Collecting Pedro, Flash, Chiqui, Panda, Fizzy, Tina and Romero as we head north through Spain

Animalcouriers spent the night at a delightful farmhouse B&B to the north of Valencia, then headed off to Casa Antigua kennels and cattery to meet two cats, Pedro and Flash. They travelled by ferry from Ibiza to Denia, where Mel from Casa Antigua met them, then put them up for the night.

Our B&B outside Valencia — the citrus fruit season is in full swing in Spain

Our B&B outside Valencia — the citrus fruit season is in full swing in Spain

Darling Pedro is on his way to join his owner in Berkshire

Darling Pedro is on his way to join his owner in Berkshire

Young Flash is well named — no way is he standing still for a second to have his photo taken! He's on his way to Lancashire.

Young Flash is well named — no way is he standing still for a second to have his photo taken! He’s on his way to Lancashire.

Jackie and her family have moved back to Cumbria from Gandesa, and left their four pets — Chiqui, Panda, Tina and Fizzy — in the temporary care of old friends of Animalcouriers, Les and Bill.

Les was away at a Christmas market, so it was left to Bill to demonstrate his dog-wrangling skills

Les was away at a Christmas market, so it was left to Bill to demonstrate his dog-wrangling skills

Gorgeous Chiqui

Gorgeous Chiqui

A faraway look in Panda's eyes

A faraway look in Panda’s eyes

Fizzy (seen here) and Tina decided to take a tour of our van

Fizzy (seen here) and Tina decided to take a tour of our van

Tina quite sure she can signal while Fizzy puts a paw on the pedal

Tina quite sure she can signal while Fizzy puts a paw on the pedal

Fizzy and Tina safely ensconced in their bedroom!

Fizzy and Tina safely ensconced in their bedroom!

Handsome Romero is eight years old and has spent six of those years at the dog pound in Tossa de Mar, near Gerona. The dog pounds in many Spanish towns and cities are always full of dogs who’ve been rounded up off the streets. They’re often in out-of-the-way places, because of the space needed and the noise of the dogs. But that makes rehoming hard, as potential adopters don’t simply pass by. The problem is compounded by the fact that the people running the pounds rarely have the time or resources to run rehoming campaigns.

Romero's luck finally changed when Kate went looking for a dog to adopt and fell for Romero. He's now on his way to join her in Essex.

Romero’s luck finally changed when Kate went looking for a dog to adopt and fell for Romero. He’s now on his way to join her in Essex.

Romero is quite a tall fellow!

Romero is quite a tall fellow!

After collecting Romero we headed over the border into France and spent the night in Narbonne. Our next stop was in Bourges, further north in the Cher, where we woke to a chilly, frosty morning. Bearded dragon Jon Jon is tucked up with extra heat pads!

The fallen leaves looked beautiful in the frost

The fallen leaves looked beautiful in the frost

Fizzy and Tina dashed about, enjoying new smells and the crunchy leaves under their feet

Fizzy and Tina dashed about, enjoying new smells and the crunchy leaves under their feet

Babi wisely stayed cosy in bed

Babi wisely stayed cosy in bed

Pedro fancied a chin tickle…

Pedro fancied a chin tickle…

…as did Panda…

…as did Panda…

…and Floyd

…and Floyd

Panda doing acrobatics

Chiqui doing acrobatics

Lolita is a lovely gentle girl on her walks

Lolita is a lovely gentle girl on her walks

If courier M doesn't hurry up, Romero reckons he'll have to try jumping out!

If courier M doesn’t hurry up, Romero reckons he’ll have to try jumping out!

He's actually very sedate for a big chap

He’s actually very sedate for a big chap

Pretty blonde Rubia patiently waiting her turn

Pretty blonde Rubia patiently waiting her turn

Plenty of festive spirit at the Ibis hotel in Calais, and the usual warm welcome from Greg, who always asks after the pets travelling with us

Plenty of festive spirit at the Ibis hotel in Calais, and the usual warm welcome from Greg, who always asks after the pets travelling with us

 

Babi, Jon Jon, Allen, Floyd and Rubia get on board in Portugal and Spain; and Mia is reunited

Animalcouriers stayed the night in Alcacer do Sal in Portugal, where we were lucky enough to get a bargain rate at the local pousada. Portuguese pousadas are similar to Spain’s paradors and, like the paradors, many are ancient buildings which have been sympathetically restored.

Our accommodation in Alcacer do Sal — a 15th century former monastery

Our accommodation in Alcacer do Sal — a 15th century former monastery

Two characters wondering if there was room in our van!

Two characters wondering if there was room in our van!

A very seasonal image on the side of the chapel

A very seasonal image on the side of the chapel

Santa on his rounds

Santa on his rounds

We collected lovely black cat Babi from Ana’s mum, who’s been looking after Babi since Ana relocated to the UK. Now that Ana has found a home and settled in, it’s time for Babi to join her.

Ana's sweet black cat Babi

Ana’s sweet black cat Babi

In the Algarve we met up with Sam, his neighbour Charlie, and Sam’s bearded dragon Jon Jon. Sam and Jon Jon are heading home to Essex for Christmas, and will then travel back to Portugal in March, in time for the start of the surfing season.

Sam (L) and his neighbour Charlie

Sam (L) and his neighbour Charlie

Handsome Jon Jon is very low maintenance — his favourite foods are worms and rocket

Handsome Jon Jon is very low maintenance — his favourite foods are worms and rocket

We stopped for elevenses and couldn't resist a traditional Portuguese custard tart

We stopped for elevenses and couldn’t resist a traditional Portuguese custard tart

Next stop was to reunite gorgeous cat Mia with Angela and her husband in the Cadiz area.

Mia started meowing with pleasure as soon as she heard familiar voices

Mia started meowing with pleasure as soon as she heard familiar voices

Such a happy reunion

Such a happy reunion

We have double luck on this trip as we now have two black cats on board! In Malaga we met up with Allen who’s travelling with us to Brentwood.

Slinky Allen, getting nicely settled in

Slinky Allen, getting nicely settled in

Gorgeous hound Rubia is travelling to the UK with feline chum Floyd, who is devoted to Rubia.

Floyd would like to have shared a bedroom with Rubia

Floyd would like to have shared a bedroom with Rubia

Rubia enjoying an early walk in the morning sunshine

Rubia enjoying an early walk in the morning sunshine

Even Jon Jon got to enjoy the sun — we left the van door open while dog walking, so that he could feel the warmth on his face

Even Jon Jon got to enjoy the sun — we left the van door open while dog walking, so that he could feel the warmth on his face

We couldn't drive past Nerja without popping in to see Oscar (and John and Margaret). Oscar was so excited, bouncing and running around. We were glad to see him in such good form, as he's just got over a nasty time with a tumour in his paw.

We couldn’t drive past Nerja without popping in to see Oscar (and John and Margaret). Oscar was so excited, bouncing and running around. We were glad to see him in such good form, as he’s just got over a nasty time with a tumour in his paw.

We met New Zealanders Mike and Joy with their lovely young dog Lolita in La Herradura. With family and grandchildren beckoning, they’re heading back to their homeland. Lolita is going to board at partner kennels near us until early February, so that we  can oversee the preliminary tests and treatments required for dogs to enter New Zealand. Mike and Joy are taking advantage of a dog-free time to visit places in Europe they want to see, before they fly off.

Joy, Lolita and Mike on a wonderfully sunny beach near their Spanish home

Joy, Lolita and Mike on a wonderfully sunny beach near their Spanish home

Rubia also enjoyed that sunny beach

Rubia also enjoyed that sunny beach

Heading through France with Rikki, Cloud, Misty, Kurco, Dory, Mia and Tigger

Animalcouriers has set off on a pre-Christmas trip to southern Europe. We left the UK with seven well loved pets on board: four dogs and three cats.

Tabby cat Rikki is a suave fellow from Wales, who's heading to the Carcassonne area in south-west France to join Mark.

Tabby cat Rikki is a suave fellow from Wales, who’s heading to the Carcassonne area in south-west France to join Mark.

Cute Westie Cloud belongs to Aurora and Jose. The whole family is returning from the UK to Santander on the north-west coast of Spain.

Cute Westie Cloud belongs to Aurora and Jose. The whole family is returning from the UK to Santander on the north-west coast of Spain.

Black Cockerpoo Misty was bred in Colchester and has an excited new owner waiting in the Spanish city of Elche. (Sorry about the photo, it's so hard to do justice to black pets against dark backgrounds!)

Black Cockerpoo Misty was bred in Colchester and has an excited new owner waiting in the Spanish city of Elche. (Sorry about the photo, it’s so hard to do justice to black pets against dark backgrounds!)

Courier Mike collected lovely Kurco in Preston and he homeboarded with courier J for a few nights before we set off. Kurco travelled from Spain to the UK with us in December 2012, and now it's time for him, along with his owners Immaculada and Jose, to head back to Plasencia.

Courier Mike collected lovely Kurco in Preston and he homeboarded with courier J for a few nights before we set off. Kurco travelled from Spain to the UK with us in December 2012, and now it’s time for him, along with his owners Immaculada and Jose, to head back to Plasencia.

Fluffy little Dory is travelling from Dorset to join Patrick in Vigo. Patrick, an author, is looking forward to being inspired by Spain.

Fluffy little Dory is travelling from Dorset to join Patrick in Vigo. Patrick, an author, is looking forward to being inspired by Spain.

Mia is travelling from the Dorset area to Chiclana de la Frontera in the province of Cadiz. Here are Angela (and her husband) wishing Mia a good trip — they'll be waiting for her in Spain.

Mia is travelling from the Dorset area to Chiclana de la Frontera in the province of Cadiz. Here are Angela (and her husband) wishing Mia a good trip — they’ll be waiting for her in Spain.

A closer look at gorgeous Mia

A closer look at gorgeous Mia

Like Kurco, handsome ginger tabby Tigger homeboarded with Animalcouriers for a few days, as his owner went on ahead to Alicante. He'll be waiting for Tigger with his favourite nosh, as Tigger isn't too keen on eating while we travel. We're doing our best to tempt him with Spanish sardines, so who knows!

Like Kurco, handsome ginger tabby Tigger homeboarded with Animalcouriers for a few days, as his owner went on ahead to Alicante. He’ll be waiting for Tigger with his favourite nosh, as Tigger isn’t too keen on eating while we travel. We’re doing our best to tempt him with Spanish sardines, so who knows!

Fred and Betty swap Zurich for Chiswick

While courier J flew to Athens to meet Milou and Buddy, courier M drove to Switzerland to collect Yana and Stefano’s beloved (big) dogs.

Fred is a Dogue de Bordeaux and Betty Boop is a Great Dane. Both are very friendly and love people, as courier M discovered when he received a rapturous greeting!

The dogs originally moved with their owners from Italy to Switzerland, and now work is taking them to the UK.

Betty has a fine head

Betty has a fine head

Fred has wonderful wrinkles

Fred has wonderful wrinkles

Betty enjoys a walk…

Betty enjoys a walk…

…as does Fred

…as does Fred

Fred considering a 'longest tongue' bid

Fred considering a ‘longest tongue’ bid

Buddy and Milou head to the UK from Greece

Courier J is in Greece to accompany two rescue dogs, Buddy and Milou, who’re travelling to their families in the UK. They’re taking the plane from Athens to Paris Charles de Gaulle, and will travel the last leg of the journey by road.

Buddy hails from Lesvos, where he was adopted by Amy who’d gone to help with the refugee crisis. Amy tells us:

“I flew to Lesvos from the UK to volunteer with the Syrian refugee crisis there. The Greek islands like Lesvos in particular hold many tragic stories; the families travel there by boat across the Aegean Sea, many do not make it at all. This year alone 700 children have died crossing the Aegean, it is truly heartbreaking. My volunteering there has changed me forever…

On our second day we met Buddy while driving through from the port to one of the camps where we volunteered. He was one of many stray dogs — Lesvos has a huge stray problem. Every day we saw Buddy in the same spot, he was different to the other dogs. He craved attention, was very affectionate. Soon we started taking him on volunteer trips with us. I know that sometimes animals can be therapeutic, so we took Buddy one day to Pikpa camp for bereaved families who’ve lost children, parents, siblings, who tragically drowned getting to the island. It’s a very special but sad camp.

Well, this puppy played with the children there all day, putting smiles and laughter into their day. I knew then just how special he was, I felt like it was destiny to meet him. I have a little boy back home and I knew Buddy would light up his life. That’s when I decided to adopt him… and the rest is history!”

Courier J met up with our old friends Kiki and Martha from the Filozoikos Shelter in Athens, who brought Milou to the airport to catch his flight. Snoopy, another Filozoikos dog, was also due to travel, but was diagnosed with leishmaniosis, a sandfly-borne blood disorder that’s common around the Mediterranean. Although it can be well controlled, it stays with a dog for life. His prospective family thought it over carefully but felt unable to take on a dog with a chronic illness.

Buddy with Amy and Amy's brother in law, Matt, who flew from Los Angeles to volunteer on Lesvos. Matt has two rescue dogs of his own at home.

Buddy with Amy and Amy’s brother in law, Matt, who flew from Los Angeles to volunteer on Lesvos. Matt has two rescue dogs of his own at home.

Big hugs for Buddy

Big hugs for Buddy

Martha and Kiki, smiling and laughing as always, with Milou and his travel box

Martha and Kiki, smiling and laughing as always, with Milou and his travel box

Milou sports one of Martha’s lovingly handmade farewell collars

Christine, who runs Chris's Animal Hotel met courier J at Athens airport to help her check Buddy and Milou in for the flight

Christine, who runs Chris’s Animal Hotel met courier J at Athens airport to help her check Buddy and Milou in for the flight

Buddy in his travel box, ready to board

Buddy in his travel box, ready to board

Dragao, Sofia, Nina, Bella, Betty, Jack, Honey, Lola and Michael board the bus in Portugal, Gibraltar and Spain

Animalcouriers are wending our way towards the UK, collecting more pets as we go. Cats Dragao and Sofia are travelling with us from Lisbon to Oxfordshire to join their owners Tania and Alexandre. Dutiful dad Luis kindly brought these gorgeous cats to us. At the moment they’re quite shy and suspicious about this odd turn of events in their lives — but this isn’t unusual in feline passengers. We’re sure they’ll soon come out of their shells.

Sibling dogs Nina and Fofhino were adopted by Sadie’s dad when he was living on the Portuguese Algarve. Unfortunately, he recently became ill and had to rush to the UK for treatment. Believing he would soon be back in Portugal, he arranged for his dogs to be monitored and fed at his home. But his return isn’t going to be as quick as he’d hoped, so Sadie asked us to help get the dogs to the UK.

We asked our good friend Heather at Barking Mad Kennels, near Lagos, to collect them, and she immediately swung into action. Heather describes the dogs as ‘free spirits’ — she had to scoop them up, give them a bath, get them used to walking on a lead, and get them to the vet — all in four days! She also quickly realised that poor Fofhino was seriously ill. Despite Heather rushing him to the vet, he sadly didn’t make it. It also turned out that Nina’s passport contained some errors. Feeling that Nina really didn’t need to spend extra time in an unfamiliar environment without her brother for company, Heather went back to the vet yet again to have the passport corrected. She tells us:

“The day was a bit of a shock! Highs, lows, rain all day, grumpy vet, but it all worked out in the end. Poor little Nina was in and out of jeeps, vans, vets and kennels more times than I’ve had hot dinners! I hope the rest of her trip is much calmer.”

Thanks to Heather and her ‘can do’ attitude and obvious devotion to animals, we now have lovely Nina on board and on her way to be reunited with her owner in Axminster‎.

In Gibraltar we collected beautiful puss Bella, who’s travelling all the way to Northern Ireland. She has a very friendly nature but her favourite activity is snuggling into her bed. Then in La Linea, next to Gibraltar, Betty the Border Terrier and Jack the French Bulldog joined us. Owner Camille has been working in Gibraltar’s growing online gambling industry, but is now returning to her native Essex with partner Kevin. Camille was worried that the dogs would be stressed by the journey, but they seem to be taking the whole experience in their stride.

Shih Tzus Honey and Lola are relocating to Dublin after living in Spain. They’re a lively pair of characters who keep a close eye on all the goings-on in and around our van, and have plenty to say about things. They certainly keep us on our toes!

Michael the Pekinese joined us near Almancil in Portugal. This lovely fluffy chap has a very regal air. There were tears in the house when we left, but everyone will soon be reunited in Weston-super-Mare.

Sofia (top) and Dragao (below)

Sofia (top) and Dragao (below)

Nina bidding Heather farewell.

Nina bidding Heather farewell

Snuggled-up Bella

Snuggled-up Bella

Betty — a blur of fur!

Betty — a blur of fur!

Jack seeming to enjoy having his portrait snapped

Jack seeming to enjoy having his portrait snapped

Cute Honey and Lola, getting a cuddle from courier Mike

Cute Honey and Lola, getting a cuddle from courier Mike

Super fluffy Michael

Super fluffy Michael

Reunions for Princessa, Bella, Foxydog, Poppy, Rex and Ringo; and Pixtura, Tavi, Mitzi, Polly and Maru are first to join our UK-bound trip

Animalcouriers reunited pets with their owners in Spain and Portugal. We then started the trip back north with the first of our UK-bound passengers on board.

Having reunited lovely little Princessa with her owner’s partner, Antonio, we spent the night at the coastal resort of Mojacar. During our evening dog walks along the seafront, we watched the waves pounding onto the sand as a storm brewed up. By morning the storm had blown itself out, and dogs and couriers alike enjoyed watching the sun rise on a fresh new day.

When Bella’s owner Jean and her husband moved to Spain, they took the ferry with their two dogs, but felt that Bella would be more comfortable travelling with us. Most Orientals are very vocal and we had expected to be serenaded on the trip, but Bella was quiet as a mouse — until she saw Jean! We’re sure Bella will enjoy exploring the hillside location of her new Spanish home. 

Our next delivery was Poppy the pocket-sized Staffie, who reached her new home in Portugal. Despite the cold, wet weather she was very pleased to be reunited with her owner.

German Shepherd Dogs Rex and Ringo were adopted as puppies from the Filozoikos Shelter by Pedro, when he was working in Athens‎. Urgent family circumstances meant Pedro had to return to Portugal, and we were asked to transport his dogs. We don’t have a direct route, but worked out a two-stage trip from them. We collected them from Filozoikos on our Greek run‎ last month and took them to kennels in France, where we collected them as we passed by this time. As you may imagine, they’ve become quite the seasoned travellers!

Tiny Pixtura, a Chihuahua–Miniature Pinscher cross, joined our trip in Lisbon, sporting a smart pink coat. She’s travelling with us to rejoin her owner Sonia in Cambridgeshire‎. 

While in the Lisbon area we also collected four cats, Tavi, Mitzi, Polly and Maru, who are heading to the leafy lanes of Somerset. Owners Gillian and Richard are most definitely cat people and these four are the apples of everyone’s eye — although they did play hard to get when we turned up to collect them!

Princessa safely delivered to Antonio. Our evening rendezvous was in the hillside town of Sorbas in Almeria province.

Princessa safely delivered to Antonio. Our evening rendezvous was in the hillside town of Sorbas in Almeria province.

Rex and…

Rex and…

 

…Ringo, walking along the beach

…Ringo, walking along the beach

Jean with Bella — Jean drove through the night from Santander to Arboleas, but looked as fresh as a daisy when she collected Bella

Jean with Bella — Jean drove through the night from Santander to Arboleas, but looked as fresh as a daisy when she collected Bella

A last look at gorgeous Oriental Bella

A last look at gorgeous Oriental Bella

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Always a happy soul, Foxydog got a lot of fuss from courier Mike as she is almost a double for his own Collie

Foxydog arrived in Malaga to a rapturous welcome from owner Jorge's parents‎. Jorge said his parents would probably be happier to see Foxydog than him! We're sure that's not true, but Foxy is clearly a very special and much loved dog.

Foxydog arrived in Malaga to a rapturous welcome from owner Jorge’s parents‎. Jorge said his parents would probably be happier to see Foxydog than him! We’re sure that’s not true, but Foxy is clearly a very special and much loved dog.

Pocket-sized Staffie Poppy delighted to be reunited with her owner

Pocket-sized Staffie Poppy delighted to be reunited with her owner

Rex and Ringo with Pedro (L) and courier Mike (R). Pedro hadn't seen his dogs for about six months so was very pleased that they recognised him.

Rex and Ringo with Pedro (L) and courier Mike (R). Pedro hadn’t seen his dogs for about six months so was very pleased that they recognised him.

Little Pixtura rocks her pink coat

Little Pixtura rocks her pink coat

Very handsome Tavi

Very handsome Tavi

Dreamy jet-black Mitzi

Dreamy jet-black Mitzi

Polly decides it's best just to snuggle down

Polly decides it’s best just to snuggle down

Maru wants to know everything that's going on

Maru wants to know everything that’s going on

Quite right too! One of the signs in Gillian and Richard's house.

Quite right too! One of the signs in Gillian and Richard’s house.

Now that's what I call graffiti — spotted in central Lisbon

Now that’s what I call graffiti — spotted in central Lisbon

We leave the UK with three cats; and start our trip back from Greece with 11 dogs, 11 cats, a Macaw and a Chinchilla on board

Couriers M and Mike recently set off on what will be our biggest-ever trip from Greece back to the UK. Luckily we have two vans, each with air conditioning, electrical airflow and comfy compartments for all the pets travelling with us.

A few pets travelled out with us from the UK. Gorgeous Gaia and Lulu, a pair of cats who are almost impossible to tell apart, are moving with Eric to Italy. We dropped them at a cattery in Verona for Eric to collect on his arrival.

Gaia gives us a wink

Gaia gives us a wink

Lulu has a fine 'milk moustache'

Lulu has a fine ‘milk moustache’

Black-and white cat Gizmo is relocating to Skiathos, the island where ‘Mamma Mia’ was shot. Because owner Diana and family won’t get there until after we’ve dropped off Gizmo, we managed to find a very hospitable vet in Volos on the Greek mainland to look after Gizmo. As soon as Diana reaches Greece, she’ll hop onto the Seacat to fetch Gizmo. She told us she’d never had a night apart from Gizmo, so we can only imagine how much they are missing each other.

Wide-eyed Gizmo

Wide-eyed Gizmo

Courier J flew to Athens to join us for the journey back to the UK. The first passenger to get on board in Greece was Tardu, a 16-year-old blue-and-gold macaw. This colourful bird belonged to Chryssa’s dad, who sadly passed away recently. Unfortunately, Chryssa can’t take Tardu on herself, but has found a wonderful new home for her dad’s beloved companion with Nikos and Linda in Scotland. Animalcouriers already know Nikos and Linda, as we’ve transported a number of dogs they’ve adopted from the Filozoikos Shelter in Athens. Such a small world!

We hear that Tardu, who is missing a wing, is more like a dog than a parrot, and likes to walk around on the floor. He settled into his travel compartment very quickly and started preening — a good sign that he is relaxed and happy. We’ve made him a playground with all his toys, his steps to climb up and down, and a cat carrier to perch on and watch all the comings and goings.

Tardu was driven to our hotel to meet us. We reckon he probably did a spot of back-seat driving!

Tardu was driven to our hotel to meet us. We reckon he probably did a spot of back-seat driving!

Tardu making the move from car to van

Tardu making the move from car to van

Tardu settles in nicely

Tardu settles in nicely

Tardu enjoying a piece of breakfast banana

Tardu enjoying a piece of breakfast banana

Phil and Vivian have been living on the island of Samos for the past eight years, where they were volunteers for Greek Cat Rescue and also cared for a number of cats around their home. They’re now on their way back to the West Country, and are taking five cats with them — Bumper, Captain Flint, Jalfraizi, Oscar and Jacob.

Handsome ginger tabby Jalfraizi. He's been very unwell and everyone was concerned about him, but the good news is that he's fit to travel. He has a compartment to himself and antibiotics to keep him going.

Handsome ginger tabby Jalfraizi. He’s been very unwell and everyone was concerned about him, but the good news is that he’s fit to travel. He has a compartment to himself and antibiotics to keep him going.

Captain Flint — so called because he likes to sit on your shoulder like a parrot

Captain Flint — so called because he likes to sit on your shoulder like a parrot

A winsome look from Oscar

A winsome look from Oscar

Although Bumper has only one eye, he doesn't miss a trick

Although Bumper has only one eye, he doesn’t miss a trick

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Phil and Vivian and their cats arrived with Akis in his pet taxi — a great service for people and their pets. We saw Akis again the next day with Petra, Scruff and Alfie.

Akis arrives in his pet taxi with Scruff, Petra and Alfie

Akis arrives in his pet taxi with Scruff, Petra and Alfie

When Kat from Birmingham went on holiday to Lesvos, she was adopted by a tortoiseshell cat called Petra. Kat decided to take Petra to the UK, so Rebecca of Lesvos Dog and Cat Adoptions helped out. Petra was initially fostered by one of the group’s volunteers, then Deb (owner of Scruff) offered to take Petra under her wing. Petra and Scruff were then looked after by Christine for about a week, as Deb had to return to the UK.

Gorgeous Petra — such a sweet and calm little girl

Gorgeous Petra — such a sweet and calm little girl

Playful Scruff

Playful Scruff

Alfie belongs to Tom and Laura, who adopted him while on holiday in Lesvos. Once again, Rebecca of Lesvos Dog and Cat Adoptions helped out, collecting Alfie from his foster mum, sorting his passport, arranging a travel box and popping him onto a late-night flight. And Christine stepped in again, collecting him at Athens airport and putting him in Akis’s taxi with Scruff and Petra.

Alfie, when Tom and Laura first found him

Alfie, when Tom and Laura first found him

Alfie with Laura

Alfie with Laura

Tiffany, her husband and children have moved to the Manchester area, and now Lucky and Kitten are joining them. The children were devastated when they heard that the family couldn’t afford to fly the cats to England. But then they found our website and learned about the more affordable option of a road trip. So they got in touch and we agreed a price, and a very happy family is looking forward to welcoming their beloved pets to the UK.

Pretty Kitten and stunning jet-black Lucky

Pretty Kitten and stunning jet-black Lucky

When Lesley left Crete we transported two of her dogs for her to Northumberland. Now it’s time for the other two to follow on. At Piraeus Port we met Joe with Tasha and Corby, a very friendly pair of dogs.

Jo with Lesley's dogs, Tasha and Corby

Jo with Lesley’s dogs, Tasha and Corby

Labrador Aris arrived with an enormous grin on his face and a very waggy tail, willing to be friends with everyone. Ioannis (John) and his family have already relocated to the UK and are really missing Aris. Not long now til everyone’s back together.

The very friendly Aris

The very friendly Aris

Rex and Ringo, a pair of German Shepherd Dogs, are travelling with us to stay at a kennels in Calais for a little while. They’ll then hop on board when we pass by on our next trip to Portugal, towards the end of next month. The dogs were originally adopted from the Filozoikos Shelter, but when their owners moved to Portugal, they couldn’t afford to take the dogs immediately. So Filozoikos, being very responsible, stepped in and offered to look after the dogs until they could start their journey.

Martha, courier M, courier Mike and Kiki with Rex and Ringo

Martha, courier M, courier Mike and Kiki with Rex and Ringo

A closer look at handsome Rex…

A closer look at handsome Rex…

…and the equally handsome Ringo

…and the equally handsome Ringo

Lovely little Zouzou arrived looking a bit worried, so we spent a bit of time chatting and making a fuss of her, which helped to calm her down. Her owner Maria has already relocated to England and Zouzou, who’s been in the care of a relative, is the last member of the family to travel.

Super-cute Zouzou

Super-cute Zouzou

English Setter Boo belongs to George and Flora, who’ve relocated to Edinburgh from Athens. Now Boo, who has been staying with George’s parents in Athens, is off to join them. Boo is completely deaf, but apparently understands everything you say to her. Flora and George say they miss her very much, so it will be happy time when they are reunited.

Lovely Boo, who is on her way to Scotland

Lovely Boo, who is on her way to Scotland

Cordelia, an old friend of ours, brought us three cats whose owners have moved back from Athens to Ireland. Little Paw and Michael belong to Paula; and Dexter is owned by Linda. We’re expecting some Irish folk singing (or perhaps dancing) from this trio en route!

Cordelia (R) and friend bring us cats belonging to Paula and Linda

Cordelia (R) and friend bring us cats belonging to Paula and Linda

Snowy white Michael

Snowy white Michael

Tuxedo cat Little Paw

Tuxedo cat Little Paw

These two chums got settled in quickly

These two chums got settled in quickly

Diego is a Griffon cross whose owner Dora has moved to Tunbridge Wells. Diego has been staying with a relative and is now ready to travel to join her.

Another fluffy white dog — Diego

Another fluffy white dog — Diego

We met Angeliki and her son with Max the dog at Igoumenitsa. They had travelled from Corfu on the local ferry to catch us just as we were leaving Greece.

Angeliki and her son with Max

Angeliki and her son with Max

 

Max shows us his fine profile

Max shows us his fine profile

Chinchilla Ollie is one of our smallest and most frequent travellers — this is his third trip with us. Owner Napoleana has now had a baby so their family gets bigger. Nela the dog is flying with the family via Paris Charles De Gaulle, but that isn’t an option for Ollie, so he’s on the road with Animalcouriers.

Cute Chinchilla Ollie, who's quite familiar with the routine of our trips

Cute Chinchilla Ollie, who’s quite familiar with the routine of our trips

Here's a road sign you don't see every day!

Here’s a road sign you don’t see every day!

Man versus food — man (Courier Mike) won this time (well, he managed all the ribs, anyway!)

Man versus food — man (Courier Mike) won this time (well, he managed all the ribs, anyway!)

Our final passengers get on board: Roussie, Puddles, Gigi and Jack, as we head towards the UK

While we continued driving north through Spain, a colleague in Narbonne collected tabby-and-white cat Roussie from Alice in the Orange area. Named after the town of Roussillon, this little cutie was found by Alice in the street, and immediately won Alice’s heart. Now she’s off to join Alice in the UK.

We met Delyth and cat Puddles, who’s been living in the garden of the family’s summer home near Auch. Now Delyth has decided it’s time to give Puddles, who’s around seven years old, the home she deserves, so she’s off to join the family in Beaconsfield.

In Moissac we were pleased to catch up with an old friend of Animalcouriers, vet Dr Diana James. Diana handed over lovely cat Gigi and delightful Jack Russell Terrier Jack. Gigi belongs to Will, who was out jogging in the Lot when he came across a kitten by the side of the road. She chased him and fell in step with him, keeping pace for about a kilometre, at which point Will’s heart melted and he decided to adopt her.

Diana and her son Joshua collected Jack from Tarbes, at the foot of the Pyrenees. He’s en route for Adelaide in Australia via the UK. While homeboarding with Diana, he started the round of treatments necessary for dogs entering Australia. Diana says he’s been great company!

At Calais we stopped off at other friends of ours, the Landrons, who run a kennels and cattery, where Roussie and Puddles will both stay for a few weeks until their passports are ready for them to enter the UK. We’ll be back in September to collect them.

Roussie during her brief stay in Narbonne

Roussie during her brief stay in Narbonne

Roussie on her way to Calais with us

Roussie on her way to Calais with us

Delyth with Puddles

Delyth with Puddles

Pretty Puddles settles in for the journey

Pretty Puddles settles in for the journey

Gorgeous Gigi gets on board

Gorgeous Gigi gets on board

Vet Diana James with Jack

Vet Diana James with Jack

Jack makes himself right at home in his compartment

Jack makes himself right at home in his compartment

Eurasier Xania enjoys an evening walk

Eurasier Xania enjoys an evening walk

Husky Swarsky poses in front of a newly planted field

Husky Swarsky poses in front of a newly planted field

Lexi is such a well behaved girl…

Lexi is such a well behaved girl…

…although a rabbit hole is hard to resist!

…although a rabbit hole is hard to resist!

Jack watching Lexi, eager to show her how rabbit holes should be dealt with

Jack watching Lexi, eager to show her how rabbit holes should be dealt with

Puddles settles in at her temporary Calais home, Roussie is just next door, so they'll be able to chat about their journeys so far.

Puddles settles in at her temporary Calais home, Roussie is just next door, so they’ll be able to chat about their journeys so far.

 

Reunions for Dave, Lulu, Fifi, Beau and Wispa; and Billie, Bobby, Sox, Lexi, Miuxa, Diesel, Carriça and ET get on board

On the way south through Spain, Animalcouriers stopped in Tarragona to collect Billie, Bobby and Sox. These three cats belong to Sheena and Ian, who’re moving to Guia in Portugal, where golf pro Ian has a new job. These feline friends are off to stay with Diana and Bungie at Animal Inn Guia while Ian and Sheena enjoy a little holiday before Ian joins his new club.

In Malaga we climbed and climbed and climbed to the very top of a hill where we reunited a very happy Ray and Linda with their three cats Dave, Lulu and Fifi. Ray and Linda have retired and are all set to enjoy the good life in Alhaurin de la Torre.

It was an ecstatic reunion for Beagle Beau and her owner Moe in Marbella, with big cuddles all round. We’re very much looking forward to transporting Beau back to the UK in September, when the summer holidays are over.

In Gibraltar we met up with lovely Lexi, a Yellow Labrador who’s travelled with us before. She greeted us with enthusiasm and a very waggy tail. Her owner Tom is already in England, so family friend Eileen brought Lexi to us.

In hot and sunny Albufeira, on the Portuguese Algarve, we reunited character cat Wispa with her excited owners, Philip and Janet. Then Humberto brought us his beautiful ginger tabby cat Miuxa. Humberto is moving to Cambridge to join his wife who’s gone on ahead to take up a job at a Cambridge hospital.  Humberto works in IT and is planning to find work once he gets there.

We had quite a busy time of it in Guia. We met up with cat Diesel, who belongs to Kate — Kate’s dogs Shakira, Handrix and Jake travelled with us to the UK last year, and now she’s bringing her cats back. Fortunately Kate’s parents have been on hand to look after the cats in the meantime.

And at Animal Inn Guia, as well as delivering Billie, Bobby and Sox, we collected Carriça and ET. Carriça is travelling back from the Algarve to join owner June in the Wirral. Et is a holiday romance — Suzanne and her family found ET as an abandoned kitten and felt they couldn’t leave her behind. When they contacted us for advice, we suggested ET wait at Animal Inn for us to collect her for her journey to the the UK.

Sheena with one member of her cat gang

Sheena with one member of her cat gang

Ian with another of the feline trio

Ian with another of the feline trio

Beautiful Beau enjoying an evening stroll along a towpath. Beau and Jackadoodle Bailey have become good mates and like walking together. They diplomatically take it in turns to go first.

Beautiful Beau enjoying an evening stroll along a towpath. Beau and Jackadoodle Bailey have become good mates and like walking together. They diplomatically take it in turns to go first.

Beaming Bailey, whose turn it was to go first

Beaming Bailey, whose turn it was to go first

Linda and Ray happily welcoming Dave, Lulu and Fifi to their new home

Linda and Ray happily welcoming Dave, Lulu and Fifi to their new home

Ray with Lulu

Ray with Lulu

An ecstatic reunion for Beau and owner Moe

An ecstatic reunion for Beau and owner Moe

Eileen bringing us Tom's lovely Lab Lexi, and posing for a photo in front of the Rock itself

Eileen bringing us Tom’s lovely Lab Lexi, and posing for a photo in front of the Rock itself

Philip and Janet delighted to have Wispa back with them

Philip and Janet delighted to have Wispa back with them

A past mode of transport in Portugal — fortunately we don't have to rely on it!

A past mode of transport in Portugal — fortunately we don’t have to rely on it!

Humberto bringing us his gorgeous ginger tabby Miuxa

Humberto bringing us his gorgeous ginger tabby Miuxa

Miuxa protesting at the indignity of it all! In fact, Miuxa was so cross with Humberto she refused to say goodbye properly!

Miuxa protesting at the indignity of it all! In fact, Miuxa was so cross with Humberto she refused to say goodbye properly!

Diesel the cat with devoted 'grandparents'

Diesel the cat with devoted ‘grandparents’

Two of Sheena and Ian's cats exploring their temporary digs

Two of Sheena and Ian’s cats exploring their temporary digs

The rather stunning Carriça, with her ginger-tabby coat

The rather stunning Carriça, with her ginger-tabby coat

The very beautiful ET, with her tortoiseshell-tabby markings…

The very beautiful ET, with her tortoiseshell-tabby markings…

…and huge green eyes!

…and huge green eyes!