Reunions for Pip and Tigger in France; and for Arya, Lulu, Biscuit, Timmy, Moomin and Giacomo in Italy

After a long day on the road, Animalcouriers found a lovely Logis at Vaison la Romaine in Provence, where we stayed the night.

The next morning, our first stop was in Antibes, to reunite Pip and Tigger with Rob and Helen. Both dogs were hugely pleased to see Rob who walked up the hill to meet us.

We then crossed the border into Italy to reunite Labradoodle Arya with Stephanie and Luke. Last year Arya flew from Italy to England but nearly didn’t make the plane as the cargo-handlers at Venice airport decided that the number of suitcases mean there was no room for Arya in the hold. It was a nail-biting time, as Luke and Stephanie were already on the plane. In the end, the airline’s head office in London had to intervene, and Arya was given priority over some of those Armani suits! This year, all was much calmer as Arya travelled by road.

Sonia, her mum and her cousin drove from Pisa to Lucca meet us and collect Sonia’s guinea pig, Lulu. The whole family was delighted to see Lulu again.

And while in Lucca we also delivered family of four, Biscuit, Timmy, Moomin and Giacomo, to Barry and his wife Miho. They’ve been splitting their time between London and Italy but as their pet population expanded, they were finding it harder to spend time in Italy. The solution? Move the pets to Italy!

The Logis at Vaison la Romaine

The Logis at Vaison la Romaine

Rob tried hard to get both dogs to look at the camera, but Tigger was much more interested in a cat sitting on a nearby wall (But at least this side view of his stripes lets you can see why he's called Tigger!)

Rob tried hard to get both dogs to look at the camera, but Tigger was much more interested in a cat sitting on a nearby wall (But at least this side view of his stripes lets you can see why he’s called Tigger!)

A very happy Arya reunited with Luke and Stephanie

A very happy Arya reunited with Luke and Stephanie

Sonia's mum was a bit worried about everyone falling over as they lifted Lulu out of the Animalcouriers van!

Sonia’s mum was a bit worried about everyone falling over as they lifted Lulu out of the Animalcouriers van!

Sonia (seen here with her cousin) delighted to have Lulu back with her

Sonia (seen here with her cousin) delighted to have Lulu back with her

Lulu seemed quite unruffled by the whole business

Lulu seemed quite unruffled by the whole business

Big hugs for Gorgeous Giacomo the Maine Coon…

Big hugs for Gorgeous Giacomo the Maine Coon…

…and marvellous Moomin the Ragdoll

…and marvellous Moomin the Ragdoll

Barry with Timmy and Biscuit — the dogs were so excited as we drew up, they clearly knew they were home

Barry with Timmy and Biscuit — the dogs were so excited as we drew up, they clearly knew they were home

Leaving the UK with Pip, Tigger, Arya, Cleo, Biscuit, Timmy, Giacomo, Moomin, Lulu, Jasper, Daisy, Milly and Booby

Animalcouriers set off from the UK to Greece with a fine collection of pets on board.

Our first stop will be to reunite Pip and Tigger with their owners Robert and Helen, who’ve moved to Antibes in France. Robert and Helen originally asked us to take their dogs as far as Calais, where they would collect them and complete the journey by train. Ultimately, however, they decided it would be less stressful for Pip and Tigger to simply travel all the way with us by road. Both dogs are gorgeous and Helen and Robert will doubtless be waiting for them with a long red carpet rolled out!

Labradoodle Arya is travelling with us from Gloucester to Treviso in Italy, to rejoin her owner Stephanie and family. Arya speaks excellent Italian and is very fond of rice! She’ll be happy to be home with her family.

John brought cat Cleo to us from Brighton. He’s been taking care of her for Sean and Debbie who’ve moved to Croatia. They’re meeting us in Italy for a handover. When John and Cleo arrived, we realised Cleo didn’t have a currently recognised passport. We must thank Ian from Vet on the Hill in Caterham who kindly treated this technical omission as ‎urgent. Within the hour Cleo was ready for the off!

Border Terriers Biscuit and Timmy are travelling with Giacomo the Maine Coon and Moomin the Ragdoll from Mill Hill in London to Lucca in Italy to rejoin Barry and family. The dogs have definitely made themselves known to all of us in the van. They’re a super friendly pair who monitor anyone (human or animal) who comes near the van, and show their approval (or not).

Lovely Lulu the guinea pig joined us in London. We’re meeting up with her owner Sonia near Florence to hand Lulu over.

Black-and-white cats Jasper and Daisy are travelling with us from Warwickshire to the lovely Greek island of Skiathos.

We collected Milly, Bruno’s much loved little Yorkie, from St Marys Vicarage in East London. Her journey started in South America and now she’s on her way to Athens to rejoin Bruno, who clearly thinks the world of her.

Greek Cretan Terrier Booby is travelling with us from Cambridge to Crete for the summer holidays, where owner Freya has a house.

On this trip courier J will be joined by courier Mike for the first leg. Like couriers J and M, he has an animal welfare background and used to work for the RSPCA. Now he’s discovering the joys of being an animal courier. In his other life he also operates a dog-walking service, and many hounds are lucky enough to have their daily walks with him and his colleagues.

Three-legged Tigger — perhaps it's just as well he doesn't have to get on and off the train after all!

Three-legged Tigger — perhaps it’s just as well he doesn’t have to get on and off the train after all!

Tigger’s chum Pip looks equally pleased to be travelling door to door by road

 

Labradoodle Arya showing off her fuzzy 'do

Labradoodle Arya showing off her fuzzy ‘do

John bringing us Cleo — at which point we realised we had to dash to the vet on a passport-related mission

John bringing us Cleo — at which point we realised we had to dash to the vet on a passport-related mission

All sorted, and beautiful little tabby cat Cleo settles in

All sorted, and beautiful little tabby cat Cleo settles in 

Border Terrier Timmy takes a stroll in the sun

Border Terrier Timmy takes a stroll in the sun

 

Best mate Biscuit makes sure all visitors are carefully monitored

Best mate Biscuit makes sure all visitors are carefully monitored

Biscuit makes himself at home…

Biscuit makes himself at home…

…as does Timmy

…as does Timmy

Ragdoll cat Moomin permits us to admire her very floofy tail

Ragdoll cat Moomin permits us to admire her very floofy tail

Her feline friend Giacomo is a very handsome Maine Coon

Her feline friend Giacomo is a very handsome Maine Coon

and here they are showing togetherness

and here they are showing togetherness

Cute and cuddly guinea pig Lulu

Cute and cuddly guinea pig Lulu

Daisy and Jasper — Jasper taking up residence in the litter tray!

Daisy and Jasper — Jasper taking up residence in the litter tray!

A close up of Jasper

A close up of Jasper

Lovely little Yorkie Milly catching a few rays

Lovely little Yorkie Milly catching a few rays

Freya brings us her dog Booby, who looks like he can hardly wait for his summer hols on Crete!

Freya brings us her dog Booby, who looks like he can hardly wait for his summer hols on Crete!

The three stooges: having collected many of our passengers from all over the UK, couriers R, D and Mike reluctantly stop for a photoshoot before couriers J and Mike hit the road for continental Europe

The three stooges: having collected many of our passengers from all over the UK, couriers R, D and Mike reluctantly stop for a photoshoot before couriers J and Mike hit the road for continental Europe

UK reunions for Ziollo, Meiow Meiow, Odie and Baboushka; and Jack makes a new friend

The last stop for Animalcouriers on the trip back from Portugal was at a working wine domaine near Auxerre, in the Burgundy region of France. Couriers J and M immersed themselves in the table d’hôte experience and enjoyed tasting the fantastic wines produced at the domaine: a rosé to start, a crisp white to accompany the artisan meat pie, a pinot noir with the main, and a spicier version with pudding.

The family who run the domaine invited us to park our van and walk the dogs within the vintners yard. They watched over us as we prepared the pets for a safe and secure overnight stay.

Once back in the UK, reunions started. Ziollo and Meiow Meiow from Spain arrived at their new home in Hove, where owner Sue was waiting anxiously for them. Odie, also from Spain, was delivered to Kate, who’s been raising money for his rescue and rehoming. He went up to her like a long lost friend and jumped up all waggy tailed. Kate thinks‎ she may have already met his sister, too.

Gorgeous Abyssinian Baboushka has been homeboarding with us since we collected her in France last month. When her owners Fiona and Richard called in to collect her, she gave them a rapturous greeting.

The delightful wine domaine at Auxerre

The delightful wine domaine at Auxerre

Even the drainpipes were in keeping with the general theme!

Even the drainpipes were in keeping with the general theme!

Ziollo and Meiow Meiow back with Sue

Ziollo and Meiow Meiow back with Sue

Odie meets Kate in Sussex

Odie meets Kate in Sussex

Richard and Fiona delighted to collect Baboushka

Richard and Fiona delighted to collect Baboushka

Baboushka gave them such an enthusiastic greeting

Baboushka gave them such an enthusiastic greeting

Jack Russell Jack from France is homeboarding with us for a little while. He's already best mates with housedog Pugsley!

Jack Russell Jack from France is homeboarding with us for a little while. He’s already best mates with housedog Pugsley!

Heading north through Spain, collecting Freddi, Baldrick, Holly and Moma along the way

Animalcouriers stopped off last night at one of our favourite hotels — Hotel Almazara Riofrio — in the middle of the campo in Spain’s Granada region.

After walks with Rafa and Ziollo this morning, we called on Linda, who fosters dogs in and around Lorca in the Murcia region, to collect Abbi’s little dog Freddi. He had a frightful start in life, and was brought to Helping Hands after being savaged by two other dogs. He had to have an operation to insert cement and metal inserts around his spine, to hold his tiny body up.

We then headed off to see Gary at Digs4Dogs on the Costa Blanca. Heather’s dogs, Baldrick and Holly, have been staying here since she went on ahead to the UK. Now it’s time for them to join her in Stafford.

Our last call of the day was to catch up with our colleagues Traveldog in Alicante, who brought a beautiful Whippet called Moma to join our trip to the UK.

The hotel has its own railway station on the line from Malaga!

The hotel has its own railway station on the line from Malaga!

At the hotel we were surrounded by stunning scenes of olive trees…

At the hotel we were surrounded by stunning scenes of olive trees…

…and wild flowers in all directions…

…and wild flowers in all directions…

…and all colours

…and all colours

Wild grasses blooming in the Spanish sun

Wild grasses blooming in the Spanish sun

A goodbye hug for little Freddi from Linda — the number of dogs in her care went down from 28 to 27 today

A goodbye hug for little Freddi from Linda — the number of dogs in her care went down from 28 to 27 today

Fun-loving Freddi gets settled in to his compartment

Fun-loving Freddi gets settled in to his compartment

Freddi's farewell committee — lots of waggy tails and friendly little barks from his foster brothers and sisters

Freddi’s farewell committee — lots of waggy tails and friendly little barks from his foster brothers and sisters

Gary says goodbye to Holly and Baldrick

Gary says goodbye to Holly and Baldrick

Close-up on cute Holly (L) and Baldrick (R)

Close-up on cute Holly (L) and Baldrick (R)

Gorgeous Whippet Moma

Gorgeous Whippet Moma

Clever Q cooking up the next gadget for agent 007

Clever Q cooking up the next gadget for agent 007

We haven't yet seen much of Mieow Mieow, but we know he's there. Overnight, food disappears, water is drunk and the facilities are used. This was how much of him we could see this morning!

We haven’t yet seen much of Mieow Mieow, but we know he’s there. Overnight, food disappears, water is drunk and the facilities are used. This was how much of him we could see this morning!

Collecting UK-bound pets in Portugal and Spain: Rafa, Meiow Meiow, Ziollo and Q

Having reunited all the pets who travelled with us from the UK with their owners, Animalcouriers turned around and set off on the UK-bound leg of the trip.

The first passenger to get on board was Rafa, who’s been living near Faro in Portugal with his owner Rosemary. Now it’s time for them both to go back to the UK. Rafa is going on ahead, and will stay with friends in Cornwall until Rosemary arrives.

In Spain we met up with Meiow Meiow and Ziollo just outside the cement works at Manilva. Owner Sue has gone on ahead to the UK and is excitedly waiting for them in Hove. They’ve been in the care of Kirstie and Mark, who told us they will very much miss their walks with Ziollo.

In Nueva Andalucia we called in on Margot to collect her suave black-and-white puss Q — so named because her son is a big fan of that character from James Bond. Q and Margot are relocating to Cheltenham in Surrey — and will perhaps ultimately move to the Netherlands, which is where Margot comes from.

Rosemary with her handsome hound Rafa

Rosemary with her handsome hound Rafa

Rafa all ready for the off

Rafa all ready for the off

Anyone who lives near to, or travels in and out of, Faro airport will be familiar with these fabulous figures peering up at the sky from the roundabout. Called 'The Plane Watchers', these roughly hewn stone sculptures are by Teresa Paulino. They make us smile every time we see them.

Anyone who lives near to, or travels in and out of, Faro airport will be familiar with these fabulous figures peering up at the sky from the roundabout. Called ‘The Plane Watchers’, these roughly hewn stone sculptures are by Teresa Paulino. They make us smile every time we see them.

Fortification at the Spanish town of Ayamonte, built to cover the river separating Spain and Portugal

Fortification at the Spanish town of Ayamonte, built to cover the river separating Spain and Portugal

View of the top of the 15th century San Salvador church tower in Ayamonte

View of the top of the 15th century San Salvador church tower in Ayamonte

Giant asparagus anyone? This succulent throws up a 10m high flower stalk!

Giant asparagus anyone? This succulent throws up a 10m high flower stalk!

Rafa spotted some sheep on his morning walk and seemed keen to do some shepherding… but realised he wasn't really sure how to go about it!

Rafa spotted some sheep on his morning walk and seemed keen to do some shepherding… but realised he wasn’t really sure how to go about it!

Mark with Meiow Meiow and Ziollo

Mark with Meiow Meiow and Ziollo

Kirstie and Mark, who've been taking care of Sue's pets since she left for the UK

Kirstie and Mark, who’ve been taking care of Sue’s pets since she left for the UK

Kirstie says goodbye to Meiow Meiow

Kirstie says goodbye to Meiow Meiow

Ziollo is a real smiler

 

Margot with Q outside their apartment block

Margot with Q outside their apartment block

The name's Q…

The name’s Q…

Along the way we've been enjoying all sorts of beautiful spring flowers, many of which are completely unfamiliar to us. We'd really love to know what this one is — any ideas?

Along the way we’ve been enjoying all sorts of beautiful spring flowers, many of which are completely unfamiliar to us. We’d really love to know what this one is — any ideas?

Courier M had a field day, here are some of his finds… (click on a photo to enter the slideshow)

This marvellous painting appears on wall at the entrance to a tunnel north of Malaga. There are two more at the other end.

This marvellous painting appears on wall at the entrance to a tunnel north of Malaga. There are two more at the other end.

A French reunion for Scrumpy, Sirius and Throttle

This feline trio reached their new South of France home yesterday, where they were warmly greeted by their owners, John and Janet.

A special room has been set up for the cats to start their acclimatisation to their new environment. Next, they’ll have the run of the house, and finally, once they’re fully settled in, the great outdoors will be theirs to explore.

And what a lovely outdoors it is. The family has moved to a beautiful valley near Marseille where John and Janet plan to turn a lifelong hobby into a business — running gites alongside an astronomy centre. They chose this spot as the skies tend to be very clear, while the valley sides block out light pollution from nearby towns.

Animalcouriers are now on our way to Spain, where our first stop will be to reunite Baby with her owner in Barcelona, before heading to Madrid to deliver Byron and Pluto, and then continuing further south.

Big hugs on arrival for Sirius

Big hugs on arrival for Sirius

Scrumpy getting to know her new environment

Scrumpy getting to know her new environment

Looks like Throttle can hardly wait to start exploring outside

Looks like Throttle can hardly wait to start exploring outside

Sweet Baby, who'll reach her Barcelona home today

Sweet Baby, who’ll reach her Barcelona home today

Lovely Poppy is really coming out of her shell

Lovely Poppy is really coming out of her shell

Mr Bojangles loves a chat and a fuss…

Mr Bojangles loves a chat and a fuss…

…as does Byron — a very insistent paw!

…as does Byron — a very insistent paw!

PJ and Belle enjoying a walk by the vineyard

PJ and Belle enjoying a walk by the vineyard

Pluto shows off his magnificent ears

Pluto shows off his magnificent ears

Arfa gets to grips with an especially chewy blade of grass…

Arfa gets to grips with an especially chewy blade of grass…

…and tries out for 'longest tongue' — you need to try a bit harder, Arfa!

…and tries out for ‘longest tongue’ — you need to try a bit harder, Arfa!

Collections in Scotland: PJ and Belle heading to Spain; and Teko and Lola relocating to Surrey and South Wales

Animalcouriers delivered the six cats from Cyprus — Aslan, Boo, Pepper, Scat, Mia and Kara — to their temporary cattery in the Durham area, then continued north into Scotland. We reunited personal protection dog Omar with his family in South Lanarkshire, and delivered young Dolly to her ecstatic new owners at their picturesque home in Fife.

The first passengers to join us on the journey back down south were PJ and Belle. These two lovely characters will be travelling all the way to Spain with us to join their owners, Lesley and David, on the Mijas Costa. PJ and Belle met us in the delightful village of Echt, near Aberdeen, where Lesley and David used to run the shop and post office before leaving for Spain. The dogs were escorted by their granny Anne and family friend Linda. Both ladies fancied hitching a lift towards the warmer climes themselves, but unfortunately we’ll be a bit full on our continental trip!

Before leaving Scotland we also called in to Livingstone at the request of Corgi Rescue to collect Teko and Lola. Unfortunately a change in personal circumstances means their owner can no longer take care of them, so asked Corgi Rescue to help find suitable new Corgi-friendly homes for them. Teko is heading to Surrey and Lola’s new home is in South Wales.

Dolly received a super-warm welcome and quickly started to settle in

Dolly received a super-warm welcome and quickly started to settle in

Dolly meeting resident cat Lucky

Dolly meeting resident cat Lucky

PJ with Anne (L), Belle with Linda (R)

 

A closer look at Belle in a lovely ray of Scottish sunshine

A closer look at Belle in a lovely ray of Scottish sunshine

PJ shows us his cute button nose

PJ shows us his cute button nose

Teko (L) and tricolour Lola (R)

Teko (L) and tricolour Lola (R)

Wide sunny skies as we cross the Firth of Forth — the unseasonably warm weather is giving Belle and PJ a chance to acclimatise, ready for Spain!

Wide sunny skies as we cross the Firth of Forth — the unseasonably warm weather is giving Belle and PJ a chance to acclimatise, ready for Spain!

No, not Dutch tulips — Scottish daffodils!

No, not Dutch tulips — Scottish daffodils!

Six cats relocate from North Cyprus, and two German Shepherds head to Scotland

Aslan, Boo, Pepper, Scat, Mia and Kara flew in from North Cyprus to London Heathrow. This family of six cats are now on their way to Durham, in the north of England, with Animalcouriers. They’ll stay at a cattery for a few days until their owners arrive to collect them.

Also on board is Omar, a handsome German Shepherd Dog from South Lanarkshire. Trained as a personal protection dog for his owner and her family. Following a refresher course with K9 Protector near Bath, this beautifully behaved boy is now on his way home to Scotland.

German Shepherd puppy Dolly is also travelling with us to Scotland. This delightful five-month-old is on her way from Surrey to her new home in Fife. She’s finding the whole journey business a bit puzzling, but a romp and a cuddle soon put her mind at rest.

Gorgeous ginger lion Aslan

Gorgeous ginger lion Aslan

Pretty tortie Boo

Pretty tortie Boo

Lovely ginger-and-white Pepper

Lovely ginger-and-white Pepper

Handsome black-and-white Scat

Handsome black-and-white Scat

Snuggly black-and-white Mia

Snuggly black-and-white Mia

Slinky black Kara

Slinky black Kara

Handsome Omar relaxing in the evening sun

Handsome Omar relaxing in the evening sun

Here's Dolly enjoying playtime in courier M's garden and getting used to a lead for the first time. She'll doubtless have courier M trained in no time!

Here’s Dolly enjoying playtime in courier M’s garden and getting used to a lead for the first time. She’ll doubtless have courier M trained in no time!

Close-up on young pup Dolly

Close-up on young pup Dolly

Travelling back from France with Jalankayu Joquet, Jalankayu Jetnayu, Baboushka and Minnette

Continuing our feline theme after delivering Sophia, Chiara and Georgia to their new French home, Animalcouriers collected four cats who are travelling with us to the UK.

In Goujonac we met up with old friends of ours, Jacquie and Stephen, along with vet Dr Diana James. We first met Jacquie, who breeds Singapura cats, when we helped her move her cats to France. Since then, we’ve transported a number of her lovely kittens to UK homes. On this trip are gorgeous Jalankayu Joquet and Jalankayu Jetnayu, who were born on Boxing Day 2014. One is going to live in Wales and the other in the Midlands. Because it’s a change of ownership across EU borders, the kittens are travelling on TRACES certificates.

Our next stop was Monpazier in the Bergerac region, to collect Baboushka, a fine-featured nine-year-old Abyssinian. Her family went on ahead and Baboushka has been in the care of a sitter at the family’s French home. Following a brief period of home boarding with Animalcouriers, her new home in the UK will be in Hampshire.

Last but not least, Minnette from Nantes got on board the bus. This eight-year-old beauty is on her way to be reunited with her owner in Birmingham.

Jackie with the wonderfully named Jalankayu Joquet and Jalankayu Jetnayu

Jackie with the wonderfully named Jalankayu Joquet and Jalankayu Jetnayu

The kittens are a lively pair who enjoy having fun with Courier Mike during feeding time and litter tray cleaning!

The kittens are a lively pair who enjoy having fun with Courier Mike during feeding time and litter tray cleaning!

Baboushka, who was a little vocal at first but soon settled down well and made friends with courier Mike

Baboushka, who was a little vocal at first but soon settled down well and made friends with courier Mike

Minnette showing her cute pink nose and subtle tabby markings

Minnette showing her cute pink nose and subtle tabby markings

Sophia, Chiara and Georgia travel with us from the UK to France

Animalcouriers set off from the UK with three tabby cats on board, Sophia, Chiara and Georgia. They belong to Roger and his family, who have moved from a very rural location in Kent to an equally rural location near Montcuq in France.

All three cats are quite senior ladies, around 18 years young, so Roger asked us to transport them on a dedicated journey so that they wouldn’t be disturbed by any other pets.

We’re glad to report that all three took to travelling like pros and arrived in great spirits.

Roger with Sophia, Chiara and Georgia at their new home in France

Roger with Sophia, Chiara and Georgia at their new home in France

Displaying typical cat behaviour, instinctively wary of new events and surroundings, this tabby trio stalked around the room, orienting themselves and assessing for danger at the same time

Displaying typical cat behaviour, instinctively wary of new events and surroundings, this tabby trio stalked around the room, orienting themselves and assessing for danger at the same time

Roger and family had gone on ahead with their dogs and were waiting to welcome the cats and help them to settle in with familiar scents and sounds. Looks like the pets have a lovely rural area to romp in.

Roger and family had gone on ahead with their dogs and were waiting to welcome the cats and help them to settle in with familiar scents and sounds. Looks like the pets have a lovely rural area to romp in.