For all of 2021 we had been desperately waiting to travel to Australia. Then, at last, early in December 2021, our Special Travel Exemption Application for entry to Australia was accepted and we immediately booked our flights and confirmed the sit with Charcoal’s owners through Trustedhousesitters. We had been desperate to visit our family, especially as we had a baby Grandson, Franklin, born in January 2021 we were craving to meet He was now heading towards being a one year old. Facetimes have been great but we were desperate to hold him.
Housesitting has allowed us both, who travel on a small budget, to experience something we could have only dreamed about, staying in Australia for 3 months, accommodation free, allowing us to really bond with our new Grandson and spend quality time with him.
High season summer rental rates to stay in Manly for this long would be impossible on our budget without housesitting – but along with this free accommodation and living like locals in one of the most sort after areas of Sydney, for almost 2 months we have had the furry love of little Charcoal, he’s definitely been a massive bonus for us. We knew from his owners how sociable and easy Charcoal was so that we could take him everywhere with us, he was great with meeting everyone and all our family loved him.
We arrived in Sydney on the 19th December and had almost 2 weeks over Christmas and New Year staying with our family near Manly, so we were able to arrange a pre-meet up afternoon with Charcoal and his owners. We instantly fell in love with Charcoal, he’s cuter than even the photos on the owners profile. We had a tour of the house and learned more about Charcoal’s routine and we all went for a walk to the nearby doggie park and found out even more about Charcoal and Manly on the walk.
On the day of our Sit we arrived an hour before the Owners had to leave for the airport, immediately Charcoal was happy and playful with us. His owners Welcome Pack was amazing, ultra thorough, over 40 pages of completed info, perfect for us Housesitters!
Charcoal’s home is just a 5 minute walk to the Manly Ferry wharf and all the many beautiful coastal walkways. We’ve explored all of Manly with Charcoal. One of our favourites is the Fairlight Walk and the trail to pretty Shelly Beach taking the path up the Clifftop to the Lookout Post with vast ocean views and if you are lucky you may get a sighting of a whale or dolphins.
We feel so lucky to be living the dream! Walking alongside the main Manly beach, famed for its surfing, you have breath taking wide ocean views. The waves are spectacular. It has a large sandy beach always full of families having fun and watching the displays by the talented surfers of all ages. We love walking this tree lined ocean promenade, with plenty of seating providing an ideal stop, for us to people watch and doggie watching for Charcoal. This walk takes us to one of Charcoal’s favourite swim spots at Manly Lagoon.
Charcoal is a clever pup and quickly bonded with us, he knew we were going to care for him and play with him and give him lots of cuddles. We couldn’t have asked for a better pet, he was so happy to go everywhere with us, such a sociable and obedient little pup. From day one when letting him off leash in the dog friendly parks and beach areas he new exactly who is temporary owners were and came back to us every time. In fact he would run and chase any other dogs that approached us, it was really funny, – get away from my Foster parents haha!
We even took him to Sydney on the Manly Ferry and he was our pawfect tour guide as we visited all the star attractions. Dogs normally have to sit in a crate on the ferry, but Charcoal went in his large toy bag and was as good as gold, needless to say he got lots of loving attention from other pasengers.
He totally loves human company and was happy just being with us, at home watching our every move, snuggling up on the bed with us at night time, playing with his tug of war toys at home or chase games in the parks, swimming with us in the sea and going out with us, sitting quietly at the open air restaurants and cafes we stopped at.
We’ll never forget his cute little waddle, he can really shake his booty! His cuddle time with his favourite soft Wombat toy, its been his favourite toy since a 6 week old pup his owners tell us. He loves to suck and cuddle it (truly – he cuddles it with his paws). Also, the fun time he has swimming in the sea, pretty sure he has a big grin on his face as he returns to shore to us.
Charcoal loved visiting our family, he adored little Grandson, Frankie, and playing with their dog Moose, they became best pals and we often took them out together to the doggie parks. Charcoal adored Moose the Groodle.
Charcoal is such a sweetheart and Manly is a beautiful beachside location on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Charcoal is the most ‘pawfect’ little companion, so well trained and even does little tricks!
He’s a super clever pup and his Daddy showed us a few tricks that Charcoal had learned, including play dead and high fives. All for a treat of course!