on these

Should have known, Parker was a card shark… Dealing and sitting like a pro. Four hours later and he had cleaned me out! I quit before I ran out of chips. Parker definitely did me on my P p p poker face, p p p poker face

He suggested that I offer up other collateral but I kindly declined, at which point he openly mocked me. I can safely say it was at that point that I knew our friendship was for life. That’s was mates do, you enjoy the presence of their company, they mock you, laugh at you and with you. You love them to bits and they drive you mad. Solid foundations for any long term friendship…

Another classic boys moment was after we had been sitting around and having a few beers. Alcohol and cameras, many a career has been lost at the hand of these two instruments. Handle with care I would say…..

In our case, it was just a moment of trying to pull silly facials in ‘slo-mo’. Trust me, when you’re in the moment, it is hilarious.

Dog Sitter Bromance hero image

Keeping It Real

I sit here now reflecting on what was a great dog sitting experience.

It’s funny you go into life with an expectation of how things will play out. I originally warmed to the prospect of dog sitting in exotic locations as being the main focus of the experience, what I didn’t count on was the bond that you build with these lovely creatures as well. They welcome you into their homes and ask nothing of you but yet give so much back in return.

Parker and I have since moved on but what I had in those 8 days will definitely be the first of much more memorable dog sitting experiences. And like so many other first time experiences in life, this first one will always evoke the strongest of memories.

dog sitting bromance

A dog sitting bromance in action

As for any wanderlust pet lovers out there, just do it. Get involved with dog sitting!

As for any pet parent and home owner thinking of going on holidays. If you’re okay with welcoming someone into your home, pet sitting can be a positive experience for everyone involved.

Author Bio: Daryl Cygler is a digital marketing consultant and digital nomad looking to explore life and opportunities in far off places with family and friends. This was his first dog sitting experience and certainly won’t be his last.

Photo collaboration thanks to Mascot Video


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