Neil & Laurie - House and Pet SittersWe will take loving care of your home and your pets
Laurie & Neil did a 2 month housesit for us in our home in Mexico. They were able to come several days before we left which gave us time to get to know each other and to show them what was required to care for our yard, garden and house. Neil did a good job of mowing and trimming and we really appreciated the communication from Laurie before, during and after the sit. Although our dog Zola went with us what a wonderful surprise to arrive home to a beautiful painting by Laurie of Zola! If they were available we would have them return in the future.
Judy & Lee
Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, Mexico
Neil and Laurie did a superb job. I don’t have any pets, so I cannot comment on that aspect. However, they were very responsive to my questions and concerns, before their stay, during, and after. When I returned, the house was spotless and the yard looked nice. They cooked a delicious dinner for me on the eve of my departure and Neil offered to drive me to the airport – at 4:30am! I highly recommend them.
Organised : 5 out of 5 stars
Reliable : 5 out of 5 stars
Self-sufficient : 5 out of 5 stars
Tidy: 5 out of 5 stars
Portland, OR, USA
Laurie and Neil arrived 4 days prior to our departure. It was nice to get to know them in that time and show them our routines with our 3 dogs, cows and sheep on our 10 acre lifestyle block.
Laurie and Neil did a wonderful job in our absence. They looked after our home like their own. We returned to a lovely clean, tidy house, happy, healthy doggies and a lovely meal prepared for our return.
We highly recommend them and wish them well in their travels.
House care: 5 out of 5 stars
Pet care: 5 out of 5 stars
Communication: 5 out of 5 stars
Helen and Wayne
Neil and Laurie were fantastic sitters. I could not find fault with them at all. The house was looked after and left spotless.
I would have them back any time they return to New Zealand and would recommend anyone requiring sitters to grab them. Oh, and Millie loved them, they walked her every day and treated her very special.
Organised: 5 out of 5 stars
Reliable: 5 out of 5 stars
Self-sufficient: 5 out of 5 stars
Tidy: 5 out of 5 stars
Pet care: 5 out of 5 stars
Laurie and Neil were incredible house and pet sitters. Right from the first conversation we knew our two girls would be well looked after. They are caring and great fun.
The experiences they have had house sitting shows in the respectful way they treated our house and our girls. I think the girls were actually rather sad to see us home again – don’t think we are as much fun!!!
The house was spotless – Laurie even tidied the plastics drawer and that is really going above and beyond. We would highly recommend them and if you are heading back to NZ at any time you are more than welcome at our place.
Thanks so much.
Sally, Patrick, Mo and Missy
I am delighted to provide this reference for our two wonderful house sitters Laurie and Neil Stolmaker. We recently had the pleasure of having Laurie and Neil look after our home and our mature Labrador, Chips, in Bateau Bay NSW Australia for 2 weeks.
It was obvious on our return that Chips had bonded with both of them. Our neighbours said they often saw Chips out and about with Neil.
Our home was well looked after with plants watered and everything ship-shape. We would not hesitate to recommend them to prospective clients and would be pleased to confirm or enlarge on this reference should you so desire.
John & Barbara Gorman
Neil and Laurie house sat our farm on the mid north coast hinterland of NSW, Australia, for a couple of months whilst we travelled overseas. Naturally, we were a little worried about leaving our animals and home to complete strangers, however, we quickly realised Neil and Laurie were genuine, trustworthy people.
They cared for our Maremma dog, our herd of miniature Galloway cattle, chooks and ducks with ease. They maintained our pool, gardens and lawn. There was a heatwave in Australia at the time. They respectfully conserved our water and ensured the property was very maintained well. The house was spotless on our return.
They have exceptional communication skills which is exactly what you want in a house sitter. We were very thankful we chose Neil and Laurie and would recommend them to anyone looking for a kind, reliable, trustworthy, capable couple to house sit their property.
Cordelia and Stuart Lyall
Dear Laurie and Neil
We can’t thank you enough for looking after our home and Mango our old dog. We have had pet sitters now each year for the last 7 years and I can honestly say you have been one of the most genuine and caring couples we have had.
We felt totally at ease with you both from the minute we met you on Skype to the moment you left to continue your travels. Mango had a wonderful time with you both and I think he misses you as he seems to look out for you now and again.
We know looking after someone’s home and pets is not easy, as each home has its own quirky points and pets do too. All we can say is thank you for keeping everything tickety boo (Yorkshire for good, clean and proper). Our pool looked so clean and well looked after and I think you must have green fingers, as our plants have come on a treat since your stay. We wish you happy travels and we hope to see you again someday, somewhere in the future.
Laurie and Neil kept in touch with us whilst we were away, sending happy photos of Mango and letting us know all is well. Their communication is great, we knew what time they were arriving and leaving which helped us plan our day around it.
Skype call beforehand was a great idea and let us all get to know each other, and Laurie and Neil stayed until we were home which we really appreciated so we knew everything was ok and Mango was well.
We are more than happy to recommend Laurie and Neil as your next choice for pet sitting. They think of everything and have a lot of experience and love for animals. We only wish they lived nearer so we could see them again.
We are more than happy to take a call or email if you would like to ask any questions.
Jen and Nick
Elanora, QLD, Australia
What a terrific pet sitting experience!!
Laurie and Neil cared for our house, garden and two 13yr old Cairn Terriers for 6 weeks. We felt comfortable with Neil and Laurie from the start in our communications. They asked pertinent questions as we checked in from time to time before the sit and once again felt totally at ease in leaving our place in Neil and Laurie’s capable hands when we met them.
Neil and Laurie both immediately established a rapport with the dogs on arrival and took on board routines for feeding, exercise and medication. As the sit progressed they gave progress reports and amended routines to accommodate the dogs’ needs when necessary after consulting with us. How important this is when you are so far away!
Neil and Laurie looked after the garden, mowing the lawn, watering, picking produce and even planting new seedlings. It was wonderful to come home to such a well tended garden. On our arrival home Laurie emailed a comprehensive report as we were unavoidably detained and this gave us information about the house, garden and dogs that we might have wanted to know.
The fridge contained a prepared meal and fruit and veg etc. to tide us over until we could go shopping. The house was spotlessly clean and all in order with fresh linen on the beds and flowers. Neil and Laurie’s organization, extra mile and attention to detail are very professional! Their warmth, ability to know what is needed and positive interest in all around them makes them a great choice to look after your pets and house.
Thank you Neil and Laurie for an enjoyable and stress free pet sitting experience culminating in 2 happy and contented dogs. Our warmest wishes for your continuing enjoyment in your travels.
Bev and James
Lake Tyers, Victoria, Australia
We are new to pet sitting and this was our very first experience doing it. We asked Neil and Laurie to sit our West Highland Terrier only about two weeks before our trip, when our first sitter had to back out; they were immediately responsive even though they were out of country.
We thought it was a good sign that they went out of their way to quickly communicate with us every time we had a question; this is a good character trait. Laurie asked us relevant questions about the care of Molly that we hadn’t thought to address. Neil took notes so that they would have the right information once they arrived.
Their experience was evident and reassuring. After speaking with both of them we felt like we were leaving Molly in good hands. Their resume/experience speaks for itself, and it was a pleasure to hear about their previous pet sits once we met them . They listened to our needs in taking care of our dog and our house/yard, and did all that we asked.
We chose Neil and Laurie due to their wealth of experience, their love of dogs, and their calm and steady demeanor. Check, check and check!!! They arrived on schedule, they obviously knew how to care for a dog, and they followed through on watering our plants, taking out our trash, walking and feeding Molly and supervised a service call that had been previously scheduled and texted us when the technician had a question.
They left our house sparkling clean, and even had dinner waiting for us when we returned home. They are interesting, nice people who obviously love doing what they do. I look forward to asking them to return in the future when we make further plans to travel.
Robert and Kathy Reynolds
My wife and I travel every summer and we have had quite a few house sitters. For us, a stress free holiday means having capable and competent people taking care of your house and dealing with any issues that may arise. We didn’t want to be half way through our trip and receive an e-mail saying there was a problem and we don’t know what to do.
After spending many hours of research on the internet we contacted Neil and Laurie and asked if they would be interested in a 3 month house sit in Powell River.
From our initial contact to our final goodbye we knew we had made the right choice with the Stolmakers. We returned from our trip to a spotless house and a fine meal. There simply were no issues as Neil and Laurie had handled everything beautifully. These two people are truly professional house sitters.
Bill and Pat Turner
Powell River BC
To Whom It May Concern:
I’m writing to give the highest possible recommendation to Laurie and Neil Stolmaker.
Laurie and Neil provided excellent care to my two Shih Tzu mixes, and kept my home
and yard in the best possible condition while I travelled out of state for two weeks. In
fact, my home was cleaner than when I left!
They kindly prepared a light dinner for me upon my return, replaced any grocery items
they’d used up, and drove me to and from the shuttle bus stop in both directions.
There were even a few “above and beyond” duties they performed for me. One of my
dogs had undergone oral surgery before I left, and they arranged for a visit to the vet to
make sure her gums were healing properly.
They also called my airport shuttle service to arrange a reservation on a later departure when my flight home was delayed.
You couldn’t ask for more responsible, honest or friendly people to care for your home
and pets while you are away. I look forward to inviting Laurie and Neil to house-sit
again when my plans take me away for an extended period.
Feel free to contact me with any questions!
Madeline H. Olson
MHOlson at hotmail.com
Neil and Laurie did a great job looking after our dogs and house. We arranged for our May month long house sit a long time ago and they were great about honouring their commitment and communicating with us prior to and during the sit.
They wrote a report for us which outlined how things went and any problems they incurred. They also ensured we had some food in the house for our return… and even left us some salad and a cooked meal.
Our two dogs seemed comfortable with them.
John and Penny Hall
Port Alberni, BC, Canada
Laurie and Neil Stolmaker house-sat for us in Oregon City, Oregon for two months in the fall of 2016. Their responsibilities included caring for our standard poodle as well as our house and property.
Opening your home to strangers and leaving for an extended period of time is stressful. You wonder what condition your house and property will be in upon your return. With Laurie and Neil, you won’t have to worry. Our home was just as we left it. And, our dog was in great shape. You could tell that everything had been well cared for.
While we were absent, they opened and organized our mail. We had regular email communication about the mail items, any outstanding bills, and other necessary business. They kept us appraised of house and dog happenings, but didn’t overwhelm us with trivia while we were vacationing. They watered our indoor plants and did the yard work that we requested. They kept the house clean.
Neil took us to the airport when we left and then was there to pick us up when we returned. We really appreciated this. They bought groceries for us so we would have some food upon our return. They also made us dinner and placed it in the refrigerator for us. They left us a nice summary of their time in our home and with our dog.
We felt totally comfortable with Neil and Laurie in our home and caring for our dog. In all, they were excellent home carers in all respects. We highly recommend them for house sitting. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions.
Robert and Sandra Lawson
Oregon City, OR, USA
Neil and Laurie took care of my house and my dog, Kiva, while I was in CA for 2 weeks. We were fortunate to be able to get together in person before I left, so I could show them the house and, most importantly, they could get to know Kiva. They were fast friends by the time they left that day, which was more important to me than the house details.
I knew she would be well-taken care of — and she was! She was at one of her favorite parks every day and had plenty of love, play and attention from them. :-}
I’d told them if they wanted a day to themselves to go into the city or something, that Kiva could go to her daycare because I had a prepaid package. Their response was, “Why would we do that when we can spend time with her? Will she miss it if she doesn’t go?” I told them that she actually loves daycare, but also loves being with people, so either way would be fine. They did wind up taking her once.
The house was also in very good hands. A day after I left Neil contacted me to let me know I’d forgotten to forward my home phone to my cell. I left a message with Neil about how to do that and quickly received a text that it was done. When I returned, the house was spotless (hard to achieve with a shedding dog!) and they had left me delicious homemade chicken salad, homemade dressing and a fruit plate in the refrigerator in case I was hungry from my travels, which I was!.
I also discovered that Neil had fixed the towel rack in the first floor bathroom (that was always falling off the wall and I never took the time to figure out why) and the water purifier spigot that had gotten stuck shortly before my trip. The yard and plants (indoor & outdoor) looked happy. While Neil & Laurie had been here before my trip, I also had the opportunity to introduce them to my next door neighbors – we share a driveway, so I was glad they had a chance to meet. I ran into my neighbors next door a day or two after I returned and they commented on how nice Neil and Laurie had been. I would happily ask them to stay again!
Waltham, Massachusetts, USA
Neil and Laurie took wonderful care of our dog, Bailey, and our home and property while we were away for 3 months. We had a bad experience with a previous housesitter and were a bit unsure about leaving Bailey and our house with people we did not know. They sent extra references and contacted us frequently in advance of their arrival to ease our minds.
Bailey loved them and the varied, frequent walks they took him on while they explored our region of Maine. After they left he kept looking around for them. We also needed doggy fixes while we were away. They e-mailed us photos of Bailey periodically.
The kitchen drains clogged up. They tried all of our tried and true declogging tricks. When all remedies failed, Neil made all the arrangements to have the pipes reamed out. If that wasn’t enough, later the hot water gave out. They contacted our heat service company which came out to replace a 20-year part that had self-destructed.
We left them with the remains of an awful winter, piles of snow and ice still on the ground. We were concerned that we might have a quick thaw and subsequent basement flooding, but they made sure the drainage ditches flowed properly. Then there was the yard. Once spring had sprung, the grass starts growing. Our yard is not an easy mow since there are so many rocks and turns. Neil kept it well groomed. Laurie provided the crowning touches by planting spring pansies, impatiens and seeds in my planters.
The house was clean when we arrived home. Fresh flowers on the table. A dinner waiting. Fruit on the counter and food in the refrigerator. In addition a summary report. We would not hesitate for a second to have them stay again.
Deb James and Bob Becker
Durham, Maine, USA
Neil and Laurie took care of our home in Costa Rica and our Golden retriever for 3 weeks. Shortly after we left our dog had a veterinary emergency and Laurie and Neil handled the situation calmly and efficiently and kept us abreast of the dog’s condition on a daily basis. They nursed him back to good health and rewarded him with daily walks and lots of attention. I am sure he misses them! My husband returned to find an immaculate house and a fridge stocked with enough food to get him through a couple of days. I would not hesitate to recommend Neil and Laurie for house and pet sitting.
Ojochal, Costa Rica
After going through all the offers from home sitters, Neil and Laurie Stolmaker stood out from the rest. Their vast experience as home sitters, the positive reviews from home owners, their website and articles they wrote on home sitting, were enough to convince us that they were the right people for this assignment. After a few emails and Skype conversations Neil and Laurie arrived to our house on April 10, and we left a few days later for our European trip.
Neil and Laurie turned out to be extremely competent paying attention to the smallest details about their assignment while we were gone. They emailed and scanned for us important documents, dealt with banking matters, informed us on everything they thought it was important for us to know. They kept the home and grounds in immaculate condition. For us, it was like we never left and feeling so secure with people like Neil and Laurie living at our home, made our long voyage worry-free and very easy.
When we came back home more than 6 months later, we found Neil and Laurie, a wonderful couple and a clean, pleasant home, just the way we’ve left it! The final touch, was the delicious meal that Laurie cooked for us, not to mention a fridge full of goodies that they left behind. Neil and Laurie left the next day and we were sad to see them go.
We highly recommend Neil and Laurie Stolmaker as the perfect home sitters!
Joseph and Twanna
To whom it may concern,
Laurie and Neil Stolmaker looked after our property and dog in Kendenup, Western Australia from August 2013 to January 2014. We were very pleased with the way they kept the grass mowed on the property which had to be done because of fire restriction regulations.
They kept the house garden neat and tidy and left some vegetables growing ready for us to pick on our return. The inside of the house was kept clean and tidy and cupboards all replaced with foods they had used.
Our dog, Chienne, was well looked after and obviously was trained to chase a ball and return it. She was only six months old when we left so there was some puppy training left to do. We are pleased with how obedient and well trained she is.
We would recommend them as competent house sitters and dog minders.
Kendenup, Western Australia
I am a friend of the home owners of the property that Laurie and Neil looked after in Kendenup Western Australia. We met at least once a week and on every occasion I visited the house I found it clean, tidy and well maintained. The garden, not just flowers and vegetables but an orchard as well, was well maintained. The dog was not only well cared for but also given lots of training as she was just a pup. Laurie and Neil are easy-going, kind and very friendly. They seemed to very much enjoy meeting new people. Relished discovering all the differences about life here in Australia and wholeheartedly became part of our local community. Neil helped me learn more about my computer and Laurie’s positive energy was so good to be around. During their six month stay I made new friends and would not hesitate to invite Laurie and Neil to look after my home. They took excellent care of my friends home so I have no hesitation in advising anyone to grab them while they can. You won’t regret it!
Kendenup, Western Australia
Dear Laurie & Neil,
It was a first-time for both of us and let me simply say a hearty “THANK YOU!”
Your looking after our home was merely an exemplary experience from start to finish. So lucky we found you. Our hope is it was at least somewhat reciprocal!
Others who may read this should know that our home – aside from the usual $2 million house and garden stuff – happens to be art-filled, good things from ‘round the world travels, some of them precious … hence naturally, trepidation goes along with leaving it in the hands of near-strangers.
Everything, absolutely everything, was as clean or better than when we left it, the garden was improved upon, one could eat off the floors – all just fantastic. Plus communication while we were on the road was perfect, you opened our mail as requested, notified us of any of important items, etc. Just perfect, so much appreciated.
We also happen to like you folks personally very much and trust you know we meant it: You are extremely welcome here as guests any time you are just passing thru. Or, if fate so manages and if you are interested – we’d be honored to have you take care of our home any time we do extended travel in future.
For any readers’ benefit: We took off May 13, 2013 for a two-month motorcycle ride of Europe. With just a day’s overlap and only email contact for two months, our home was brilliantly looked after by the Stolmaker team. Personal care and knowledgeable ‘street smarts’ on practical home maintenance, as good as it gets.
Please have anyone interested in a personal reference contact me:
psever AT rogers.com
nine zero five-two seven eight-seven seven seven six
I have been a guest in Neil and Laurie’s home and they have been guests in my home on multiple occasion.
Laurie is someone who likes to be surrounded by beauty. Thus she organizes and arranges space and removes clutter. She is also very good at tending things, such as her own plants and garden, the chickens they have raised, and their own home. Neil is Mr. fix-it. In his home he has installed a radiant heating system, built a chicken coop, and fixed a pump, and all manner of similar things.
When he doesn’t know how to do something he looks on-line for instructions and then is able to carry them out. Between the two of them, their home is always neat and clean and beautifully arranged and things are kept working. They both like to learn and do new things. As people, they are fairly easy-going and adaptable and friendly and curious about other ways of doing things. Laurie works as a therapist for the military and is able to meet the needs of their structure, including deadlines and multiple tasks with no problem. Neil has his own business and is able to stay on top of that and also do most of the shopping and cooking and house maintenance. They are a very good team, and make both excellent guests and wonderful hosts. I highly recommend them as house sitters.
Dr. Laurie Markoff
As a guest at Laurie and Neil’s home on numerous occasions, I have seen the care that they put into their house and their yard. They enjoy having people over to show off the many features of their property and all the improvements that they have made over the years.
Laurie and Neil are honest and capable people who always look for the win-win in their business dealings. They are compassionate and caring-always wanting to help others.
In my opinion, they would be excellent house sitters because they are very reliable and can be counted on to do what they say they will and treat others and their belongings with respect and care.
Neil is one of the most conscientious, honest, and amicable people I know. He is easy to talk with, has a great sense of humor, and is a wonderful friend to me and my husband.
I feel very lucky to know Neil (and his wife Laurie). Anyone who welcomes him/them into their home will be pleased and delighted by the positive energy he brings. I am confident when I say he will be a very good house sitter. He would be MY first choice, and I am one VERY picky woman. 🙂
I am an airbnb host and Laurie and Neil stayed with me a few months ago. They were lovely people, took great care of the space, and were responsible and communicative.
I wouldn’t hesitate to invite them to housesit my house!
You can always count on Neil to do what he says he will. He’s very conscientious and always exercises good judgment. He’s experienced in all aspects of taking care of a house and property.
He has maintained and upgraded his large house in California. He consistently provides first-rate care of his swimming pool, an additional small house on his property, a large garden, chickens, his dog, fruit trees and his fish in a pond. Over the years, as a homeowner, he’s become knowledgeable and experienced in plumbing, electrical and building repairs.
Neil is very computer and technology savvy. He would have no problem maintaining a house that runs on computerized controls or automated systems, including solar powered homes.
I would be happy to let him house sit my house and I strongly recommend him to house sit any type of house, whether a small cottage or a mansion on acreage; he’s a person you can trust to reliably handle it.
I would never hesitate to leave Neil in charge of my home. He is ethical, thorough, organized, responsible, and cares greatly about the quality and esthetics of his environment, thus he makes a welcoming but also secure environment wherever he goes!
Neil is a very dear friend, and I can vouch for him unequivocally as a person of the highest trust and integrity. We were in the same mastermind business group for several years in the Santa Rosa area. Feel free to call me at 808-217-5915 if you need any further information.
Neil has been a long time friend and colleague of mine. We have worked together on several projects and he has been extremely organized, efficient and reliable.
Neil Stolmaker is one of the most responsible, caring individuals that I know. I’ve known him and his wife, Laurie for many years. They take excellent care of their home and are amazing gardeners. I would trust them fully with taking care of my home and my beloved dog. If you want someone who is neat and clean, reliable, self-sufficient, and intelligent with strong integrity, you can’t go wrong with Neil.
You will be very fortunate to have Neil & Laurie in your home. I would absolutely leave my house in their care and KNOW it would be loved while I’m away. Not only are they incredibly responsible, they also have a remarkable way of making their place feel comfortable and warm. I’m a very picky person (clean, organized, etc.) and I always feel great in their home.
Neil and Laurie Stolmaker are both very mature, conscious and reliable people. I would recommend them to handle any situation/environment and leave your place better than they found it! It would be a total win-win for everyone involved.
Honest, trustworthy, caring, responsible, tidy and organized, detail-oriented and resourceful are all adjectives that come to mind when I think of Laurie and Neil Stolmaker. Being the kind and thoughtful people that they are, I would be very comfortable and at ease having them take care of my home and/or my children. If any of the above-mentioned qualities are prerequisites, then Laurie and Neil are ideal candidates.
I have known the Stolmaker’s for many years. I have been to their home many times through the years. I have swam in their pool that they maintain on their property. I have seen how they care for their land and their animals. I would be honored to have them care for my most important assets. Laurie and Neil are truly a great team. The way that I have witnessed them work together– from house projects, to business endeavors, to simply preparing a meal together–they are a great team and I have always admired that about them.
For me, integrity is such an important part of trusting someone and knowing that they will operate with high integrity at all times no matter what circumstances arise. One of the things that sticks out to me about Laurie and Neil is that they both have incredible integrity. I have worked with Laurie professionally and she has the utmost integrity as a therapist–and as a person. I am completely confident that when faced with a decision; she will always “do the right thing”; whatever is the highest good for all concerned. Neil is one of the nicest, flexible and all around good guys that I know.
I have known Neil over eight years and is a very reliable person. I consider him trustworthy and professional in all of his affairs. He takes really good care of his home and his possessions. I would highly recommend him for a house sitting position.
I have known Neil for over five years. He is a very kind and thoughtful person. He is very responsible and trustworthy. I have known Neil to be a very intelligent, perceptive and aware person. He is very respectful of others, and he is very caring. I believe that Neil is a person of excellent judgement, and he is extremely resourseful. Neil has many skills and has maintained a beautiful home in Sonoma County for many years. I would trust him to handle any situation that could come up around the house. I highly recommend Neil, he is truly a treasure to the people in his life.
I’ve known Neil and Laurie for 2 or 3 years, and have been to their home many times. It’s always clean, tidy, and cheerful, reflecting their characters. They are very nice people, and most trustworthy. I would gladly have them housesit for me if I needed that service.