Reunions galore for cats and dogs as we reach the UK

The final leg of the Animalcouriers trip from southern Europe was quite slow — as well as the Tour de France being in full swing, several of the pets’ passports had minor errors that needed attention from a vet. We reached Calais in the evening and felt it would be less stressful for the animals to stay there for the night, and cross to the UK the following morning.

Up bright and early, we got to the port to find a security alert in progress. The extra security procedures in place meant it took over four hours to get from the port entrance to our check-in. But we finally made it and reached the UK safe and sound, and the round of happy reunions between pets and their owners began.

Tour de France mania reaches P&O ferries. Courier M looks set to pick up the yellow jersey any day now

Tour de France mania reaches P&O ferries. Courier M looks set to pick up the yellow jersey any day now

Cally…

Cally…

Berte and…

Berte and…

Stanley. These three cats belong to Barry. They travelled with us from La Bedouce kennels and cattery in the Aude region of France to rejoin him in Gloucester. Barry says they've settled in really quickly and are giving him lots of kisses.

Stanley. These three cats belong to Barry. They travelled with us from La Bedouce kennels and cattery in the Aude region of France to rejoin him in Gloucester. Barry says they’ve settled in really quickly and are giving him lots of kisses.

Star and Crunch were over the moon to be collected by their grandparents, Clive and Jackie. Despite all the excitement, the two girls did manage to sit still for just a moment.

Star and Crunch were over the moon to be collected by their grandparents, Clive and Jackie. Despite all the excitement, the two girls did manage to sit still for just a moment.

Tony called in to collect Saphira and it was love at first sight. He and Caroline had seen photos of her on Facebook and, after exchanging more photos and emails, decided to offer her a home in the UK.

Tony called in to collect Saphira and it was love at first sight. He and Caroline had seen photos of her on Facebook and, after exchanging more photos and emails, decided to offer her a home in the UK.

Tony told us he had bought a new car and had it all ready for Saphira

Tony told us he had bought a new car and had it all ready for Saphira

Bolt was reunited with Emer in sunny Surrey and both were delighted to see each other again

Bolt was reunited with Emer in sunny Surrey and both were delighted to see each other again

José called in for Molly and Pipoca who were so ecstatic, they were licking his face all over

José called in for Molly and Pipoca who were so ecstatic, they were licking his face all over

Livia followed up with this photo of their daughter with the two Chihuahuas, saying: "Thank you for bringing the rest of our family to us! I thought you should see my daughter's smile! She's so happy!! And so are Molly and Pipoca!"

Livia followed up with this photo of their daughter with the two Chihuahuas, saying: “Thank you for bringing the rest of our family to us! I thought you should see my daughter’s smile! She’s so happy!! And so are Molly and Pipoca!”

Catia was very happy indeed to have Benji back with her.

Catia was very happy indeed to have Benji back with her.

Catia sent us this lovely photo of Benji settled in at home and told us: "Thank you for bringing Benji to me. It means the world to me that he is by my side."

Catia sent us this lovely photo of Benji settled in at home and told us: “Thank you for bringing Benji to me. It means the world to me that he is by my side.”

Scooby walked into his grandma's house and was immediately at home. He's stayed there before, so it was just a question of hopping out of his basket and trotting up the stairs to check out his usual bedroom. Then back down to sit in the kitchen waiting for someone to open a tin of tuna!

Scooby walked into his grandma’s house and was immediately at home. He’s stayed there before, so it was just a question of hopping out of his basket and trotting up the stairs to check out his usual bedroom. Then back down to sit in the kitchen waiting for someone to open a tin of tuna!

Ben and Selina greeted Smokey and Bingo as they arrived at their new home in sunny Doncaster

Ben and Selina greeted Smokey and Bingo as they arrived at their new home in sunny Doncaster

Young Jura and Thrall who travelled from Spain arrived to a warm welcome at the family's new home in Edinburgh

Young Jura and Thrall who travelled from Spain arrived to a warm welcome at the family’s new home in Edinburgh

Faisca en route to rejoin Andreia in Somerset — it was a long journey from Portugal and they will be so pleased to be back together

Faisca en route to rejoin Andreia in Somerset — it was a long journey from Portugal and they will be so pleased to be back together

Faisca very chatty as we said goodbye

Faisca very chatty as we said goodbye

Also on his way was charming young Banksy…

Also on his way was charming young Banksy…

…still playing and looking for amusement in everything around him

…still playing and looking for amusement in everything around him

Wally was also on his way to be reunited with Maria, who was very excited about his imminent arrival

Wally was also on his way to be reunited with Maria, who was very excited about his imminent arrival

Update on our trip from southern Europe

After collecting passengers in Portugal and Spain, Animalcouriers crossed the border into France and spent the night just outside Narbonne. We had a lovely sunny morning for our walks, then hit the road heading northwards via Castelnaudary to Limoges, picking up more pets en route for the UK.

Yellow Lab Wally with his grandpapa Juan at Burgos. Wally originally travelled to Spain with us in June.

Yellow Lab Wally with his grandpapa Juan at Burgos. Wally originally travelled to Spain with us in June.

Wally is a very handsome young chap

Wally is a very handsome young chap

Tabby Faisca is settling into the trip and becoming quite chatty

Tabby Faisca is settling into the trip and becoming quite chatty

Our colleague Alex from Traveldog brought us Jura and Thrall, a delightful pair of pups who are heading for Edinburgh in Scotland where Yolanda is waiting for them

Our colleague Alex from Traveldog brought us Jura and Thrall, a delightful pair of pups who are heading for Edinburgh in Scotland where Yolanda is waiting for them

Alex joined us for a coffee and helped us walk the dogs. Here he is with Smokey and Bingo.

Alex joined us for a coffee and helped us walk the dogs. Here he is with Smokey and Bingo.

Molly and Pipoca enjoyed the morning sunshine

Molly and Pipoca enjoyed the morning sunshine

Crunch and Star were very interested in all the French smells and sounds

Crunch and Star were very interested in all the French smells and sounds

Here is Bolt, who has made friends with Zora. They give each other little kissy licks on the face.

Here is Bolt, who has made friends with Zora. They give each other little kissy licks on the face.

Bolt's new friend Zora. It's very nice for us when two dogs strike up a friendship and can share a walk, and even play a bit together as they get to know each other

Bolt’s new friend Zora. It’s very nice for us when two dogs strike up a friendship and can share a walk, and even play a bit together as they get to know each other

Beautiful Cocker Spaniel Saphira is a very loving girl. When we're walking, she stops every 10 paces or so, waiting for a little cuddle, pat or ear fondle.

Beautiful Cocker Spaniel Saphira is a very loving girl. When we’re walking, she stops every 10 paces or so, waiting for a little cuddle, pat or ear fondle.

Cute and friendly Banksy is in non-stop play mode

Cute and friendly Banksy is in non-stop play mode

The shaggy vineyard where we used to walk dogs in Narbonne has been replaced by a very organised arrangement of new young plants

The shaggy vineyard where we used to walk dogs in Narbonne has been replaced by a very organised arrangement of new young plants

We noticed on Jura and Thrall's passports that their internal parasite treatments had timed out…

We noticed on Jura and Thrall’s passports that their internal parasite treatments had timed out…

…We were lucky enough to find a vet near Castelnaudary who could squeeze us in to his schedule and get them up to date

…We were lucky enough to find a vet near Castelnaudary who could squeeze us in to his schedule and get them up to date

Basking Beagles on their evening walk in the LImousin region

Basking Beagles on their evening walk in the LImousin region

Benji takes a break on a bench

Benji takes a break on a bench

Close-up on Smokey

Close-up on Smokey

Bingo enters the longest tongue competition

Bingo enters the longest tongue competition

Think Wally stands a better chance!

Think Wally stands a better chance!

This tower is part of the converted ancient building that was our hotel for the night in Limoges

This tower is part of the converted ancient building that was our hotel for the night in Limoges

The Chihuahuas stopped for a chat with one of the 'locals'

The Chihuahuas stopped for a chat with one of the ‘locals’

Zora was also keen to say hi

Zora was also keen to say hi

Bolt was a little less respectful in his greeting

Bolt was a little less respectful in his greeting

Sentry on duty while we came and went on our dog walks

Sentry on duty while we came and went on our dog walks

Dogs on board from Spain and Portugal: Bolt, Bingo, Smokey, Saphira, Benji, Molly and Pipoca

Emer’s Shih Tzu Bolt joined our trip in Spain. This gentle fellow was brought to us in Marbella by Emer’s gardener. Bolt really enjoys a snuffle about while out walking.

In Portugal Animalcouriers collected Bingo and Smokey in the Castelo Branco area. These two lively dogs belong to Ben and his family, who have relocated to Doncaster. Antonio, Justine and Joanne have been taking care of them while the new home in the UK is prepared for their arrival.

Glamorous Cocker Spaniel Saphira also got on board near Castelo Branco. She hopped confidently into her travel compartment while Gisella told us all about her. Gisella and her husband are leading breeders of Cocker Spaniels, Doberman and Rough Collies.

Then we headed off to find Benji, who has been in the care of Ana. But our GPS wasn’t able to find the right address. Driving around, we spotted a woman walking a dog up the hill. Has to be Benji, we felt. So we wound down the window and found we had indeed come upon Ana and Benji.

Livia’s pretty little Chihuahuas Molly and Pipoca have also joined the journey. Within just half an hour we could hear these two letting the rest of our pasengers know that they may be the smallest on board, but they’re definitely in charge!

Bolt arrives to join our trip

Bolt arrives to join our trip

Bolt enjoys a morning walk

Bolt enjoys a morning walk

Bingo and Smokey with Justine and Joanne

Bingo and Smokey with Justine and Joanne

Bingo and Smokey with Justine and Joanne

A gorgeous pair of reprobates — no wonder their family is so looking forward to having them back!

Saphira with her breeder Gisella

Saphira with her breeder Gisella

Saphira knows how to strike a pose

Saphira knows how to strike a pose

Ana with Benji, who belongs to Catia. Ana was sad to say goodbye, but Catia told us Benji is all her family and she is very excited about being reunited with him.

Ana with Benji, who belongs to Catia. Ana was sad to say goodbye, but Catia told us Benji is all her family and she is very excited about being reunited with him.

Handsome Benji!

Handsome Benji!

Pipoca (L) and Molly (R) with Papa Neves

Pipoca (L) and Molly (R) with Papa Neves

Molly is Pipoca's mum

Molly is Pipoca’s mum

Crunch and Star looking very excited because courier M is offering biscuits. Nom, nom!

Crunch and Star looking very excited because courier M is offering biscuits. Nom, nom!

Reunions for India, Miss and Moby; and Scooby, Zora, Bonnie, Crunch, Star and Banksy have joined our trip

It took a while to reach Gibraltar to catch up with black-and-white cat Scooby, as the 10-day Feria de La Linea — a celebration involving fishing, street parades, music, dancing and horse riding — was in full swing.

Scooby travelled with us from the UK to Gibraltar earlier in the year, but now his owners Ryan and Oonagh have the opportunity to live and work in Melbourne, Australia, for a while. So Scooby is off to live with his grandparents.

At Jerez we stopped off at the main railway station to meet up with Antonio and hand his dog India over to him. There were squeals of delight from inside the Animalcouriers van when India heard his voice!

Boots and her daughter Charlotte are relocating from Portugal to the UK and their dog Zora and cat Bonnie are travelling with Animalcouriers. Unfortunately they can’t have Zora and Bonnie at their new home. Luckily, however, these two pets will be living with family as Boots’ sister-in-law owns Woodview Farm Kennels in Suffolk.

Bonnie was originally a feral cat. To make sure the removal company didn’t scare her away, Boots had transferred her to Barking Mad Kennels, run by Heather, a few days earlier. Even so, when we arrived to collect Bonnie, the last thing she fancied was being caught. Once again courier M’s impressive cat-catching skills were put to the test. When we texted Boots to let her know Bonnie was at last safely on board, she replied: “That’s my girl! You wouldn’t believe it but she is a little sweetheart when u know her… Honestly!”

Then it was off to reunite Fanny with her cats Miss and Moby. Fanny told us she’s finding Portugal a very congenial place to live. Her project is to bring tourists to the area. As we left, she mentioned there’s still one more cat to bring over from Canada!

It was a short hop from Lisbon to Cascais to collect mother and daughter Beagles Crunch and Star. These two get on famously and will be great company for each other on the journey. Their grandparents will be waiting to collect them when we reach the UK.

And still in the Lisbon area, we collected ginger-and-white cat Banksy. He’s called Banksy because his owner Tanis found him on a bank. He’s been staying with Louisa at Paradise for Pets, five-star accommodation for dogs and cats in the Manilva area.

The Rock of Gibraltar, in disguise behind ornate archways set up for the feria

The Rock of Gibraltar, in disguise behind ornate archways set up for the feria

Scooby with Ryan and Oonagh

Scooby with Ryan and Oonagh

Scooby eyes up the downstairs neighbours…

Scooby eyes up the downstairs neighbours…

…then decides he'd rather have a head rub and a neck tickle

…then decides he’d rather have a head rub and a neck tickle

India gets a big hug from Antonio — it was hard to say which of them was more excited at being back together

India gets a big hug from Antonio — it was hard to say which of them was more excited at being back together

Statue of a loving relationship between a dog and a child at Jerez — the home of sherry

Statue of a loving relationship between a dog and a child at Jerez — the home of sherry

Zora with Charlotte (L) and Boots (R)

Zora with Charlotte (L) and Boots (R)

Boots discovered calico cat Bonnie living rough in her garden. Over time Boots and Charlotte won Bonnie's trust to the extent that she agreed to be adopted by them.

Boots discovered calico cat Bonnie living rough in her garden. Over time Boots and Charlotte won Bonnie’s trust to the extent that she agreed to be adopted by them.

Tearful goodbyes for Zora from Charlotte and Boots

Tearful goodbyes for Zora from Charlotte and Boots

Very jolly vans at Barking Mad Kennels in Lagos — they definitely go, but it's a bit of a bumpy ride! We've got to know Heather and the kennels quite well over the past six years or so, as it's proved a perfect place to drop off and collect pets.

Very jolly vans at Barking Mad Kennels in Lagos — they definitely go, but it’s a bit of a bumpy ride! We’ve got to know Heather and the kennels quite well over the past six years or so, as it’s proved a perfect place to drop off and collect pets.

Courier M hands Miss over to Fanny, who admitted that Miss is known for having issues with travel boxes. Apparently the French cattery had been very impressed by courier M's cat-catching skills!

Courier M hands Miss over to Fanny, who admitted that Miss is known for having issues with travel boxes. Apparently the French cattery had been very impressed by courier M’s cat-catching skills!

Fanny with Moby and Miss

Fanny with Moby and Miss

Andy, Michele and baby Mia with their dogs Crunch and Star. Andy showed us his dog management skills. Sit, Crunch! Sit, Star! As soon as one bum was on the floor, the other one was up.

Andy, Michele and baby Mia with their dogs Crunch and Star. Andy showed us his dog management skills. Sit, Crunch! Sit, Star! As soon as one bum was on the floor, the other one was up.

Banksy gives courier M a bit of a look

Banksy gives courier M a bit of a look

Happy reunions for Nellie, Bonnie and Lola in Spain, and Bart in France

Yesterday couriers J and M delivered cats Nellie and Bonnie to Val and David in Spain. Their new location, El Portet de Moraira, is a very pretty place to be, and bustling with lots of people enjoying the sunshine and the beach.

Val and David were quick to get in touch to let us know how the girls are getting on:

“Nellie and Bonnie are settling in well; Nellie (and Val) had a sleepless night while she explored and then meowed when she found herself alone! Both cats are eating and drinking well, and catching up with sleep.

We would like to thank you sincerely for taking care of them and delivering them safely to us. When we started to plan the move they were our main concern, but we were confident that they would be ok with you, which enabled us to concentrate on the move itself. We wish you much success in the future, and will readily recommend you to anyone who needs an animal courier.”

Then it was on to La Herradura on the Costa del Sol, where little Yorkie Lola got an ecstatic welcome from Johanna, who has been anxiously waiting for her. Once their holidays are over, the family will head north to Madrid where Johanna will be taking over the British school.

And just a few days ago, Bart was reunited with his owners near Agen in France. This character dog would have travelled at the same time as his owners, but his passport had gone out of date. Bart was cared for by his owner’s daughter until his passport was ready, then homeboarded briefly with couriers J and R — and pretty much wore them out with his ball games. When the time came to place his bed in his travel cage, Bart got there first, and a tug’o’war ensued until Bart decided to drag the bed into the cage himself — what a cooperative passenger!

From what his ‘dad’ Joe tells us, Bart is a very special animal. He was pulled from a river at five weeks old, and Joe says he’s the best dog ever.

Joe told us:

“The grand reunion took place as planned and Bart has made himself at home. He is a delight, a gentle giant, and our other dog, Darcy, has made him very welcome.

The timing of this move could not have been better for us and he obviously travelled first class in 5-star luxury. Many thanks to you and your team. I will certainly recommend Animalcouriers to anyone we know looking for pet transport.”

The lane to the Spanish house was too narrow for our van, so David and Val had to collect the two cats from us and drive them the last few yards

The lane to the Spanish house was too narrow for our van, so David and Val had to collect the two cats from us and drive them the last few yards

Nellie is keen to get out and explore

Nellie is keen to get out and explore

Nellie and Bonnie relaxing with David

Nellie and Bonnie relaxing with David

A very happy reunion for Lola and Johanna

A very happy reunion for Lola and Johanna

Bart with courier D (L) and Joe (R)

Bart with courier D (L) and Joe (R)

Double trouble! It was a rare treat to have two Animalcouriers vans and four of our couriers all in one place earlier in the week. We stayed the night with our blog/website design/editorial team in Narbonne, and a good time was had by all under a bright blue Mediterranean sky.

Double trouble! It was a rare treat to have two Animalcouriers vans and four of our couriers all in one place earlier in the week. We stayed the night with our blog/website design/editorial team in Narbonne, and a good time was had by all under a bright blue Mediterranean sky.

Cheese-tasting in the Dijon area as we follow the Tour de France route

Couriers J and M set off from the UK, heading towards Spain, and spent last night in the Dijon area of France. On board so far are Bonnie, Nellie, Lola and India.

Tabby-and-white cats Bonnie and Nellie are quite hard to tell apart. These two lovelies have been homeboarding with Animalcouriers for a week since arriving from Wales. They’re now en route to their new home in Moraira in Spain, where their owners Val and David are eagerly awaiting their arrival — Val says once the cats are there it will really feel like home.

At just 8 inches tall, miniature Yorkie Lola must have felt like she was stalking through the jungle on her morning walk. This plucky little girl loved it all — leaping about, walking on her hind legs, and playing with her new chum India.

India is travelling with us from London to the wonderful Spanish city of Seville. She homeboarded with Animalcouriers for a couple of nights before we set off. This was perfect because she’s quite a shy dog, and it gave us a chance to get to know each other.

Bonnie is very relaxed…

Bonnie is very relaxed…

…as is her sister Nellie

…as is her sister Nellie

Little Lola steps out for her morning walk…

Little Lola steps out for her morning walk…

…and comes back a little damp from all the dew

…and comes back a little damp from all the dew

India loved all the sights and smells on her walk. She could sense there were plenty of small mammals around — moles, voles, rabbits and mice — but they didn't care to show themselves

India loved all the sights and smells on her walk. She could sense there were plenty of small mammals around — moles, voles, rabbits and mice — but they didn’t care to show themselves

Our overnight stay in Dijon was in the heart of comté country, with a cave opposite our hotel. We had the unexpected pleasure of sampling some of this delicious French cheese for breakfast.

Our overnight stay in Dijon was in the heart of comté country, with a cave opposite our hotel. We had the unexpected pleasure of sampling some of this delicious French cheese for breakfast.

Even the wrappers for the cheese are appetising!

Even the wrappers for the cheese are appetising!

India was keen to give us her views on the cheese tasting. She hails from the western side of Spain and reckons that the cheese from her homeland is possibly even more delicious than comté.

India was keen to give us her views on the cheese tasting. She hails from the western side of Spain and reckons that the cheese from her homeland is possibly even more delicious than comté.

We told Bonnie (here) and Nellie all about the cheese cave and took them a small piece of cheese to taste. Nom nom, said Bonnie.

We told Bonnie (here) and Nellie all about the cheese cave and took them a small piece of cheese to taste. Nom nom, said Bonnie.

Nellie was so comfy she just opened an eye as if to say, leave it and I will eat it later

Nellie was so comfy she just opened an eye as if to say, leave it and I will eat it later

The grass is always greener… some of the beautiful (and clever) cows whose milk goes into comté cheese

The grass is always greener… some of the beautiful (and clever) cows whose milk goes into comté cheese

A novel method of cow transport — an oversized skateboard!

A novel method of cow transport — an oversized skateboard!

The Tour de France is due past tomorrow

The Tour de France is due past tomorrow

A classy effort by this village to welcome the tour, but not quite up to Yorkshire standards, in our humble opinion!

A classy effort by this village to welcome the tour, but not quite up to Yorkshire standards, in our humble opinion!

Sunflowers on a sunny day — we never tire of this sight however many times we travel through mainland Europe

Sunflowers on a sunny day — we never tire of this sight however many times we travel through mainland Europe

Travelling in the UK with Shep, Holly and Lola

While couriers J and M head towards to the UK with their passengers from Greece and Italy, courier S is taking care of Shep, Holly and Lola’s journeys in the UK.

Handsome Collie Shep has been homeboarding with Animalcouriers since travelling with us from the Clermont Ferrand area of France earlier in the month. This senior fellow has been the perfect houseguest, but now it’s time for him to be reunited with his family who are eagerly awaiting his arrival. The dad in his family, Nathan, is a professional rugby player who moved from Australia to the UK, and from there to France, where rugby is one of the national passions. Now with a transfer back to the UK for Nathan, the family is settling in Altringham.

Miniature Yorkshire Terrier Lola wanted ‘just one more game’ before we set off from her home in Bath. This little charmer will continue her journey to Spain in a few weeks’ time, travelling with us to join her family at their holiday home near Malaga. After the summer, she’ll be living in Madrid, where Johanna will be looking after the British school. The whole family is very excited about going back to live in Spain.

Keeping the dogs in order on the journey is shiny black cat Holly. This gorgeous puss is travelling with us from Surrey to Oldham near Manchester. She’s been staying with her owner’s parents while her owner got the perfect new pussycat pad ready for her arrival.

Shep will shortly be reunited with his rugby-loving family

Shep will shortly be reunited with his rugby-loving family

Tiny Lola has a great big character and will make many friends in her new home

Tiny Lola has a great big character and will make many friends in her new home

Lola wins yet another game!

Lola wins yet another game!

Holly keeps everyone in order

Holly keeps everyone in order

Black Lab Bo jets off to Mallorca for the summer

Beautiful Bo, who has travelled with Animalcouriers before, spends her summer holidays with her family on the sunny Spanish island of Mallorca.

Yesterday morning we collected her bright and early from her London home and went straight to the vet where she had a health check and her passport was certified to say she was fit to fly. After that Bo had a few hours to relax before her afternoon flight to rejoin her excited family.

Happy, relaxed Bo is all set for her holiday

Happy, relaxed Bo is all set for her holiday

Cliquot, Shep and Pepita join our trip as we head north through France

Animalcouriers visited one of our favourite French catteries to pick up character cat Cliquot. When the cattery owner opened the door of Cliquot’s unit and called his name, out popped a handsome tabby head from a little wooden cat house, followed by the rest of Cliquot. Very obediently he joined us in the doorway where he was quickly scooped up and we were on our way in under a minute.

We collected handsome Collie Shep near Clermont Ferrand in central France for his journey to the UK. Although he’s 15, he doesn’t look his age at all; he’s just a little deaf and his eyesight is perhaps not what it once was. His family Nathan, Leann, five-year-old Joshua and baby twins Chloe and Lachlan were all on hand to see him off. Shep will home-board with Animalcouriers for a few weeks until the new family home is ready for him.

Pepita joined our trip near Geneva in Switzerland. We were expecting a Mini Pinscher so thought for a moment we had the wrong dog! It turned out her mum was a Mini Pinscher so Pepita is part Mini Pinscher and a very pretty girl indeed.

Confident Cliquot watches the dogs being walked. From the look on his face, the mantra 'be more dog' must have been running through his mind!

Confident Cliquot watches the dogs being walked. From the look on his face, the mantra ‘be more dog’ must have been running through his mind!

Le Jardin de Chats, where Cliquot stayed near Montpellier

Le Jardin de Chats, where Cliquot stayed near Montpellier

Shep gets a goodbye hug from Joshua

Shep gets a goodbye hug from Joshua

Shep looking cute on a gentle walk

Shep looking cute on a gentle walk

Courier M takes a selfie with Rommel

Courier M takes a selfie with Rommel

Rommel proudly carries a Rommel-sized stick

Rommel proudly carries a Rommel-sized stick

Leo found a tennis ball during his walk and immediately set about showing off his considerable throwing, catching and dribbling skills. Bella was keen to join in and watched carefully as the pro demonstrated his talents.

Leo found a tennis ball during his walk and immediately set about showing off his considerable throwing, catching and dribbling skills. Bella was keen to join in and watched carefully as the pro demonstrated his talents. He was so quick with the ball that we couldn’t get a photo until he stopped for a breather!

Leo found a tennis ball during his walk and immediately set about showing off his considerable throwing, catching and dribbling skills. Bella was keen to join in and watched carefully as the pro demonstrated his talents.

Bella’s attention is completely caught by Leo’s antics

Bob explaining to courier J that if only he could sit with her on the front seat, Animalcouriers would be able to benefit from his first-class map-reading skills!

Bob explaining to courier J that if only he could sit with her on the front seat, Animalcouriers would be able to benefit from his first-class map-reading skills!

Pepita in the Swiss sunshine with Ines and Jose who've been looking after her since her owner Andy left for the UK

Pepita in the Swiss sunshine with Ines and Jose who’ve been looking after her since her owner Andy left for the UK

Is this my best side? All your sides are your best sides, Pepita!

Is this my best side? All your sides are your best sides, Pepita!

Roses in the early morning sun

Roses in the early morning sun

Some very steep vineyards in the Côtes du Rhône, where the hillsides are studded with the wine-growers' names. Given the incline, we can only imagine the grapes are cared for and harvested by hand, rather than by machine. We enjoyed our very own 'dégustation' of the local Côte-Rôtie to wash down our supper-time pizzas.

Some very steep vineyards in the Côtes du Rhône, where the hillsides are studded with the wine-growers’ names. Given the incline, we can only imagine the grapes are cared for and harvested by hand, rather than by machine. We enjoyed our very own ‘dégustation’ of the local Côte-Rôtie to wash down our supper-time pizzas.

Stuck behind a very shiny tanker, the Animalcouriers van looks like it's coming through a porthole!

Stuck behind a very shiny tanker, the Animalcouriers van looks like it’s coming through a porthole!

Leo, Bella, Bob and Rommel say happy birthday, courier L!

Animalcouriers took a morning walk with our charges at Gandesa in Spain’s Tarragona province, and snapped a floral display to wish courier L, back at the Animalcouriers office, many happy returns of the day.

As we north through Spain, we called in at Medinya in the Girona area to collect German Shepherd Dog Rommel. We then carried on across the border and spent the night near Narbonne.

Leo always has a broad smile on his face, especially on a bright morning walk down a Spanish country lane full of new smells to explore

Leo always has a broad smile on his face, especially on a bright morning walk down a Spanish country lane full of new smells to explore

Bouncy Bella has fun in the sun

Bouncy Bella has fun in the sun

Leo and Bella met up while out walking and hit it off straight away with an impromptu game

Leo and Bella met up while out walking and hit it off straight away with an impromptu game

Rommel is handsome big dog — very bouncy but very obedient when it comes to sitting for a photo!

Rommel is handsome big dog — very bouncy but very obedient when it comes to sitting for a photo!

Bob enjoys his evening walk near Narbonne

Bob enjoys his evening walk near Narbonne

Bella tries out for 'longest tongue'…

Bella tries out for ‘longest tongue’…

… then it's Leo turn

… then it’s Leo turn

Bob with his 'golden girls', Rosa and Sheila

Bob with his ‘golden girls’, Rosa and Sheila