We are a couple, Marisa and Paolo (both 60 years old), who love Bernese Mountain dogs: we live in a small house in Valtellina (province of Sondrio), into the nature, with 9 of them and two cats. We also own about 6000 square meters of vineyard (not organic but we follow the Integrated Pests Management rules), and with a couple of friends make wine with ours grapes under the brand "Le Strie".
I, Paolo, live here all year round (usually during the week I work outside home from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm), Marisa from Monday to Friday works near Milan and joins us during the weekend.
Aide à la ferme
Aide à la maison
Aide avec les animaux
According to the period of the year, you can learn how to grown vine and also how to make wine and many other things about the wine world. Of course you have to love dogs: in such case our bunch of Bernese Mountain Dogs will be happy to play and entertain you.
We need help in the manage of the vineyard all year round (so Marisa can have more time for the dogs), and for all the work that the property needs to be better (gardening, cutting trees, chopping fire woods, build little stone walls, following the vegetables garden and so on . . .); we also could need some help in cleaning the house.
We usually don't ask Helpers to feed ours dogs (but the cat yes!), but sometimes we have to move from home for different reasons (our jobs, dog shows, etc.): in this case we could ask you to take care of them for some days. This is why we ask for a stay of at least two weeks, the minimun necessary to know our dogs well and to be able to help us with them.
If you just "like" dogs or if you are wondering if you would like to own a dog, this is NOT the place for you!
You also have to consider that along the week you'll be alone at home, so what we ask all our possible future volunteers is to be very honest with themself about this question: "can I manage to spend the whole day alone with 9 large dogs who, at least for the first days, do not know me?". They usually are very friendly, but they are dogs, and sometime could not be in perfect feeling with someone: if you're not prepared to deal with this, things can get really hard.
Our house is also the big doghouse of our fourlegs family, so you MUST be prepared for the following:
*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️ Dog hair -- you will find it EVERYWHERE regardless of how much we clean
*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️ Dirt/Dust -- both on you, on the floors, and on the dogs... just a fact of life (again, despite how much we clean)
*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️ Being licked -- Bernese are VERY affectionate
*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️ Being sniffed -- everywhere!
*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️ Being crowded -- both for your attention as well as to see what you may have, be doing, what you're wearing, where you've been, etc.
*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️ Loud noises -- while they are fairly quiet as a norm, one can hear something and will alert the pack sending them all in a tizzy. Or they will get excited and start barking/howling. Or someone new will come into their space and they will all start barking. It can be startling when it goes from quiet to noisy in half a second.
*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️ A pack type environment -- when you have this many dogs, it is a different type environment than a single dog in a family environment. We are constantly on the alert for dogs not getting along, dogs coming into season, dogs who may not be feeling up to par and more.
Working in the vineyard means that you'll be mainly outside, so better if you have a a pair of mountain boots / rubber boots to wear; for the stay at home we can provide you with a pair of slippers.
Our future Volunteers should have a good sense of humour (we are almost always having fun during our work... never letting things get TOO serious!), a good work ethic and a flexible nature (each day is different and we all have to go with the flow). They should also be ready to live a little isolated from the city: Teglio, the nearest village with post office, bank, shops and bars, can be reached in about 40 minutes on foot. But we DO have unlimited internet so you won't be isolated from the rest of the world!
Your accomodation will be in our house in a first floor room with your private bathroom, shared with our cat: you'll have free use of all our house equipments (washing machine, WiFi internet, television, etc.).
We'll offer home made cooking traditional italian food (usually breakfast and dinner, lunch should be self-arranged with what you find in the refrigerator or in the pantry), with a glass (ok, you can have also a second one!) of good wine.
In your free time there is plenty of possibilities to make beautiful walks in the mountain (we live in the vicinity of the regional park of the Orobics Alps and 45 minutes away from the Stelvio National Park).
In winter you'll have the opportunity to go skiing to Aprica (20 minutes away by car) or Bormio (40 minutes away).
Public transports in the area are present, but they are not so frequent, so if you have your own car you can better enjoy the region.
Paolo is a maniac fisher, so if you like fishing for trouts and graylings he can help you to obtain the fishing licence, lend you a rod and you can go to the rivers or a lake together.
Accès Internet limité
Nous avons des animaux
Nous sommes fumeurs
25 hours per week, distributed according to the requirements and also on the weather conditions.
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