Technical Writer/Animal Lover - Works From Home
I'm potentially available April 7 through May 7, 2023, then booked again through the end of September. I plan to retire from full time sitting after that, though I will remain happy to do occasional sits in unusually beautiful places.
Most sits are for free, where it's a fair trade, and most people end up tipping at the end, which helps defray the cost of travel between sits. Every now and then people offer to pay for extra services or extra complicated pet care, which is appropriate, as it takes time from work.
Either way, tips are customary and very much appreciated, but not obligatory.
54, Technical Writer - Consultant
This is Evan. As a truly caring and responsible animal lover, I've been sitting for nearly seven years and have 37 great references on this site, including the latest, posted in October of 2022. Plus, I'm currently on a repeat sit caring for Millie, a lovely 23-year old Calico cat for a family in Columbia, Maryland. If you scroll down my profile, you can read all of these comments from the families I've helped, as they begin after this introduction.
You are in the right place if you are seeking a well educated, responsible professional, who loves animals and offers attentive and informed care to them.
It's amazing to realize I've been on over 49 sits for 37 families now. Many more invite me back than I've been able to help, due to schedule conflicts, especially before the pandemic, as I was often booked 9 months out.
Describing myself is complicated because I'm an interesting person:
First, I am a non-smoking, educated, professional man. I am a warm soul, a lover of animals, a pesci-vegetarian in fact, and a good Shepard of what resources are in my care. You can trust me to take care of your beloved home, plants, and animals.
I grew up with dogs (several Cocker Spaniels, a tiny miniature Dachshund, and a huge Weimaraner, plus helped my father with his 4 German Shepherds) and gardens, on beautiful properties.
Starting in college, I adopted my own cat, Athena (a rescue), We shared 11 wonderful years. Sadly, she passed on, but the love remains.
I will make sure your loved ones are well cared for and would be happy to send you photo updates from my cell phone regularly.
My personality is introverted at home. I'm a technical writer and researcher, an inventor (with one patent so far), an entrepreneur, and I enjoy chipping in for the local parks and environmental efforts. I'm also a neat-nick and will keep my environment clean and orderly. As a sitter, I don't tend to have guests, preferring to see people out and about, and only do have guests with explicit homeowner consent. I'm a science and computer geek. My BS degree was in Environmental Health.
Right now I have made it through a career change after working from Alaska as a technical writer and problem solver for a Forex market trading software company client, for most of the time since 2003. Before that, I had multiple clients. Unfortunately, the software company went out of business at the end of 2019, right before the pandemic began.
Fortunately, I now have had three new technical writing clients who have been keeping me rather busy the past couple years. One is a beach is nourishment government agency, the other a Miami based law firm dealing with massive insurance claims litigation cases; I help document the work of their programming team, and the third is a software company that helps people migrate their severs into the "Cloud" (e.g., Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and VMware. I've also begun work on a new book of my own.
Also, several years ago I decided to leave Alaska to live somewhere that was frozen less than 6 months a year, and that's when my house sitting began.
My work often has me busy working 30 to 50 hours a week, on my computer and over the Internet, and I'm getting to explore the country as I decide where I might like to settle down more permanently. I also do occasional shorter term projects, like website development and other project management for clients on a per contract basis, when I have time.
House sitting is working for me for now, as I explore our country and see where I want to settle down after fifteen years living in Girdwood, Alaska, the ski town for Alaska. I'm also open to foreign placements. I expect 2023 may be my final year of back to back house sitting, as my tech writing income has grown, though I can see occasional house sitting while on vacation or traveling to other countries as attractive.
Homeowners tend to like and appreciate me, and they find me very attentive to their needs--as you can see in their own words further down.
An Albuquerque couple has had me for 5 repeat sits so far, from 3 weeks to 3 months each, as they are a couple enjoying their retirement and traveling often. I was invited back multiple times after spending 70 days the Winter before last, to care for a cat named Cinnamon and a beautiful home full of lovely plants and beautiful landscaping, in Albuquerque, NM. I was also there June 1 through August 28, the summer before last, three weeks last winter, and a similar period last summer, and for six weeks in the Autumn. And they've requested me again for the future.
Cinnamon is an in indoor/outdoor cat, so every day I made sure he is happy, fed, clean, eats his medicine, and enjoys lots of daily play time. In addition to checking the mail and giving the owners lists of all non-junk mail, I open and followed up on whatever they wanted to know more about, as I do for many of the families I help. I water the indoor plants and the yard, a daily task in New Mexico summer. And I care for three turtles in the side yard, giving them daily bits of cherry tomatoes, bananas, and whatever else they appreciate.
Two years ago they also adopted Harry, a brindle colored 9-year old rescue dog. Harry is big, at 72 pounds. He seems to be a pit-bull/retriever mix, but we are not sure. Either way, he added 3 happy walks a day to my schedule.
Starting their garaged car for a few minutes weekly is another one of my tasks, to keep the batteries charged and engine flowing. They added me to their auto insurance for one car while placing the insurance for the other one on "garaged" status--this way I can take care of errands and if necessary get their pets to the vet. The money they save by garaging one car was about equal to what adding me their policy cost, and my being able to get around is a real plus. I sold my own car when I flew out of Alaska year and have been flying from sit to sit, since.
My previous sits include the following: three months in a beautiful Victorian home in Evanston, Illinois, where I cared for two very furry Manx cats, Zuni and Auggie, as well as the house, and regular mail calls relayed through the internet. They also added me to the insurance for one car, and put the other car in garage status, allowing me to use their car for general shopping and errands.
Since then, I've found most auto insurance covers occasional users with no extra charge (this varies by state), if they are guests at the home. So most families have to pay nothing for extra insurance. Where I stay for more than three months in a row, it may be good to name me on the insurance.
The first summer I sat for a couple in West Palm Beach (Singer Island), I was caring for a lovely home, garden, and pool, keeping the house lived in and maintained to deter crime, and protected from any hurricanes that might happen. I also dealt with building inspectors, sent photos of mail, and scans when they asked me to open it, and other things upon request.
Since my Albuquerque sit with Cinnamon the cat, I did a quick 2-week sit in Tempe, Arizona (they gave me a wonderful endorsement here) for Mr. Bigglesworth the cat.
Then a 3 week sit in the Seattle (Renton), Washington area, for a small Terrier, named Toby last Autumn. They also had me back for another month the next February & March. Toby is now about 14 years old and loves teaching me his very particular ways. We enjoyed our time in-house, and our daily walks for 45 to 75 minutes or so, around his hilly neighborhood. Sometimes I drove him to parks in the region to share more exciting adventures.
After my first sit for Toby, I went on a sit scheduled for 2.5 weeks in Gig Harbor, WA but ending 9 days early as the homeowner injured his back and needed to return. Rosie was a wonderful (98 pound), large flat haired retriever, and Ole' the cat was huge and loving too. Because the homeowner returned ahead of schedule, I had a last minute challenge, solved by visiting a friend.
Next, I went on a 7 week sit in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, caring for a lovely little pair of dogs: Weber, a toy Chihuahua and Sparky, a Shiba-Inu/Chihuahua mix through early January 2017. It was a great sit and I'm likely to return next year.
After my first sit for Toby the Terrier in Renton, WA for a month, that couple then recommended me to their friends in Covington, WA, where I cared for Penelope, a very large indoor/outdoor cat through the end of March. They've also invited me back.
This happened again, with one sit leading to another. In April and May of last year, I cared for Sammy the cat, in Ashland, Oregon (a beautiful, pedestrian friendly town with a 10 month long Shakespearean Festival). While I was there, their next door neighbor got to know me, and after I left, she invited me to care for her own cat for a month in September.
I've been updating this profile on and off since I began. Now it's at the point where detailing every sit seems excessive. But if you have any questions, I'm glad to expand the list for you. Most recent sits include Fort Collins, CO, Columbia, Maryland, Lenexa, KS, Haymarket, VA, Moneta, VA, Baltimore, MD, Fairfax, VA, Gulfport, FL, Independence, MO, Atlanta, GA, Washington, DC, and Fort Myers, FL. But I've also had many sits on the west coast. The pandemic seemed to steer me to the SouthEast.
Instead of speaking for myself, though, I suggest you simply look at what the families have written about me, about my care for their homes, beloved pets, cars, yards, pools, and plants. I do my best to treat every household and family as I'd want my own home and favorite people to be treated, were the roles reversed.
Update: August 25, 2021: Just wrapped up a sit in Fairfax, Virginia for Winston, a playful and energetic 1.5 year old hound dog . Current sit is for five weeks caring for a beautiful home and gardens in Wichita, KS. That will be followed by a month long sit, caring for five cats and a house in Baltimore, MD.
New Update, October 3rd, 2021: I'm currently on a sit caring for four lovely cats in Baltimore, MD through the end of October.
And, I've been offered three new sits that dovetail perfectly, caring for Maddie the gentle Doberman in November in Virginia, Tabitha the Boxer-mix from just before Thanksgiving through early January, also in Virginia, and then caring for Jimmy the cat in Kansas City, Kansas for 6 months, through the end of June.
February 2022 update: The Kansas City sit was delayed due to the pandemic, but it's now re-confirmed, February 13th through July 16th, 2022. At five months, it will be my longest sit yet! Also, I promised my family to help them for a 10 day sit following this one.
January 16, 2023 Update: With the exception of being possibly available April 7 to May 7, 2023 (I may be on vacation), I'm currently booked though the end of September, 2023.
Unless someone has an unusually beautiful home and location, I'm going to take a break from house and pet sitting after September and settle down somewhere again...that is unless I'm offered a really wonderful long-term sit starting near October 1, 2023.
My references are excellent. There are currently 37 great endorsements on my profile. Scroll towards the bottom of my sitter profile to find the endorsements section.
"He gave us great peace of mind, while we were traveling through Europe," is a quote from Florida clients. Most of these homeowners will be willing to talk with you by phone. You should be able to see their endorsements on my profile here.
I really appreciate having a clean, safe place to stay while I concentrate on work, writing and exploring various communities. A beautiful place, with the Internet, enables me to concentrate and do all the various office things required to develop my business. Being in a clean space leads to more ordered work.
I often need to work 6 to 10 hours a day at my computer and use the internet and my cell phone interacting with people around the country. Most of that I would do from the location of my sit, though I also like to do some work at cafes so I see live humans.
Walking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, and other active outdoor things appeal to me. Dogs that need walking are ideal clients, because I love walking with company, and it helps me clear my head and center my work several times a day. I'm even more of a cat lover. As to the rest, I also appreciate birds, and most other kinds of animals, and have cared for a variety from Parrots to Gold Fish, from Rabbits to Turtles, even hermit crabs. I'm also quite happy to simply tend a garden and home without pets, as I'm doing now, and did on Singer Island, Florida. It can be a wonderful break to simple care for a home without pets, as much as I love them all.
My last rental was for eleven years, from a landlady who was out of state 9 of 12 months per year, typically. I managed her several properties for her during much of those 11 years, taking care of writing leases, renting to tenants, and managing contractors as necessary for repairs. She is quite elderly now, but still alert and more than happy to provide a wonderful reference.
My family was in the home building field for three generations, and I can draw on their skills for planning and managing any needed repairs and renovations.
Write to me for a link to see my resume on LinkedIn.
It's been fun exploring our beautiful country after fifteen years of living in Alaska!
Hopefully you will see having me as caretaker for your home and loved ones as a win/win/win/win situation, where not only do you get an excellent house sitter, but you also help me enjoy seeing our country, as I seek my forever home. And if you have plants and pets, they win too, as they are loved and well cared for.
Feel free to ask any questions.
Longer sits are preferred, when possible.
-- Naturally (While Not Obligatory) Tips Are Appreciated -- Still, if you can't afford to tip, please, have no worries, as I'll understand. You can still write me an awesome endorsement!
-- Not to judge anyone for their own choices, however, I won't sit for tobacco smoking households, even if they only smoke outdoors on their porch.--
As a non-smoker, it happens I have an allergic reaction to tobacco smoke smell in particular. Please respect this is a critical requirement for me to help you. Thank you for understanding.