I grew up on a farm and have had animals my entire life. My husband has owned 8 beagles, and we are members of the Qld Beagle club. We've been house sitting for over a year now and absolutely love it. It has occurred to us we should branch out to all species and breeds as we are both big animal lovers.
Our current housing situation - the body corporate doesn't allow animals. Looking after them is the next best thing. Every dog or cat we've looked after has never fretted for their owner and gets regular walks to the park/beach - depending on individuals' requirements of course.