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!

Pets fly to far-flung destinations: Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, the Caribbean, Cyprus, Australia, the US, Argentina, Canada and Abu Dhabi

Pets relocating around Europe tend to travel by road (and sea) with Animalcouriers; for those travelling further afield, we can arrange air freight and help with import and export paperwork.

Recent Asian destinations for some of our passengers include Singapore, Thailand  and Hong Kong. Handsome Labradoodle Thumper, his sidekick Vos, a Dachshund, and feline chums Bus and Biscuit flew to Singapore with BA. This family of four stayed at Haytor Kennels in Surrey while everything was prepared for their move. Vet on the Hill in Caterham took care of the export paperwork, and we worked with Mitchville, who organised the Singaporean import permits and delivered the pets to their new home once clearances had been completed at Changi Airport.

Thumper exploring his new surroundings in Singapore

Thumper exploring his new surroundings in Singapore

We arranged for slinky black cat Bruno to fly to Bangkok with Thai Air, then Boonma organised Bruno’s transfer to Phuket. With this trip, Bruno effectively returns to his homeland — he was found as a kitten in his owner’s Phuket garden, then moved to Hong Kong, after which he spent a few months in Brighton. Bruno has now put his suitcase into storage as the plans are for Phuket to be his permanent residence.

Bruno stayed at Burntwood Kennels in Surrey for a few days before boarding his flight

Bruno stayed at Burntwood Kennels in Surrey for a few days before boarding his flight

Bruno's owner Eric wrote to say: "Bruno arrived safely. He seems quite happy to see me! Many thanks for all your help."

Bruno’s owner Eric wrote to say: “Bruno arrived safely. He seems quite happy to see me! Many thanks for all your help.”

Rabbit Meow swapped Wales for Hong Kong. Meow turned out to be something of a conundrum. Despite the name, Meow is indeed a rabbit, not a cat. What’s more, while at the vet in Cardiff having the export paperwork completed, it was discovered that Meow wasn’t a buck, but a doe!

Meow at BA World Cargo, Heathrow, just before checking in. Looks like this gorgeous girl had plenty of tasty snacks to see her through the flight!

Meow at BA World Cargo, Heathrow, just before checking in. Looks like this gorgeous girl had plenty of tasty snacks to see her through the flight!

Our travellers to the Caribbean included Sage a very gentle, vocal Beagle puppy who joined her new family in Bermuda. Sage homeboarded with Animalcouriers while her export and import paperwork was prepared.

Sage's irresistible puppy dog eyes! Her owner Sharica emailed us, saying: "Just wanted to say thank you so much for everything in getting Sage to Bermuda. She is settling in very nicely."

Sage’s irresistible puppy dog eyes! Her owner Sharica emailed us, saying: “Just wanted to say thank you so much for everything in getting Sage to Bermuda. She is settling in very nicely.”

We also arranged for Candy, a Giant Schnauzer puppy (and kennel mate of Max, who flew to Bahrain earlier this year), to fly to Grand Cayman to join her new family. They told us:

“The little bundle of fur arrived safely after her 13-hour journey to Grand Cayman. She is lovely and I am grateful to all of you who have made this happen. It certainly has been a journey but with your assistance and, dare I say it, your patience, we managed to pull off a transaction that connected Morecambe with sunny Grand Cayman! Now who would have thought that?”

Beautiful Candy at her new Caribbean home

Beautiful Candy at her new Caribbean home

A little closer to home, we arranged for two dogs, Mit and Dylan, to fly to North Cyprus.

Stately Mit and owners are joining family in Cyprus

Stately Mit and owners are joining family in Cyprus

Handsome hound Dylan and his owner — they managed to book onto the same flight

Handsome hound Dylan and his owner — they managed to book onto the same flight

Antipodean adventurers were Abby, a Munsterlander, who travelled to Wellington; Milly who headed to Perth; and Richard, a wire hair Fox Terrier who flew to Sydney to join breeder Christophe. Richard and Milly were among the last pets to stay at Eastern Creek Quarantine Kennels, which has now closed. From now on, cats and dogs travelling to Australia will stay at the new quarantine facility at Mickleham just north of Melbourne.

Abby (R), dashing about with a new friend in Australia

Abby (R), dashing about with a new friend in Australia

Tracey, Abby's breeder, told us: "Abby has settled in very well as you can see from the photos. Owner Carol is absolutely delighted with her and we have almost daily updates."

Tracey, Abby’s breeder, told us: “Abby has settled in very well as you can see from the photos. Owner Carol is absolutely delighted with her and we have almost daily updates.”

Cute Milly at home in Perth. Sam, her owner had to move to Australia in July and was counting the days before Milly could join her. On being reunited, Sam wrote to say: "We are home safe and sound with Milly. Thank you for the wonderful service, we will be sure to recommend you to others that may follow us to Australia."

Cute Milly at home in Perth. Sam, her owner had to move to Australia in July and was counting the days before Milly could join her. On being reunited, Sam wrote to say: “We are home safe and sound with Milly. Thank you for the wonderful service, we will be sure to recommend you to others that may follow us to Australia.”

Young Richard enjoys an autumnal walk before heading to Heathrow for his Qantas flight

Heading west were Willow, a very sweet King Charles Cavalier puppy who went to Boston; Nellie who flew to Newark with United; firm friends Tin and Sabina who headed to Buenos Aires; and Ginger who took off to Toronto.

Gorgeous Nellie all ready for her flight to the US

Gorgeous Nellie all ready for her flight to the US

Tin (L) and Sabina (R) at their new home. (We hasten to point out that Sabina travelled in a proper box, not that plastic bag!)

Tin (L) and Sabina (R) at their new home. (We hasten to point out that Sabina travelled in a proper box, not that plastic bag!)

Conrad, who works tirelessly for the Filozoikos Shelter in Athens, linked up with Dianne of Tails from Greece Rescue and found homes for Ginger and her sister Lilly in Ontario, Canada. Lilly was still in Athens, while Conrad was caring for Ginger in the UK. Ginger flew from London to Amsterdam, where she boarded the same KLM flight to Toronto as Lilly, who flew in from Athens. In Toronto they were met by Dianne. Fittingly, these two sisters have new homes with two sisters!

A rapturous welcome at Toronto airport for Ginger and Lilly

A rapturous welcome at Toronto airport for Ginger and Lilly

Two Lolas headed east. In 2011 we helped Lola senior move from Abu Dhabi to the UK. When it was time to move back to Abu Dhabi, Lola’s family asked Animalcouriers and the UAE-based American Veterinary Clinic to take care of the paperwork and travel arrangements again.

An early arrival for Lola at BA World Cargo. Lovely Lola stayed at Burntwood Kennels for a few weeks before jetting off to join her family.

An early arrival for Lola at BA World Cargo. Lovely Lola stayed at Burntwood Kennels for a few weeks before jetting off to join her family.

Lola junior, a cuddly Cockerpoo pup, flew with Emirates to Dubai to meet her new family. She homeboarded with Animalcouriers while her travel documents were prepared.

Little Lola makes herself at home

Little Lola makes herself at home

Happy reunions in the UK, and Lucy finds her forever home

As soon as Animalcouriers reached Dover, the pets who had travelled from Greece started heading off to rejoin their families in various parts of the UK.

Courier Dave took Sugar, Jack and Berti in to London; while Courier Rickie set off northwards, taking Dexter to Chester, Lilly to Newcastle, Niko to Livingstone, and Souki and Diego to Edinburgh.

Dexter’s owner Ian wrote to say:

“Dexter and Pat and I are now tired! What an eventful first 12 hours. Our two girls (Nell and Honor) have their noses slightly out of joint but they’ll get there! Dexter just came in, made himself at home and has bonded immediately — he’s my shadow!”

Lilly’s owner, Jacqui, was also quick to get in touch:

“Lilly arrived at my daughter’s safely last night and as you can see has settled in her favourite scruffy bed!!! Thank you to you all for taking such good care of her throughout her journey — you are absolute stars!!! We can’t wait to see her next week and finally settle her into her new home. Thank you all once again — you have been great.”

We forgot to hand over Lilly’s travel box, but Jacqui very kindly asked us to donate it to Nine Lives Greece next time we go to Athens.

Maria and Angelo let us know how pleased they were to be reunited with their dogs, Souki and Diego:

“We want to thank you for delivering our dogs secure and healthy. We don’t have many things to say, just a big fat Greek thank you! Bless everyone of you!!”

Couriers J and M delivered Phantom and Gismo at Thurrock Services on the M25, then continued on to Peterborough to deliver the puppies, Bear, Bella, Zeus and Hercules, to their foster home with Wendy, along with Lucy.

Animalcouriers sponsored Lucy’s trip from Lesvos. She so nearly had a new home, which fell through, not once but twice. We couldn’t leave her behind — after all, there was a bedroom in our van with her name on the door — so she joined the trip. And thanks to our good friend Jenny Fox of Naughty Pets, who posted Lucy’s story on facebook, Lucy now has a new home in Guernsey! Courier J will have the pleasure of escorting Lucy to Guernsey next weekend.

Courier Rickie with Niko, just before setting off

Courier Rickie with Niko, just before setting off

Dexter making himself at home

Dexter making himself at home

Dexter throwing up a few zeds

Dexter throwing up a few zeds

Niko gets a very warm welcome at his new home

Niko gets a very warm welcome at his new home

What a fuzzy fellow he is!

What a fuzzy fellow he is!

Niko all tuckered out

Niko all tuckered out

Lilly on her favourite bed

Lilly on her favourite bed

Lilly exploring her temporary home

Lilly exploring her temporary home

We met Liana at Thurrock Services, who was very excited to receive Phantom

We met Liana at Thurrock Services, who was very excited to receive Phantom

Sophia had been very anxious about Gismo, and was delighted to have him back in her arms

Sophia had been very anxious about Gismo, and was delighted to have him back in her arms

Jack surveying his new kingdom after a long walk in the park, where he's already made some new friends

Jack surveying his new kingdom after a long walk in the park, where he’s already made some new friends

The pups at Wendy's home — this is Zeus…

The pups at Wendy’s home — this is Zeus…

… and here's Bella

… and here’s Bella

And here's Wendy with Bear and Hercules

And here’s Wendy with Bear and Hercules

Lucy with a new friend at Wendy's house

Lucy with a new friend at Wendy’s house

Bespoke trips for Max and Luka; Molly; Barney, Rowan and Tish; and news of another Luka and Poppy

When Alison and Victor relocated to the Dutch city of The Hague from the very top of Scotland, near Thurso, they asked Animalcouriers to help move Max and Luka, their two German Short-haired Pointers. We took the dogs to kennels initially, where they stayed for a few days until the family arrived in The Hague, at which point we delivered Max and Luka to a huge welcome.

In the midst of all the packing and general hubbub of the move, the two dogs simply spooned and slept

In the midst of all the packing and general hubbub of the move, the two dogs simply spooned and slept

Max and Luka at their new home in the Netherlands

Max and Luka at their new home in the Netherlands

Not all airlines will transport pets and, even when they do, it can be quite an expensive business, what with travel boxes, cargo charges and so on. As a result, we’re getting more and more enquiries from pet-owners in Europe for bespoke trips, that fit precisely with their own travel plans.

Little Molly travelled with us in this way from Madrid to Scotland. Owner Tom wrote to say:

“Molly has settled in very well. She has had lots of walks and is happy to be back with her original pack. I want to thank you and all the team for the fantastic service you provided. From the first moment I spoke to you on the phone I felt reassured and, at such a stressful time for me, you put me at ease and made me realise that bringing Molly back was not an insurmountable task. Everyone in the office was incredibly helpful and couriers Rickie and Dave were so nice — it’s clear Molly had got on really with them.”

There was a tearful reunion when Molly was delivered to Tom. It's at times like this when we know a road trip is a good way for dogs to travel. Molly jumped all over Tom and dashed about — her and Tom's happiness was very catching.

There was a tearful reunion when Molly was delivered to Tom. It’s at times like this when we know a road trip is a good way for dogs to travel. Molly jumped all over Tom and dashed about — her and Tom’s happiness was very catching.

Tom sent us this lovely photo of Molly in Glasgow Green park

Tom sent us this lovely photo of Molly in Glasgow Green park

Barney, Rowan and Tish, three yellow Labs, travelled with us from Hexham in Northumberland to their new retirement home in the Limoges area of France.

Looks like these three lovelies have a wonderful garden to play in

Looks like these three lovelies have a wonderful garden to play in

It was a lovely sunny day in the Limousin when we delivered them

It was a lovely sunny day in the Limousin when we delivered them

Gorgeous cat Luka travelled with us last month from the south of France, and his owner Blaithin has sent us news about how he’s getting on:

“I want to thank you once again for looking after my little darling and for your constant reassurance on how he was doing. Luka hid for two weeks when we arrived but we just left him and loved him everyday, fed and watered him also. He was drinking but eating little. Now he is back to normal and is going out by himself and loving the garden as it is very large. He will use the trees as a scratching post and loves to climb them. Already he is sniffing out a nest of mice in the garden. He has found out that English mice run faster than French mice, hee hee!”

And finally, news and stunning photos of pocket-sized Staffie Poppy, who travelled from France to Portugal with us last month. Carol wrote to say:

“Thank you and your team so much for taking Poppy, she is with her dad and very happy.”

Poppy loves the beach

Poppy loves the beach

Poppy with her dad

Poppy with her dad

UK reunions for Mal’s cats and birds; and Gill’s dogs, cats and rabbits

If you keep up with the Animalcouriers blog, you’ll know that couriers J and M recently collected Mal and Mike’s 22 cats and two birds from their previous home in the Lot-et-Garonne in France. Now they’ve reached their new home in Lincolnshire.

When we arrived, the lovely new cattery was still under construction! By about 5.00pm it was pretty much ready, so courier M started helping Mal move her cats into their new home.

Disaster struck, however, when two of the feistier felines discovered that a small part of the cattery roof wasn’t secure — Brandy managed to squeeze through the gap and made a run for it before he could be grabbed. He’s still at large, but Mal is very experienced at catching cats. She’s set up cat traps, let her neighbours know to be on the lookout, and is carrying out regular patrols. We’re all keeping our fingers crossed.

Courier M helped out with emergency repairs, but moving the rest of the cats was put off until this morning, once proper repairs had been made.

Mal greets her cats on their arrival

Mal greets her cats on their arrival

The cattery in all its glory

The cattery in all its glory

Mal making sure all the bedrooms are shipshape

Mal making sure all the bedrooms are shipshape

Tucking in to some yummy nosh

Tucking in to some yummy nosh

Relaxing on a fleecy blanket

Relaxing on a fleecy blanket

Posing against an autumnal backdrop

Posing against an autumnal backdrop

Courier Mike was also on the road, delivering Gill’s family of pets who travelled with him from Normandy, to their new home in Dorchester. It was a great homecoming for dogs Rosie Pomme, Dolly and Gracie Mai. The two rabbits, along with the four cats — Ginger, Madge, Suzanne and Minou — took it all a bit more calmly!

 

Little Gracie Mai — a blur of fur!

Little Gracie Mai — a blur of fur!

Burmese Mountain Dog Dolly heads straight in through the gate

Burmese Mountain Dog Dolly heads straight in through the gate

IMG_0103

Very excited German Shepherd dog Rosie Pomme bounds towards Gill

Collecting a family of dogs, cats and rabbits in Normandy; and heading to Jersey in convoy

While couriers J and M set off with Mal’s big family of cats and birds, courier Mike was in the Normandy area collecting a slightly smaller family of pets.

Gill and her family have lived on a farm near Calvados for many years, and are now heading back to the UK. They’re moving to Dorchester, so not a million miles from their old French haunts! The family’s three dogs, four cats and two rabbits are travelling with us. Rosie Pomme is a lovely big German Shepherd Dog, and Dolly is a Burmese Mountain Dog. Completing the canine contingent is little Gracie Mai, a cheeky miniature Schnauzer. The cats are Ginger, Madge, Suzanne and Minou.

The two Animalcouriers vans met up in Saint Malo to take the Condor crossing to Jersey. All the pets from both families behaved beautifully at check-in — except Mal’s cat Soda, who gave the Condor man a run for his money and a few scratches to boot!

Couriers J and M have been in regular contact with Mal, who is naturally missing her big family. Mal shared her thoughts with us, saying:

“You are so lovely, my babies couldn’t be in better hands. Everybody says the house is quiet and empty without the cats, and I feel like a big bit of me is missing. I could hear courier M talking to the cats in the van which put my mind at rest. I also know with courier J they will do as they are told — you are in control! I know they are safe with you two.”

Darling Dolly

Darling Dolly

Lovely Rosie Pomme

Lovely Rosie Pomme

Cute Gracie Mai

Cute Gracie Mai

Gorgeous Suzanne with one of her tabby sisters

Gorgeous Suzanne with one of her tabby sisters

Well-named handsome Ginger

Well-named handsome Ginger

Beautiful tabby cat

Beautiful tabby cat

The rabbits are a good-looking pair

The rabbits are a good-looking pair

Where's Alice when you need her?

Where’s Alice when you need her?

Gracie Mai and Rosie Pomme enjoying a walk on the beach near St Helier on Jersey

Gracie Mai and Rosie Pomme enjoying a walk on the beach near St Helier on Jersey

Dolly just back from the beach

Dolly just back from the beach

We couldn't resist another photo from Mal's family — handsome Mischief! Mal says he's very loving — his mother was feral and had her kittens in Mal and Mike's garage, but he came straight up to her. His sister Jezabelle also stayed with Mal and Mike, and is travelling with us.

We couldn’t resist another photo from Mal’s family — handsome Mischief! Mal says he’s very loving — his mother was feral and had her kittens in Mal and Mike’s garage, but he came straight up to her. His sister Jezabelle also stayed with Mal and Mike, and is travelling with us.

A family of 22 cats and two birds relocate from France to the UK

Animalcouriers travelled to the Lauzun area in the Lot-et-Garonne to make a very special collection: Mal and Mike’s 22 cats, one Rosy Lovebird and one Cockatiel.

Mal and Mike are relocating to Lincolnshire after living and in France for many years, where they ran a gîte business. They’ve loved every minute of it, but now it’s time to go back to the UK, where family draws them. They’ll miss their lovely local friends, though, several of whom stepped in to help today.

The cats have joined the household over the years, and now that it’s time to leave, not a single one is being left behind.

With so many pets travelling, we couldn’t afford any mistakes or issues with their paperwork. So preparations began several months ago when our good friend Dr Diana James, a British vet in France, did a home visit to meet the cats, microchip them, give them their rabies vaccinations, and organise their passports.

As it’s a big group of pets, we have a Traces certificate for them. Following a health check on Monday, Mal took all the paperwork to the departmental office in Agen, where the certificate was issued.

Given the difficult situation in Calais at the moment, we don’t want to risk getting caught up and delayed. So we’ve chosen to drive to St Malo and take the Condor crossing to Jersey, and from there take the ferry to Poole. The other advantage is that we will be met by the Jersey government vet who will clear the cats for entry into the UK. (This is a Traces requirement.) That will mean there’s no need for a house visit when they reach the mainland.

The cats all have wonderful names. To help us keep track of who's who, Mal sat up all night preparing beautiful hand-made labels for each cat, with photos and a special little notes about each one.

The cats all have wonderful names. To help us keep track of who’s who, Mal sat up all night preparing beautiful hand-made labels for each cat, with photos and a special little notes about each one.

More splendid labels

More splendid labels

Mal and Carina bring us Mozart and Beethoven

Mal and Carina bring us Mozart and Beethoven

Mozart

Mozart

Beethoven

Beethoven

Henry VIII

Henry VIII

Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I

Suzzie

Suzzie

Brandy

Brandy

Soda

Soda

Fleur

Fleur

Donny

Donny

Buster

Buster

Trumpet

Trumpet

Ginger

Ginger

Lou Lou

Lou Lou

Tia Maria

Tia Maria

Muffy and Twizzle

Muffy and Twizzle

Aka

Aka

Elton John

Elton John

Foxy

Foxy

Mischief and Henrietta

Mischief and Henrietta

Jezabelle

Jezabelle

Vanessa with the two birds

Vanessa with the two birds

A very special jug to fill the birds' water bowls!

A very special jug to fill the birds’ water bowls!

Fred the Cockatiel

Fred the Cockatiel

Mal saying goodbye to Rosy Lovebird

Mal saying goodbye to Rosy Lovebird

Everyone settled in for the journey

Everyone settled in for the journey

It took a good couple of hours to get everyone on board. Meet the top team — L to R: Vanessa, who put us up last night, Mal, and Carina. It was a very emotional time for Mal, who is already missing them all and worrying about them.

It took a good couple of hours to get everyone on board. Meet the top team — L to R: Vanessa, who put us up last night, Mal, and Carina. It was a very emotional time for Mal, who is already missing them all and worrying about them.

Hearty, Lola and Russo join us in Spain; Kaly, Moggy and TomTom get on board in France; and UK reunions start with Pixtura and Nina

Lovely young tortoiseshell cats Hearty and Lola hail from the Balearic Islands. They were brought by ferry to Denia and collected by our friends from Casa Antigua kennels and cattery in Jesus Pobre. Now they’re on board with Animalcouriers, on their way to the UK. They’re a playful pair, amusing themselves by leaping around their compartment and being general hooligans!

Our final stop in Spain was to collect gorgeous Maine Coon cat Russo from Cynthia. Russo regularly commutes between Hertfordshire and the beautiful seaside town of Tamariu, near Girona. He usually travels with Cynthia and Larry by car but, as Larry is unwell, Animalcouriers has the honour of chauffeuring Russo this time.

Once across the border into France, our final passengers joined us in Sigoules, a beautiful rural spot in the Bergerac area. Labrador Kaly enjoys walking, eating and chatting, while her feline companions Moggy and TomTom are making the most of their elevated position in our van. It lets them keep an eye on everything while maintaining a certain catlike aloofness.

Hearty is a fearless young thing

Hearty is a fearless young thing

Lola, almost her mirror image, is equally fearless!

Lola, almost her mirror image, is equally fearless!

Cynthia gives her beloved Russo a goodbye hug

Cynthia gives her beloved Russo a goodbye hug

Moggy and TomTom have a great vantage point in the van

Moggy and TomTom have a great vantage point in the van

TomTom gives us a dark brown stare

TomTom gives us a dark brown stare

Moggy is a little shyer

Moggy is a little shyer

Kaly wondering if there might just be another biscuit in courier Mike's pocket

Kaly wondering if there might just be another biscuit in courier Mike’s pocket

Yup, there was!

Yup, there was!

Lola and Honey enjoy their morning walks

Lola and Honey enjoy their morning walks

Michael looking across to see what Lola and Honey are up to

Michael looking across to see what Lola and Honey are up to

Nina is a good girl who soon got used to walking on her lead

Nina is a good girl who soon got used to walking on her lead

Pixtura's favourite part of the walk is getting back into bed with a biscuit!

Pixtura’s favourite part of the walk is getting back into bed with a biscuit!

We ordered bacon rolls for breakfast — what turned up could have fed a family of four twice over!

We ordered bacon rolls for breakfast — what turned up could have fed a family of four twice over!

Pixtura back with her owner in Cambridgeshire — they'd been apart for several months so it was a very emotional reunion

Pixtura back with her owner in Cambridgeshire — they’d been apart for several months so it was a very emotional reunion

Nina reunited with David — daughter Sadie wrote to say: "Dad's so happy, thank you so much. Nina is now asleep cuddled up with dad, she has already settled in, it's lovely."

Nina reunited with David — daughter Sadie wrote to say: “Dad’s so happy, thank you so much. Nina is now asleep cuddled up with dad, she has already settled in, it’s lovely.”