Thank you for checking us out! We have made some dear friends through exchange programs and have endured a few challenges...all learning and growth. We want a healthy and enriching experience for both animals and people. Please review these ground rules and send any inquiries before requesting to stay with us.
If an experience living with and amongst animals is not at the top of your priority list, please stop here and continue your search. Our priorities are animals, my dad, my livelihood (what keeps things going) and then visitors.
This is not the place to come if you're wanting to tour San Diego but it is a good place to connect with animals and re-connect with yourself (hence, the title). Respect my home (the guidelines as noted below) and my priorities and you'll be treated like family.
We are avidly working toward creating an animal companion friendly transitional living center for people and families in transition. The initial target group will be veterans with a plan to open that up for the sake of community integration. The
Resources are precious and dedicated to this vision
Opportunities to support our vision:
Animal Care OR Property Care OR Home Cleaning and Minor Repair OR Caregiving (my 83 yo father lives with us now)
Special Projects: RV repair/ maintenance; minor repairs on our 2 casitas; solar for the casitas and RVs; Conversion of pool to natural swimming pond and pool area to more of an oasis; creation of a couple camp sites for "Hipcamp".
*️️you will be working with host or other guide for your first 2 weeks or longer as needed.
Precious Resources: People, Animals, Nature, Water, Electricity, Gas, Internet, Food...
Please treat with kindness, gratitude, respect, love and compassion.
Helper Hours: 5 hours/ day for 5 days a week.
Your hours may be split related to seasonal temperatures and/ or animal care needs.
Your 2 free days may be separated. We will make every effort to put them together if you request that in advance.
Animal Care Schedule:
Usual rotation/ animal activity times: (may vary with seasonal temperature changes)
6-10 (bkfst/ wrap-up), 1130-230 (activities), 330-7 (dinner/ wrap-up), 8-9 (last round)
*️️*️️dogs without access or older dogs will be turned out 5-6 times/ day
Breaks are built into the schedule. Add time for any additional smoke breaks (not more than 10 min) during work; such breaks should not be taken without ensuring care of the dogs first.
Helper Schedules: For now, the schedule will be set up at least 1 week in advance. Please get your requests to the host a week in advance so we can coordinate a plan that works for everyone. Plans for sudden illness/ injury will be made individually.
If you are working as a team, discuss a plan before you start working.
Community check-in meetings twice a week.
Help each other out if at all possible but honor each others’ boundaries (e.g. off time).
Self-Awareness Practices the host can share:
Proprioceptive Writing, Kundalini Yoga, Breath work, Meditation
Energy Healing: The host has been trained in multiple energy healing modalities. If you are interested in learning more about them, please inquire with the host. If you are interested in having a session, the host will accept money or helper-trade.
Private room (may be with an animal): Please ask about “dog roommate guidelines”.
Please talk to each other about coordinating bathroom access ahead of time, if needed.
Please enjoy the solar shower; request an orientation on how to use it.
We’re working on a compost toilet!
Up at 530am/ shut down at 930pm unless previously arranged.
If you are wanting to arrive after 930pm, please make arrangements to stay out in town or check with host to see if an exception can be made.
Community Cleaning is shared and completed daily (bathroom, kitchen, living areas).
Shared Kitchen and Food:
Vegetarian food is provided on a budget and is shared so please refrain from making a buffet. Group dinners every 1-2 weeks and it’s fun to cook together!
Clean counters from your food prep before you sit down to eat.
Clean up any spills on the counters or floors immediately.
Wash dishes promptly.
Scrape and clean outdoor grills after each use.
Fires in the pit or grill require approval by host or person in charge if host not on site.
We’re always looking for help to get the garden re-started and maintain it!
Drug/ Alcohol Policy:
No marijuana or illicit drugs...nor under the influence while on the property.
Alcohol is consumed minimally when not working on the property.
Guests will notify host of any narcotic or other mind/mood-altering prescriptions, marijuana and alcohol in their possession.
No alcohol drinking during retreat program sessions.
The designated smoking area is at the bottom of the driveway inside the gate. Please inquire about proper disposal of cigarette butts.
If you have any problems with seeing, hearing or smelling, please discuss with host.
It is expected that you will have the necessary prescription gear to adjust for seeing and hearing impairments so that animal care, cleaning and other work activities can be completed safely and effectively.
For everyone’s comfort, please keep boobs, booties and what-not covered at all times. The sanctuary is not a place to hook-up. Unless you come here with your partner, please plan to stay out in town to enjoy intimacy with others. Black’s beach in La Jolla is a great nude beach!
Temporary Visitors/ guests: Please inquire with host.
Trash day is Wednesday; everyone helps to pull together the trash/ recycling on Tues.
Recycling: We have refundable and non-refundable recycling.
Refundable is any drink container that has CA CRV on it.
Non-refundables include: glass, hard plastic, metal cans, cardboard, paper.
Plastic bags and film go into a separate container for transport to a recycling center.
We compost here; please speak with host about animal food waste, if necessary.
Check all chemicals with host to ensure environment and animal friendly; do not dispose of chemicals in/ on the ground.
Safety, Safety, Safety
No running or jumping around the pool area including the diving board.
No extreme diving or jumping from diving board--may jump into water from diving board.
No pool activity when under the influence of alcohol.
Run on property at your own risk (unless in emergency); we live in the hills!
Keep all gates closed and secured at all times.
No animals in pool area without prior host approval.
Do not stick hands through chain link fences.
Knock before opening bathroom or bedroom doors (for rooms occupied by people).
Do not either open the door/ outdoor kennel gate or enter a room or outdoor kennel area with an animal without consulting the person in charge.
Transportation: **during pandemic, no public transport closer than Alpine bus or El Cajon Transit Station**
You may park on the property if you are traveling by car or van.
The closest access to public transportation is 3-4 miles from here.
For those over 21, Sycuan Casino (just across the street) has a free casino bus that provides service to both the local trolley stop and downtown. **this has been down during PANDEMIC restrictions**
The host may provide drop-off or pick-up if it coordinates with her work schedule and it will be a trade for helper hours.
Emergency/ Disaster Plan:
Everyone on the property responds to an emergency.
We live in a fire zone and fire season is active especially from May through October.
Emergency/ Disaster plans will be reviewed upon arrival.
Please be prepared to sign a liability waiver when you arrive.
The host reserves the right to direct anyone to vacate the premises immediately who is in violation of these rules or anyone who discovers a violation and does not report it to the host promptly.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
Gaining an appreciation for being vs doing...for practicing presence...recognize what nature and animals have to offer people...an opportunity to gain more perspective on yourself through connecting with nature and animals.
As an extra, helpers will be introduced to kundalini yoga and various alternative healing modalities.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
Animal shelter cleaning
Small Structure building or improvement
The accommodations are in a room with a dog, in the trailer with a dog, or in a tent you pitch on the property. 27ft RV trailer with table and benches that can fold out into 2 full beds. RV back area large enough for king-size bed but only queen-size futon available. Electrical available in RV for small appliances. Bathroom with shower available in the main house.
Dog Roommate Guidelines:
No Xylitol--Pls check your toiletries and snacks to clarify if they contain xylitol.
Keep the following out of reach of your dog roomie: Medicine, soap, food.
Do not store food in room unless cleared by host.
Keep the room clean.
If you eat in the room, pls return dishes promptly.
If you have any observations or concerns regarding your dog roomie, pls inform the host
Pls turn off lights when not in use.
Pls keep your belongings up or put away.
Pls keep any cords out of reach.
These are shared beds; pls wash up often especially after hard work.
Change your linens at least weekly (during summer) and place dirty linen in hamper.
No guests in the room without coordination with host.
No smoking in rooms.
Chairs and beds covered when not in use/ in room.
Windows ajar to allow fresh air in room.
Doggy doors closed unless opened per dog care guidelines.
No water fill (for dog) after 6pm; pls allow dog care team to fill am and in early afternoon.
This home is nestled in the Dehesa Valley area of East County San Diego...the foothills of San Diego, CA. We have the benefits of living in a rural area only 35 minutes from downtown San Diego and 45 minutes from the beaches. Trails and other desert sanctuaries are close to here. Lots of cyclists also enjoy working the hills here. Smaller "East County" cities and downtown areas like El Cajon, Alpine and La Mesa are 10-15 minutes drive or trolley ride away.
Transportation: if you have your own car, it takes less than an hour to visit downtown, go to the beach, etc. Otherwise, here is some info on public transportation: a free casino bus (buses leave every hour from the Sycuan Casino across the street to the El Cajon trolley stop) and other public transportation (trolley and bus).
*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️GETTING TO THE PROPERTY*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️
Pls plan to arrive to the property during daylight hours. This will honor Julie and the dogs’ schedule while ensuring you get settled in for the next day of work. The day you arrive to the property is counted as a day off.
If you arrive by...
PLANE to San Diego Airport
Get a shuttle or taxi to the Old Town Transit/Trolley Station.
Take the Trolley to the El Cajon Transit Station.
Take a taxi to the property
TRAIN (to San Diego)
You are right near the trolley
Take the Trolley to the El Cajon Transit Station.
Take a taxi to the property
BUS (I recommend taking the bus to El Cajon vs to downtown San Diego)
Take the Trolley to the El Cajon Transit Station (if you took the bus to downtown San Diego)
If you took the bus to El Cajon, you will already be at the El Cajon Transit Station.
Take a taxi to the property
Pls contact Julie to let her know your approximate arrival time so that we can ensure you have access to the property.
Depending on the activities of the day, the host may have the time to pick you up or drop you off at the El Cajon Transit Station when you arrive or depart. You may confirm this via phone or email once you arrive in SD and can confirm the time you expect to be at the El Cajon trolley station. Pls be prepared to work 2 extra hours for each ride requested. I apologize that I cannot guarantee that option for everyone.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
This host has indicated that they love having digital nomads stay.
This host can provide space for campervans.
This host has said they are willing to accept those travelling with a pet.
5 hours per day 5 days per week
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