About Us

usplusclinkWe are a semi-retired married couple based in the Greater Vancouver area. We’re self-employed in the publishing industry and, with access to wi-fi, can work from anywhere. We fell into house- and pet-sitting by accident, when, in 2009, we helped out neighbours who were uncomfortable leaving their home alone. These neighbours wintered in Mexico each year, which got us to thinking, there must be others out there just like them. Turns out, there are. We discovered pet-sitting sites such as Housecarers, Trusted Housesitters, and HouseSitMexico, signed on and, dozens of sits later, we’ve been pet-sitting ever since. Read the References section to see what homeowners have said about us — every single one has asked us back, a testimonial in itself.

During our 35 years of marriage, we’ve traveled to roughly 60 countries on six continents, so we’re comfortable in just about any cultural setting. We’re all the things you’d expect (and demand) in people to whom you entrust your home and pets: reliable, dependable, honest, trustworthy, resourceful, conscientious, non-smoking, clean and tidy. We also love animals, and understand the special relationship you share with your pets. We tend to click immediately with dogs and cats and have bonded with many, even after short pet-sits. They are our top priority when they are in our care; you can rest assured they will be very well looked after in your absence.

Rick also loves to photograph the pets, and will send as many pictures as you like to reassure you they are happy and healthy while you enjoy your well-deserved time away. We are also very fit and active, so you know your dog will get all the activity s/he needs, and your kitty the playtime s/he deems appropriate (after all, dogs have owners, cats have staff!).

A Bit of Background…

The genesis of this site was unleashed in 2010 during our dog days in Mexico, when we cared for a menagerie of ex-pats’ pets in four different pueblos. Anyone who has ever met a dog or cat knows how inadvertently entertaining they can be. So I started chronicling their antics in a blog, which later bred into a book, Adventures in Pet-Sitting (available on Amazon and Smashwords). After our stint as critter sitters down south, we returned home to continue caring for cats and dogs in our native British Columbia. Like restless dogs, we don’t sit still for long, though. We hope to range far and wide and snuffle out animal houses in need of our services.

Pet-sitting is not all fun and games, however. Well, it mostly is, but occasionally a serious situation will arise. Like the time one of the dogs we cared for, a ferocious-looking beast who normally was very mild-mannered, suddenly snapped his leash and, fangs bared, charged after a smaller dog (disaster was averted; the only injuries incurred were paws and pride). Or the time a boa constrictor stalked a kitten in our care (again, disaster averted — narrowly). Or, when a dog or cat is so old that they come with a host of health issues, from feline AIDS to allergies that manifest in stinky scratch-athons to full-blown heart failure or cancer.

Since we care for the pets, we care for the conditions. Thus, we’ve learned a lot about AIDS, allergies, skin ailments, collapsing trachea, dysplasia, heart issues and cancer, and have experience caring for such pets in collaboration with a variety of veterinarians, both in BC and Mexico.

Thanks for stopping by. Perhaps we’ll care for your own four-legged baby!

Fur-ever yours,

Robin and Rick,

RobinandRick@yahoo.ca

Click here to find out how it all started with our first blogs – MexicoMomentos

R.I.P., Tai. November 2, 2016

Amid the hubbub of Mexico’s famed Day of the Dead, when families celebrate and remember their dearly departed with graveyard vigils, parties and parades, Tai quietly slipped away. Drained and depleted by cancerous tumours he’d been battling for about a year, his strong, sturdy body finally broke down and gave out. We were by his side, along with Judy and Lee, and as heartbreaking as it was to watch him wither, he was one lucky boy who lived one long, lucky life, and he knew it.

Judy and Lee had rescued Tai some 10 years ago when they found him abandoned on the beach. Scars across his face and neck led them to suspect he’d been kept as a fighting dog. They took him in, tamed him, pampered him, and loved him like a child. He repaid them with love, loyalty and devotion. He was our first pet-sit, and his fierce façade was intimidating, a kind of trial by fire. But over the years that we cared for him, we grew to love this special dog and his quirky ways. Not one for play or affection, when he did snuggle or plant a wet one on our face, it was an honour. We’ll miss you, amigo, but we’ll also celebrate and remember you. Always.

tai1

Click on this image of Tai to see some photos of the times we spent together.

2012kiss

Click on this image to read the”Mexico Momentos” blog recounting our first meeting with Tai in 2010. It remains one of the most popular posts Robin’s ever written.

La Cabalgata (The Cavalcade)

La Cabalgata (The Cavalcade), Patzcuaro

Click on the image above to see a slideshow of this annual event in Patzcuaro, called La Cabalgata.

Every October 24, for the last 31 years, hundreds of gauchos (cowboys) make the pilgrimage from Morelia to Patzcuaro, nearly 60 kilometres away, called La Cabalgata (the cavalcade). They leave Morelia at 6 a.m. and arrive at the Basilica de Nuestra Senora de la Salud (Our Lady of Health) in Patzcuaro nearly 12 hours later, picking up more riders along the route.

The Basilica sits atop a pre-Hispanic ceremonial site, although the church itself wasn’t completed until the 19th century. A figure of the Lady, or Virgin, crafted from a corncob and honey paste by 16th-century Tarascans, stands behind the altar. When pilgrims claimed to experience miraculous healings, Vasco de Quiroga, the revered first bishop of the state of Michoacan, whose tomb sits just inside the main doors, had the words Salus Infirmorum (Healer of the Sick) inscribed at the figure’s feet. Apparently people from all over Mexico still make the pilgrimage to pray for their own personal miracles. In fact, the founder of the cavalcade organized this annual trek to express his thanks to the Lady for helping his son recover from an illness. Once the horses are cooled and watered, these pilgrims on horseback will attend a mass at the Basilica to offer their own personal prayers and thanks.

Click on the image above to see a slideshow of some of Rick’s pix of the event.