Sailor, Flupp, Consuela, Sylvie, Alain, Pete, Kaluha and Feta board the bus in Greece

Little girl cats Sailor and Flupp are travelling with Animalcouriers from Greece to the UK, where their new home awaits. They’re going to live with Maddie and her lovely Greek rescue dog Zeus, a gentle giant who has proved himself to be good with cats. Tabby-and-white Sailor is missing a leg — probably since birth — but it doesn’t stop her getting up to all sorts of tricks, both with and without Flupp.

It was a pleasure to see Emilia and Kiki again and catch up with all the news from the Filozoikos Shelter in Athens. Renovations are in hand that should be finished by the time we go back in September. They told us a bit about the two dogs who are travelling with us to their forever homes in the UK:

“Pete is a calm young German Shepherd cross who everyone loves to walk because he is so gentle and doesn’t pull. He was abandoned at the park at just a few months old, and soon made friends who would bring him food and look out for him. He developed an infection which Filozoikos treated, after which he was put back in the park. But he was waiting outside the gates of the shelter every day to be let in, and patiently sat waiting for walks and meals. Now handsome Pete has been adopted by Helen and her family who are waiting for him in the UK.”

“Kaluha arrived at Filozoikos aged around three or four months. She was adopted by a family but when they moved, they brought her back to the shelter. She was subsequently adopted again, but was returned to the shelter when her new owner could no longer walk her. Now, at 18 months of age, she is at last off to her forever home in the UK with the Shelley family.”

At Macedonia airport in Thessaloniki we met up with Dennis and his little dog Feta. Lindsay has already gone on ahead to the UK and Feta now on her way, to be joined later by Dennis. Feta is a gorgeous little dog — good enough to eat!

Sailor seems able to throw up a few zeds at a moment's notice

Sailor seems able to throw up a few zeds at a moment’s notice

Flupp has odd-coloured eyes

Flupp has odd-coloured eyes

Sailor and Flupp play hide and seek in the tunnel in their compartment

Sailor and Flupp play hide and seek in the tunnel in their compartment

Sailor doesn't let her missing leg get in the way of her Spider-man impressions!

Sailor doesn’t let her missing leg get in the way of her Spider-man impressions!

Pretty Sylvie (L) and handsome Alain (R)

Pretty Sylvie (L) and handsome Alain (R)

Proud mum Consuela — all three cats are off to new homes in the UK

Proud mum Consuela — all three cats are off to new homes in the UK

Emilia and Kiki with Kaluha and Pete

Emilia and Kiki with Kaluha and Pete

Kaluha has lovely markings

Kaluha has lovely markings

Pete is a handsome hairy fellow. Both Filozoikos dogs are sporting special 'going away' collars

Pete is a handsome hairy fellow. Both Filozoikos dogs are sporting special ‘going away’ collars

Poor Pete isn't used to traffic, so it was brave of him to jump out of the van to go on his walk. But the minute a car came past, he was back on the van step like a boomerang!

Poor Pete isn’t used to traffic, so it was brave of him to jump out of the van to go on his walk. But the minute a car came past, he was back on the van step like a boomerang!

Kaluha tries a walk on the beach. A little wary as she's clearly not used to the sea, but very interested in the waves and the smells.

Kaluha tries a walk on the beach. A little wary as she’s clearly not used to the sea, but very interested in the waves and the smells.

Feta in the arms of Dennis, who said it was hard to part with her but he will catch up with her later in the year

Feta in the arms of Dennis, who said it was hard to part with her but he will catch up with her later in the year

Dilly, Benedict and Florentine join our trip as we head north

Animalcouriers collected lovely cat Dilly from Covihla in Portugal. As we drove through the old town the roads became steeper and narrower until we had to send out for help. Luckily Ines could pop Dilly into her travel box and bring her to us! Dilly is on her way to Scotland. We suspect she’s used to chilly winters, however, given the snow depth marking posts we encountered along the way.

We stayed last night at Mont de Marsan in France’s Aquitaine region and today were pleased to call on our favourite vet, Dr Diana James, who gave some of our doggy passengers their parasite treatment and clarified an entry in Scooby’s passport.

Sweet and friendly Dilly

Sweet and friendly Dilly

Benny is all ready for his walk

Benny is all ready for his walk

Oscar was so busy snuffling, we had to pick him up for his photo!

Oscar was so busy snuffling, we had to pick him up for his photo!

Hester (L) and Dillon (R) — such a gorgeous pair!

Hester (L) and Dillon (R) — such a gorgeous pair!

Scooby enjoys the sunshine

Scooby enjoys the sunshine

Biscuits? Did someone say biscuits? Nelson and Hardy sit to attention.

Biscuits? Did someone say biscuits? Nelson and Hardy sit to attention.

Fluffy Angus, full of beans out on his walk. This is a rare moment of stillness.

Fluffy Angus, full of beans out on his walk. This is a rare moment of stillness.

Benny, see here with Diana, takes his tablet like a man

Benny, see here with Diana, takes his tablet like a man

As does Scooby — straight down!

As does Scooby — straight down!

At Dompiere les Eglises we met up with Kim and her cats Benedict and Florentine. Kim admitted her heart was pounding and she had butterflies in her tummy at the prospect!

At Dompiere les Eglises we met up with Kim and her cats Benedict and Florentine. Kim admitted her heart was pounding and she had butterflies in her tummy at the prospect!

When it was time to say goodbye, Kim said she was feeling much more relaxed, having had a chat with us and met some of our other passengers.

When it was time to say goodbye, Kim said she was feeling much more relaxed, having had a chat with us and met some of our other passengers.

Dilly shows the newcomers just how to relax!

Dilly shows the newcomers just how to relax!

Collecting Kenny, Flossie, Minnie, Lucien, number 5, no-name kitty, Willow, Jack and Tiger

At Patras Port, Animalcouriers’ list of passengers from Greece was swelled with the arrival of two dogs, Kenny and Flossie, and seven cats, Minnie, Lucien, number 5, no-name kitty, and Willow with her kittens Jack and Tiger.

Kenny the English Setter was clever enough to find Martin and Tracey. It was love at first sight, and he's now on his way to rejoin them in the UK. Anastasia and Christos, shown here with Kenny, have been taking wonderful care of him while his travel from Greece was organised. In fact, such a strong bond was formed that Martin and Tracey nearly didn't get Kenny back! Kenny is joining three doggy sisters and the whole family is heading off to a new life in Spain.

Kenny the English Setter was clever enough to find Martin and Tracey. It was love at first sight, and he’s now on his way to rejoin them in the UK. Anastasia and Christos, shown here with Kenny, have been taking wonderful care of him while his travel from Greece was organised. In fact, such a strong bond was formed that Martin and Tracey nearly didn’t get Kenny back! Kenny is joining three doggy sisters and the whole family is heading off to a new life in Spain.

Flossie was a street dog who was taken in by animal charity The Ark. When Rebecca visited The Ark after losing her beloved greyhound, she found Flossie. The rest, as they say, is history, as these two clearly adore each other. They're now leaving the Greek sun behind for the cooler climate of Derby.

Flossie was a street dog who was taken in by animal charity The Ark. When Rebecca visited The Ark after losing her beloved greyhound, she found Flossie. The rest, as they say, is history, as these two clearly adore each other. They’re now leaving the Greek sun behind for the cooler climate of Derby.

Pretty tortoiseshell cat Minnie belongs to Helen, and accompanied Helen when she moved from the UK to Greece. Now on the way back to the UK, Minnie is travelling with…

Pretty tortoiseshell cat Minnie belongs to Helen, and accompanied Helen when she moved from the UK to Greece. Now on the way back to the UK, Minnie is travelling with…

…Lucien, a great big handsome teddy bear of a cat adopted by Helen in Greece. However, Helen tends to shorten his name to 'Lucy' which doesn't do much for his masculinity!

…Lucien, a great big handsome teddy bear of a cat adopted by Helen in Greece. However, Helen tends to shorten his name to ‘Lucy’ which doesn’t do much for his masculinity!

This little chap also belongs to Helen. He's one of a litter of six produced by a wandering cat living quite comfortably in a stableyard. No-one at the yard was able to adopt the kittens so, to avoid getting too emotionally involved, they numbered them 1 to 6 instead of giving them names. The mother cat did a great job of bringing up her kittens, and took them for longer and longer walks as part of their training for the wider world. Eventually they all left home except number 5, who decided to stay put. Unfortunately, he was attacked by a pack of feral dogs who badly injured his front right leg. Helen took him to the vet, where his paw had to be amputated. At which point Helen suddenly realised she'd ended up adopting him! And although he acquired the name Pendy along the way, to Helen he's still number 5.

This little chap also belongs to Helen. He’s one of a litter of six produced by a wandering cat living quite comfortably in a stableyard. No-one at the yard was able to adopt the kittens so, to avoid getting too emotionally involved, they numbered them 1 to 6 instead of giving them names. The mother cat did a great job of bringing up her kittens, and took them for longer and longer walks as part of their training for the wider world. Eventually they all left home except number 5, who decided to stay put. Unfortunately, he was attacked by a pack of feral dogs who badly injured his front right leg. Helen took him to the vet, where his paw had to be amputated. At which point Helen suddenly realised she’d ended up adopting him! And although he acquired the name Pendy along the way, to Helen he’s still number 5.

No-name kitty was one of four kittens found in a garden by Kathy when she was on holiday in Kefalonia. She couldn't bear to leave them struggling to survive, so decided to adopt them. While Kathy was arranging their travel to join her in York, Eva from a local cat rescue organisation kept an eye on them. Unfortunately, three of the kittens disappeared, and only this handsome young ginger-and-white is now making the trip with Animalcouriers. We can only hope and pray the other three are ok and making their way in life.

No-name kitty was one of four kittens found in a garden by Kathy when she was on holiday in Kefalonia. She couldn’t bear to leave them struggling to survive, so decided to adopt them. While Kathy was arranging their travel to join her in York, Eva from a local cat rescue organisation kept an eye on them. Unfortunately, three of the kittens disappeared, and only this handsome young ginger-and-white is now making the trip with Animalcouriers. We can only hope and pray the other three are ok and making their way in life.

No-name Kitty gets a farewell cuddle from Eva.

No-name Kitty gets a farewell cuddle from Eva.

Willow in front of her kittens Jack (aka Liquorice) L and Tiger R. This little family were found by Tegan and Tony while they were on holiday, but no-one they approached locally could take them on. An 11th-hour appeal to Elaine and Bohdan, an amazing couple who help many strays in the Ermioni area>/A>,  resulted in these three being scooped up into their tender temporary care, while Tegan and Tony arranged their travel to join them in Glasgow, Scotland. Although rather feral at first, these three have come on brilliantly after spending several weeks living with all the other rescue animals looked after by Elaine and Bohdan.

Willow in front of her kittens Jack (aka Liquorice) L and Tiger R. This little family were found by Tegan and Tony while they were on holiday, but no-one they approached locally could take them on. An 11th-hour appeal to Elaine and Bohdan, an amazing couple who help many strays in the Ermioni area, resulted in these three being scooped up into their tender temporary care, while Tegan and Tony arranged their travel to join them in Glasgow, Scotland. Although rather feral at first, these three have come on brilliantly after spending several weeks living with all the other rescue animals looked after by Elaine and Bohdan.

Bubble, Agapi, Eleni, Bolo and Sienna from Filozoikos join our UK-bound trip

We were pleased to visit our good friends at the Filozoikos shelter in Athens, where we collected four dogs and a cat who are off to start new lives in the UK.

Bubble gets a fond farewell from Tina. Bubble, who will be renamed Dorothea, was brought in as a beautiful puppy. Just a few days later she was lucky enough to be spotted on the Filozoikos Facebook page by a family in Scotland. They had just lost their dog, who looked a lot like her. One of the shelter volunteers, Poppy, offered to foster Bubble to get her used to living in a house. The family adopting Bubble are friends with Nicos, who adopted Clara from the shelter in the past…

Bubble gets a fond farewell from Tina. Bubble, who will be renamed Dorothea, was brought in as a beautiful puppy. Just a few days later she was lucky enough to be spotted on the Filozoikos Facebook page by a family in Scotland. They had just lost their dog, who looked a lot like her. One of the shelter volunteers, Poppy, offered to foster Bubble to get her used to living in a house. The family adopting Bubble are friends with Nicos, who adopted Clara from the shelter in the past…

…So when Nicos was in Greece about a month ago, he went to visit the shelter and meet Bubble. He also met Agapi. Blind Agapi had been spotted sitting motionless in the park by a young man who fortunately alerted the shelter. Agapi, meaning 'love',  has no eyes. Nicos, whose wife is a great cat lover, was so touched by the blind kitten that he decided to adopt her. Here is Agapi having a goodbye hug with Tina.

…So when Nicos was in Greece about a month ago, he went to visit the shelter and meet Bubble. He also met Agapi. Blind Agapi had been spotted sitting motionless in the park by a young man who fortunately alerted the shelter. Agapi, meaning ‘love’, has no eyes. Nicos, whose wife is a great cat lover, was so touched by the blind kitten that he decided to adopt her. Here is Agapi having a goodbye hug with Tina.

Eleni was found wandering in the streets of Athens. When she was first brought to the shelter she was one of the most scared dogs they had ever seen. She managed to jump out of a two-metre high cage, so had to be moved to a cage with roof to begin with. Little by little she became more confident and is  now a sweet, calm dog. She's been adopted by Jodie who lives near one of the Animalcouriers offices, so we hope we'll bump in to her when we're out shopping!

Eleni was found wandering in the streets of Athens. When she was first brought to the shelter she was one of the most scared dogs they had ever seen. She managed to jump out of a two-metre high cage, so had to be moved to a cage with roof to begin with. Little by little she became more confident and is now a sweet, calm dog. She’s been adopted by Jodie who lives near one of the Animalcouriers offices, so we hope we’ll bump in to her when we’re out shopping!

Bolo, shown here, and chum Sienna (below), are travelling with Animalcouriers to Derby. They were rescued by Michelle and Kevin, along with Treacle and Pepper,  who travelled with us last month.

Bolo, shown here, and chum Sienna (below), are travelling with Animalcouriers to Derby. They were rescued by Michelle and Kevin, along with Treacle and Pepper, who travelled with us last month.

Sienna. The Filozoikos shelter has kindly been caring for Bolo and Sienna while they waited to be collected, and are also helping with these dogs' travel costs, for which a big thank you.

Sienna. The Filozoikos shelter has kindly been caring for Bolo and Sienna while they waited to be collected, and are also helping with these dogs’ travel costs, for which a big thank you.

Valentina caught in the act! Diving into the choccies we took to the Filozoikos volunteers.

Valentina caught in the act! Diving into the choccies we took to the Filozoikos volunteers.

Sienna wonders if there might be any for her, too. Sorry Sienna, chocolate is bad for dogs!

Sienna wonders if there might be any for her, too. Sorry Sienna, chocolate is bad for dogs!

Introducing the Greek dogs who are travelling with us to the UK

We have a great collection of dogs on board this trip, some rescues going to new homes, and some family dogs rejoining their owners in the UK.

Marina delivered her French Bulldog Bella to us, who is anxiously awaited by Konstantidos in London. Try as we might we couldn't get a photo of Marina and Bella facing the same way, but a piece of dry toast got Bella's attention for long enough to get this close-up of her.

Marina delivered her French Bulldog Bella to us, who is anxiously awaited by Konstantidos in London. Try as we might we couldn’t get a photo of Marina and Bella facing the same way, but a piece of dry toast got Bella’s attention for long enough to get this close-up of her.

Marina with Bella, who wonders if there might be more toast in this crate

Marina with Bella, who wonders if there might be more toast in this crate

This is Foxy, who's travelling with Felicia to Nottingham, to rejoin their owner Kathy.

This is Foxy, who’s travelling with Felicia to Nottingham, to rejoin their owner Kathy.

Felicia, shown here, and Foxy were brought to us by Kathy's mum

Felicia, shown here, and Foxy were brought to us by Kathy’s mum

Tony, pictured here with Susanna, is a rather timid Labrador cross who's being rehomed in the UK from the Filozoikos Shelter in Athens. Tony is one of a group of nine dogs who came to the shelter after living with a homeless man in an abandoned building. He had few means to take care of them, but when he was sadly killed in a traffic accident, the dogs lost what protection he'd been able to give them. It's taken a great deal of love and patience on the part of volunteer Susanna to coax Tony out of his kennel and go on walks. He's still shy and it will be quite a wrench for him to leave Susanna, so we'll make sure he gets plenty of TLC on the trip. He's very fond of frankfurter sausages so we've laid in a supply. We'll also spare a thought for Susanna who's worked so hard to make his adoption possible and will doubtless miss him.

Tony, pictured here with Susanna, is a rather timid Labrador cross who’s being rehomed in the UK from the Filozoikos Shelter in Athens. Tony is one of a group of nine dogs who came to the shelter after living with a homeless man in an abandoned building. He had few means to take care of them, but when he was sadly killed in a traffic accident, the dogs lost what protection he’d been able to give them. It’s taken a great deal of love and patience on the part of volunteer Susanna to coax Tony out of his kennel and go on walks. He’s still shy and it will be quite a wrench for him to leave Susanna, so we’ll make sure he gets plenty of TLC on the trip. He’s very fond of frankfurter sausages so we’ve laid in a supply. We’ll also spare a thought for Susanna who’s worked so hard to make his adoption possible and will doubtless miss him.

Kim has also been adopted from the Filozoikos Shelter and is heading for a new life in the UK

Kim has also been adopted from the Filozoikos Shelter and is heading for a new life in the UK

Some of the donations of food and other items that Animalcouriers transported to Filozoikos from their support group in the UK

Some of the donations of food and other items that Animalcouriers transported to Filozoikos from their support group in the UK

Here's just one of the many, many dogs at the shelter who'll benefit from those donations

Here’s just one of the many, many dogs at the shelter who’ll benefit from those donations

… and another…

… and another…

… and another — this one looks ready for breakfast!

… and another — this one looks ready for breakfast!

Crossing the rather splendid Charilaos Trikoupis bridge on the way to collect Fudge

Crossing the rather splendid Charilaos Trikoupis bridge on the way to collect Fudge

Rachel is waiting for Fudge in south-east England. He's been staying with Rachel's mum and dad, waiting for his passport to be sorted. It's hard to believe this cute fellow was dumped from a car on the side of the road when he was just a couple of months old. He's certainly landed on his feet, though, and he has a great future to look forward to with Rachel.

Rachel is waiting for Fudge in south-east England. He’s been staying with Rachel’s mum and dad, waiting for his passport to be sorted. It’s hard to believe this cute fellow was dumped from a car on the side of the road when he was just a couple of months old. He’s certainly landed on his feet, though, and he has a great future to look forward to with Rachel.

This is Pepper with Betty. Pepper, together with Treacle (below) and two other dogs were found as strays on the beach.

This is Pepper with Betty. Pepper, together with Treacle (below) and two other dogs were found as strays on the beach.

This is Treacle with Godelive. Michelle has adopted all four dogs, and the other two will be travelling with us next month. Betty and Godelive have been looking after them, and have helped rescue and rehome quite a number of Greek dogs.

This is Treacle with Godelive. Michelle and Kevin rescued all four dogs, and the other two will be travelling with us next month. Betty and Godelive have been looking after them, and have helped rescue and rehome quite a number of Greek dogs.

Reunions for Mandy, Robbie and Aqapi; and our UK-bound Greek passengers are now on board

We reunited Mandy with her dogs Robbie and Aqapi at the Greek port of Piraeus. Everyone was very excited to be back together again. We’ll miss them, though — they’ve become part of the Animalcouriers family!

Then it was time to meet all the dogs and cats who’re swapping Greece for the UK.

Mandy, Robbie and Aqapi are glad to be back together

Mandy, Robbie and Aqapi are glad to be back together

First up, three little English Bull Terrier pups. This gorgeous trio are keeping us amused with their antics, that started with walking through their water bowl, then trying to chew it up, and finally a game of tug 'o' war with it!

First up, three little English Bull Terrier pups. This gorgeous trio are keeping us amused with their antics, that started with walking through their water bowl, then trying to chew it up, and finally a game of tug ‘o’ war with it!

Puppies having a drink…

Puppies having a drink…

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…then forming an escape committee to decide how best to chew their way out!

This is the puppies' mum, who came along with her human mum to see the puppies on their way. There were tears from human mum, but we suspect that although doggy mum will miss her babies, she'll probably enjoy the peace and quiet once she gets home!

This is the puppies’ mum, who came along with her human mum to see the puppies on their way. There were tears from human mum, but we suspect that although doggy mum will miss her babies, she’ll probably enjoy the peace and quiet once she gets home!

Kiki and a colleague from Filozoikos Shelter brought us Carolina and Rosa. They were a little late as Rosa had a small wound on one of her back legs, and they decided to detour to the vet for a checkup and medication to see her through the trip. No-one wanted to risk an infection setting in.

Kiki and a colleague from Filozoikos Shelter brought us Carolina and Rosa. They were a little late as Rosa had a small wound on one of her back legs, and they decided to detour to the vet for a checkup and medication to see her through the trip. No-one wanted to risk an infection setting in.

Lovely Carolina has an excited family waiting for her in the UK

Lovely Carolina has an excited family waiting for her in the UK

Here she is, ready for the off

Here she is, ready for the off

Sweet, gentle Rosa — you can just see the wound on her back left leg. We will keep a close eye on it.

Sweet, gentle Rosa — you can just see the wound on her back left leg. We will keep a close eye on it.

Rosa says goodbye to Kiki

Rosa says goodbye to Kiki

This is very cute Lia, who has a new home in the UK with Jo. It was a holiday romance — you can read all about it un a separate blog.

This is very cute Lia, who has a new home in the UK with Jo. It was a holiday romance — you can read all about it un a separate blog.

Handsome tuxedo cat Ajax

Handsome tuxedo cat Ajax

Soft and fluffy Achilleus

Soft and fluffy Achilleus

Trisha and Christiana brought us Lia, Ajax and Achilleus. You may remember Trisha also brought us Rupert a few trips ago. She's co-owner of Spartan Cats and friends with Nine Lives Greece.

Trisha and Christiana brought us Lia, Ajax and Achilleus. You may remember Trisha also brought us Rupert a few trips ago. She’s co-founder of Spartan Cats and friends with Nine Lives Greece.

Leaving Athens this morning with cats and dogs on board

In Athens we met up with our doggie passengers Maggie, Archie and Pepito.

Unfortunately, Cordelia from Nine Lives Greece was able to bring only two of the three cats we were expecting, Blackie and Bugsy. That’s because Margarita escaped from her foster home last night. Cordelia reckons she simply knew something was up, as so many cats do.

We waited for about 90 minutes while Cordelia went to look again for Margarita, but there was no sign of her. We’ll be back in a month for our next trip to the UK, and have offered her a space then in the hope she turns up. Meanwhile Blackie is travelling on to their new home with Sheila in Italy. He’s tucked up in the stygian depths of his cosy igloo so no hope of a photo of him just yet — but we will persevere!

Pepito with his grandma who's been taking care of him — Alex is waiting for Pepito in the UK

Pepito with his grandma who’s been taking care of him — Alex is waiting for Pepito in the UK

 Terri brought us Archie — it was lovely to meet him at last!

Terri brought us Archie — it was lovely to meet him at last!

Terri bids Archie au revoir — they'll be reunited in the UK

Terri bids Archie au revoir — they’ll be reunited in the UK

Maggie with foster mum Eleni who rescued her — Maggie is on her way to her new forever home with Sara in the UK

Maggie with foster mum Eleni who rescued her — Maggie is on her way to her new forever home with Sara in the UK

Cordelia arrives with Blackie and Bugsy — note her stylish Nine Lives t-shirt. You can buy them from the Nine Lives Greece website (click on 'How to help' then 'Shop for the strays')

Cordelia arrives with Blackie and Bugsy — note her stylish Nine Lives t-shirt. You can buy them from the Nine Lives Greece website (click on ‘How to help’ then ‘Shop for the strays’)

Cordelia says goodbye to Bugsy, who has been adopted by Rosalia in Surrey

Cordelia says goodbye to Bugsy, who has been adopted by Rosalia in Surrey

We were asked to deliver some bric-a-brac to the Filozoikos Shelter — it was a pleasure to see Kiki again…

We were asked to deliver some bric-a-brac to the Filozoikos Shelter — it was a pleasure to see Kiki again…

…who kindly brought us some delicious biscuits, made to a traditional recipe that dates back a very long way

…who kindly brought us some delicious biscuits, made to a traditional recipe that dates back a very long way

A warm welcome awaits Elpida; but parting is such sweet sorrow

Heather has adopted Elpida, one of the dogs from the Filozoikos Shelter who’s on our trip from Greece. Conrad from the UK organisation that supports the shelter and rehomes the rescued dogs, shared with us an email he received from Heather:

“I have just shed a few tears looking at the wonderful picture of Elpida leaving her beloved carers. I understand how they must feel parting from these dear dogs but I can only assure them that there is heaps and heaps of love awaiting Elpida here in my home.

My heart goes out to all the people who have cared for Elpida and all the other dogs and they must believe that I shall do my very best to make her remaining years the happiest she has ever known. I am sure Elpida will be happy to send lots of news and pictures once she arrives in her forever home. I can’t thank you all enough for agreeing to allow me to adopt such an adorable dog.”

Elpida

Elpida

Collecting our passengers in Greece, and crossing to Italy

Animalcouriers collected nine dogs and four cats in Athens earlier today for their journey to the UK.

As usual we received a warm welcome from our friends at the very wonderful Filozoikos Shelter and Nine Lives Greece. It’s always somewhat humbling to see how much effort goes into caring for all these animals who’ve had such tough times — and into finding them new homes where they can enjoy the rest of their lives.

Note the stylish collars all the Filozoikos dogs are sporting!

Everyone settled in quickly to the journey and we headed off towards the coast to catch the ferry to the Italian port of Bari.

Asproula

Asproula

Caesar (aka Kesaras) — whose sisters were rehomed before him, and who now has his own lovely new home to go to

Caesar (aka Kesaras) — whose sisters were rehomed before him, and who now has his own lovely new home to go to

Davies from the island of Syros

Davies from the island of Syros

Electra

Electra

Elpida

Elpida

Elsa

Elsa

Litza

Litza

A closer look at Litza's fabulous ears

A closer look at Litza’s fabulous ears

Nelly gets a tummy rub from courier M2

Nelly gets a tummy rub from courier M2

Yanni

Yanni

Volunteers bidding a fond and tearful farewell to dogs they've looked after for up to three years

Volunteers bidding a fond and tearful farewell to dogs they’ve looked after for up to three years

A big crowd gathers for the send-off

A big crowd gathers for the send-off

Boarding the ferry this afternoon just before the rain started

Boarding the ferry this afternoon just before the rain started

Rounding up our canine passengers at the Filozoikos Shelter

It was the usual whirlwind of tears and hugs as the lovely folk at the Filozoikos Shelter in Athens said goodbye over and over again to every dog.

All the dogs had been bathed and brushed as though they were off to Sunday church!

Gifts of biscuits, honey, tahini and olive oil were pressed upon us.

Once again, it was lovely to be with so many wonderful people, both at Filozoikos and Nine Lives Greece, who care so much about these dogs and cats.

The lovely patient Homer

The lovely patient Homer

Irma, a beautiful German Shepherd who's on her way to a new life in Scotland

Irma, a beautiful German Shepherd who’s on her way to a new life in Scotland

Emilios…

Emilios…

…and Louisa — like all the other dogs, they've been so well loved and cared for at Filozoikos, and are now moving to equally loving new homes in England

…and Louisa — like all the other dogs, they’ve been so well loved and cared for at Filozoikos, and are now moving to equally loving new homes in England

Pointer cross brothers Mutt (L, red collar) and Geoff (R, blue collar) from Skyros — we had to read their microchips to tell them apart!

Pointer cross brothers Mutt (L, red collar) and Geoff (R, blue collar) from Skyros — we had to read their microchips to tell them apart!

William who is also from Skyros

William who is also from Skyros

Leonodis is a gentle giant who was living on the streets. Most people loved him but because he's so big, a few were afraid of him. So Filozoikos took him in because they were worried he might get poisoned.

Leonodis is a gentle giant who was living on the streets. Most people loved him but because he’s so big, a few were afraid of him. So Filozoikos took him in because they were worried he might get poisoned.

Wash and brush up, parasite treatment, microchip check and hey, we're ready for the off!

Wash and brush up, parasite treatment, microchip check and hey, we’re ready for the off!

Yes, let's get going! says Emilios

Yes, let’s get going! says Emilios

But not before being treated to a box of delicious biscuits by Kiki, made with grape juice, honey and spices. They're so delicious we had to ration ourselves on the last trip. Courier M will be sorry to miss out!

But not before being treated to a box of delicious biscuits by Kiki, made with grape juice, honey and spices. They’re so delicious we had to ration ourselves on the last trip. Courier M will be sorry to miss out!

Goodbye from all the caring people at the shelter

Goodbye from all the caring people at the shelter