This Man Was Looking After His Neighbor’s House For A Few Weeks, Then They Disappeared For One Year

Published: Sep 23, 2023

Traveling can be stressful when you’re leaving your treasured pets and home behind.  Though some people treat their pets as members of their family and wouldn’t dream of leaving them behind, sometimes it’s just not an option to travel with pets.  

One man came to the rescue of his neighbors and agreed to look after their home and pets while they were away. This is his story.

An Obliging Neighbor

The obliging neighbor posted his story on Reddit, and he recounted that he had been approached by his neighbors and asked to look after their house and pets while they were away for three weeks. 

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Source: Unsplash

They had to make an emergency dash overseas to care for his dying mother and were leaving their two German Shepherds and cat to be looked after. “They left money for pet food, not wanting me to be out of pocket,” he explained. 

A Neighborly Request: Neighbor Asked to Watch Animals for a Little Longer 

The neighbor opened his inbox to an unexpected request from his neighbors overseas. In the email, they explained they needed more time to get their affairs in order, and asked if he and his wife would be willing to watch their animals for a little longer. 

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Source: Unsplash

Though they had only agreed to do it for three weeks, he was more than accommodating and replied assuring them that he and his wife would be there to look after the animals until their return.

"My Neighbor Vanished Without a Trace"

It all started innocently enough. “My neighbor, who had been away on a trip, was due to return home but never did. After being overdue by almost a week, I emailed them but received no reply to my email. Then, to make matters worse, their phone line was disconnected at the end of the month,” he said. 

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Source: Unsplash

He continued, saying, “My neighbor had seemingly vanished without a trace. I was now left with the responsibility of taking care of their pets and house, which was a lot to manage. How could someone just disappear without a word? I had so many unanswered questions, and I was determined to find out what had happened.”

A Neglected Home: A Neighbor's Story 

With a heavy heart, the neighbor posted about the mysterious disappearance of his neighbors. “I don’t know what happened to them,” he said, “but they just never came back. I don’t know if they ended up in some sort of prison, or decided to just not come home at all.”

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Source: seekingalpha.com

During this period a pipe burst in their home flooding part of it and the neighbor had no idea how to proceed. So, he posted his predicament online, hoping for some advice.

The High Cost of Doing a Favor 

Struggling to contain his frustration, the man found himself staring at a much more complicated – and costly – situation than he ever could have imagined when agreed to look after the house and pets. “I paid to have the leak fixed, and I spent the entire day draining the basement with my shop vac,” he said. 

Source: Twitter

“Between that and the surgery one of their dogs needed, I had to spend several thousand dollars of my own money – and the damage to the basement was still pretty bad,” he shared. 

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Navigating an Unfamiliar Situation 

He found himself in an unfamiliar situation, one he wasn’t quite sure how to navigate. The two large German Shepherds were becoming a bit too much to handle for such an extended period of time. Adding to the frustration was that the neighbor’s last name was a common one, making it difficult to track them down. 

Source: Twitter

Life can be full of unexpected twists and turns, but he was determined to find his way through this one. With a bit of perseverance, he was confident he’d be able to figure out what was going on and find a solution.

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Facing the Uncomfortable - A Year- Long Journey 

We all know how it feels to be overwhelmed by a seemingly insurmountable problem. It’s natural to want to push it away to the back burner, to delay facing the possible consequences. That was the case for the neighbor, who waited a full year before finally attempting to address it. 

Source: Twitter

What should his next steps be? Was he ready to come to terms with a potential reality he wasn’t prepared for? Could it be that the couple had died? Regardless, he had to find out the truth.

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Uncovering the Mysterious Disappearance of a Husband

The power at the neighbor’s home was still on and the internet was also still connected. Could it be that they were still paying the bills from overseas? More likely he reasoned that the payments were being automatically deducted from their bank account. 

Source: Pexels

In his attempts to locate them, someone suggested he contact their employer, but he had no clue where he worked. “I know he said he was an engineer, but I can’t find his LinkedIn profile,” he said. It was time to dig deeper and unravel the mystery of the missing couple.

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An Unexpected Twist of Fate 

He had initially only agreed to pet sit and house sit for three weeks, but when his friends didn’t return as expected, he was suddenly responsible for everything with no end date in sight. At a loss for how to handle the situation, and with no one else to turn to, he did as everyone suggested and reported them missing. 

Source: Twitter

This situation had turned into a rather unexpected set of circumstances that left him with feelings of being overwhelmed and confused. 

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The Desperate Search for Answers: A Redditor's Plea for Help 

After a year of his neighbors being away without hearing another word from them, Reddit users responding to the posts said he should give up on hearing from his neighbors, and place the matter in the hands of the relevant authorities.

Source: Twitter

His fellow Redditors sympathized, with all of them agreeing that the situation had now gone too far and that the man should be contacting the police and leave them to worry about it. After a year of searching for answers, it seemed he was no closer to a resolution.

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Report Them Missing and Give Up the Dogs

Still unsure how to proceed with it all, he considered the advice he’d received. The consensus was that the house wasn’t his responsibility to look after and he should just leave it.

Source: GIPHY

The pets, however, couldn’t very well just be abandoned, so he would either have to contact an animal service to arrange to take them, or consider adopting them himself. The only problem was that he already had two dogs of his own, and caring for four would likely be a bit much.

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The Struggle of Owning Untrained Giant Dogs 

Still, he remained torn. Leaving the house was one thing, but giving the dogs up was another matter entirely. Who knew how well they would be cared for at an animal shelter, or by someone else who adopted them? Not only that, but he had to admit he’d grown quite fond of the two German Shepherds. 

Source: GIPHY

On the other hand, they were really big dogs, hadn’t ever been properly trained, and were, therefore, not very obedient. Even his own dogs didn’t share their owner’s fondness for them. 

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Neighbors Revealed: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly 

The next post from the neighbor was a different one. He wasn’t seeking more advice but wanted to update those following the saga on the whereabouts of his missing neighbors, in an attempt to quell the growing rumors and suspicions about his neighbors. To everyone’s relief, it was nothing dire, however, it was clear that the neighbors had not been the most responsible citizens. 

Source: reddit.com

The man’s update revealed the good, the bad, and the ugly, and it was clear that the neighbors were far from perfect. 

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A Happy Ending 

After much deliberation, and advice from his friends, the man explained that he had finally reached out to the police and the embassy. He provided them with as many details as he could and waited for a response. To his relief, he received a phone call with the news. 

Source: Matthew Henry/ Creative Commons

The neighbors had simply decided to extend their stay, so they could spend more time with their relatives and friends. Moreover, they had also requested that the wife’s brother come to collect the animals, which it appeared he had neglected to do.

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The Neighbor Apologizes 

After many months of caring for their pets, the neighbors apologized for the inconvenience he had suffered. “He apologized and said he was sorry. He gave me two options: either I could keep the pets since I had been taking care of them for so long, or he would ask his relative to take them.”

Source: Twitter

It was clear that “the animals don’t really mean anything to him or his wife,” he explained, rather downcast at their lack of care. 

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Responsible Pet Ownership: A Must for Every Owner 

Owning a pet is a responsibility and every pet deserves to be loved and well cared for. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for these poor dogs and their feline companion, whose owners really didn’t seem to take much interest in their fate, and were rather unconcerned as to what would happen to them. 

Source: Twitter

Being a responsible pet owner means ensuring your furry friend is in good hands, even if you can’t be there, or your plans change. Clearly, this is a lesson not understood by these people. 

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Relief for Canadian Man After Long Wait 

After being tracked down, the neighbors explained that they could no longer access their email – which explained why they didn’t reply – and provided a new email and phone number so they could be contacted. They further explained that returning to their Canadian home was not currently on their agenda. 

Source: reddit.com

When asked about the water damage to their home, they said they were unconcerned, and could attend to it when they returned, or simply buy another house. Obviously, this struck the neighbor as a rather privileged response.

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An Unusual Story of Pet-Sitting 

It all started with a simple request: house and pet sitting. Little did he know that when he agreed, it would end up being a lifetime commitment! “Me and my wife are going to keep the pets simply because, well, I don’t think either of us can part with the dogs and his cat at this point,” he said. 

Source: GIPHY

It sure is a strange way to adopt pets, but at least the pets were in good hands. So, next time you’re asked to look after someone’s four-legged friend, take a cue from this unusual story and make sure you won’t be stuck with them forever.

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