Meet 9 year old Pyrenean Mastif, Txuri, she’s a super-sized softie and she was our first ever House/Pet Sit that we applied for after joining Trustedhousesittters. We cared for her for 5 weeks in January 2018 in the charming coastal town of Aldeburgh, in Suffolk.
The Owner, Diana, was planning a special 5 week ‘trip of a lifetime’ taking her family to Tanzania.
Just like us, Diana was a ‘newbie’ herself to the THS website, which kinda felt nice, both of us starting out together. After sending in our Application to Sit for her and her quick reply back to us, we then chatted on the phone for ages, we all seemed to ‘jell’ immediately.
We discovered that we both had a great love of Spain. Diana having lived and worked there, still owning a property in Madrid and we had recently returned from living there ourselves, so we had lots to talk about.
So we planned a date to visit Diana and Txuri, we only lived an hour away in nearby Norfolk. We were all super excitied and couldnt wait to meet up.
Our plan was always to house sit locally in the UK initially, to build up a good set of Reviews from owners and also we knew how beneficial it must be for house/pet owners to meet in person the people they may hand over their precious pets and house keys to.
As animal lovers that had experience of property management and working in the Public Services and hospitality Sector, we felt confident we would love the concept of House and Pet Sitting.
Diana invited us over for a lunch, this was November 2017, to meet her and Txuri. Txuri instantly stole our hearts. Diana made us feel incredibly welcome and after chatting for only a short while and lots of cuddles with Txuri, Diana burst out with “Can I just say now, I already love you two and want you to care for my precious hound and home, is that ok?” It was really quite emotional and have to say both myself and Jonathan’s eyes welled up a little. We chatted more for hours, hearing all about Txuri and her journey from North Eastern Spain as a puppy. We absolutely knew we would fall in love with gentle giant Txuri.
Diana said she had noticed Txuri leaning on us both and said that was her sign of giving comfort and affection.
Diana is an amazing cook and served us a fabulous meal with homemade profiteroles to honestly die for.
Diana’s house is beautiful and just a few steps from the sea front and Aldeburgh town centre. One of her passions is wildlife and her garden is a real haven for birds. Diana has an enormous bird book collection and told us which birds to look out for and their habits. Of the 2 large Garden Summer rooms, one houses every kind of bird feed/nuts imagineable and the other, well that is Diana’s very own Gin Palace, haha!
So you are getting the picture of how lucky we were meeting this super interesting, generous and funny (oh yes, she had us laughing on the floor with her stories) lady, owning this most adorable beautiful doggo and she was happily going to entrust her precious Txuri and home to us.
We arrived the day before Diana’s departure and after a cuppa and chats and lots of cuddles with Txuri and a visit from one of Diana’s best pals and Cleaner and our contact in Diana’s absence, the lovely Ginny, we had a quick explore of the town and Diana genned us up on all the local knowledge.
Everyone we met knew and loved Diana!
We then all had a walk out with Txuri and Diana showed us the best pathways along the river banks and fields and Txuris favourite routes. How wonderful that we would have so many pretty riverside walks direct from the doorstep, as well as the beach just opposite.
Living in Diana’s lovely home was truly fabulous and we very quickly bonded with adorable Txuri. She became like our own. She has such a kind calm temperament and loves human affection and as big as she is she is super happy cuddling up. Oh and her grooming time, she loves that, her smile on her face told us it must be like such a pleasing massage for her, as well as removing excess fluff from her dense coat. She slept at the side of our bed from the very first night with her. In fact, Diana told us that for the first couple of nights on her return home, Txuri still slept in our bedroom and looked for us.
Exploring Aldeburgh and the surrounding area with Txuri was fun. Txuri loved a car journey and was a delight to take out. Diana left us loads of info on where to visit,
We kinda new the area, but mostly only Aldeburgh main town and beach front.
One of our favourite walks with Txuri, just over the road from the house, was along the sea front to the sandy dunes of Thorpeness, with the reward of a Cafe stop when we arrived. It was quite adorable watching Txuri enjoying the sea breeze on her face.
Just a short ride away was beautiful Snape, a complex of river bank walks and pretty woodland walks. Sizewell sandy beach and North Warren Nature Reserve were both just a short ride away. Great to have such a variety of doggy frendly places to visit.
During our 2nd week with Txuri, a cold February week, we had heavy snowfall.
With all our warm gear and wellies on we made the most of being out in it with Txuri. She loved it, she had so much fun running in the snow, feeling quite at home. It was a pretty awesome sight watching her in the snow.
Thanks to Trustedhousesitters, we now have this incredibly special friendship with Diana and we will always be lifelong friends, keeping in touch regularly and planning meet ups whenever we can.
We regularly sent Diana updates and whatsapp messages with photos and videos of Txuri so that she knew all was great and Txuri was happy wih us.
Diana sent us amazing videos of her Safari trips.
On Diana’s return we cooked lunch for her and stayed the night, hearing all about her incredible holiday.
It was impossible for Jonathan and myself to hold back the tears as we said our bye byes, there were lots of hugs all round. But it wasn’t long at all before we were back visiting, lunching, chatting, and lots and lots of Txuri cuddling.
Txuri will always have a special place in our hearts, our gentle loving sweet giant.
We never imaginged when we began our house sitting journey, excited at the prospect of travel and visiting new parts of the World, just how much we would bond with the pets we cared for and the enormous part the pets would play in our love of house sitting. We adore them all and Txuri was the first of many. 48 Sits and 116 animals later we are loving this journey of pets, people and places and the amazing Community of Trustedhousesitters.