We are an English family originating from Scotland, with me, Shirley, my daughter Sara with husband Nic and their son Max. Workaways stay at mine, where there is around 10 dogs, varying depending on visiting dogs or breeding bitches going to Saras house. Normally there is 7 Golden Retrievers and 3 Bichon Bolognese. 2 Goldens and the Bolognese’s stay in the house and the rest have separate kennel areas. Sara has 5 dogs and cares for the puppies which we have a few times a year.
We run a small breeding kennel as a side line and show a selection of our dogs both in France and Internationally.
Workaways have their own room at my house, with freedom of the property. It is an old farm house, in a rural location near to the Pyrenees. Sara and family live 5 minutes down the road and often help’s workaways. She also has horses which can be ridden if there is time and you would like to.
We live in rural South West France, near Montrejeau. Although it is rural there is plenty to do and see. If you like nature, walking, fishing, cycling, painting or mountaineering then it is great for these. We live in an area with many English and French friends, and we enjoy participating in village life and fetes. It is hot in summer, and the mountains allow for skiing in winter.
Help in the house
I am happy with both individuals or couples to come to help. The most important thing for workaways to deal with are the 10 dogs. This includes the walking, feeding, poop scooping, giving attention and training. The dogs are walked around 7:15am about 5 days a week and are taken to the forest in the van and are normally not placed on leads, as they are well behaved. You quickly get into routine and the early mornings are not difficult. Workaways which can help with projects such as gardening and building are always needed, for example concreting the second kennel area. This is not vital though.
For the dogs, confidence is essential, experience with dogs is beneficial but I have had people stay with no experience beforehand. I am able to help with the dogs a lot but it is best if you are confident and happy to deal with them without constant assistance. They are all very well behaved, but they need attention and further training to stop bad habits e.g. barking.
I have a cat (Puss cat) who gets along with all the dogs and loves to lounge around all day. There are also chickens which are easy to care for by simply feeding and giving water. If you are uncomfortable round them you do not need to get close, due to spring system door open/close. There is a pond with two Goldfish (Ginger and Paprika) which also need feeding, and a few beehives which are out the way and left to their own devises.
I am happy to help those staying with me by dropping them to local towns or the train station for days off. I do not expect you to work everyday, I am very lenient so long as the dogs are looked after properly.
All dietary requirements are welcome, I enjoy learning new recipes. The cooking and cleaning of the house are shared duties.
I have ‘workaway guides’ made by previous visitors to give hints and tips, in case I forget anything.
English and some French
There is a large double bedroom within my house where you stay and I can add extra single beds if needed. You have access to the rest of the property, including a large kitchen diner, large lounge and bathroom with bath and shower. Outside there is an above ground swimming pool, a pond, outdoor kitchen area, veg and flowers area and large field for the dogs.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
25 hours a week
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