My house-sit in August to September 2015 was in a locality I’d never heard of until I saw the ad. This happens quite often!
Corlette, New South Wales is at the end of a peninsula above Newcastle, bounded by Port Stephens and the Pacific Ocean, about an hour’s drive to Newcastle and two and a half hours to Sydney. Outside of the peak holiday times, it’s got the laid-back feel of a coastal resort, with the demographics skewed to the older echelons.
It was quiet in my street, though the daily fly-overs from the nearby air force base were noticeable.
My charges were two Cavoodles, one a Cavalier cross toy poodle and one a cross miniature poodle. Corlette, Nelson Bay and Salamander Bay are very popular with -oodles of all varieties and we met many out and about on our walks.
This was one thing that really struck me about the region: I’ve never met so many friendly dog-walkers so up for a chat. Some people said this was a characteristic of a rural area, but I’ve been in some country areas where people are hard-pressed to give you the time of day.
Either way, I got to talk to scores of people out and about during the five+ weeks I was there.
Apart from the regular walks to the marina at Nelson Bay and around the hilly streets of Corlette (much of it new and under new development), there was the enchanting Tomaree National Park. A walk to the top of Tomaree Head was breathtaking but worth it.
My two little furry clients were fun to have around and generally well-behaved. The younger of the two was only six months old, and her thing to do was to chew.
I’d learnt a costly mistake from a previous house-sit not to leave my runners or anything else valuable within reach, but she seemed to prefer to chew on flower heads and small rocks. She was obsessed with these, and would bring them in and sit on the couch slowly grinding away on stone after stone. Unfortunately, the sound was something akin to hearing fingernails scrape down a chalkboard, so after a quick chat, ‘we’ decided she’d best be doing that outdoors.
The owner was well-pleased to have me there and sent me this reference:
I would like to thank you for the wonderful way you looked after my home and my dog Maisie as well as my sister’s dog Lexie whilst we were away for 6 weeks recently. I think they missed you and the lovely long walks you gave them.
It was so comforting to know that the dogs were in such capable hands and also that the house was being looked after.
Must say it was a delight to come home to a clean house and you even did your washing! I would not hesitate to ask you back in the future and am happy for you to use this as a reference. It was also good to hear that you participated in the local choir’s activity – singing for peace – well done!
Thank you for the photos of the dogs, Pat and I don’t know how you got them to sit still, beautiful shots.
Many thanks and best regards