Safely back from Lesvos, and meeting more UK-bound passengers in Athens

Courier J and her seven charges from Lesvos arrived safely in Piraeus Port where they were met by Akis, who runs a pet taxi service. Akis has become a firm friend of ours, and happily obliges all our requests, however outlandish they may seem! True to form, he was a complete hero and disembarked all the dogs into his taxi. He had already met up with Aphrodite and her Rottweiler, Maya, who’d arrived at the port on the morning ferry from Crete.

Because of a general strike in Greece, there were no ferries for 24 hours. So the eight dogs went to stay with Christine for a couple of nights. She has kennels on the outskirts of Athens, Chris’s Animal Hotel, and has helped us out before.

Courier M arrived from Italy, having also been delayed by the strike, and drove over from Patras port to meet up with the rest of our passengers who are winging their way from various islands and other parts of the Greece. Because of the delay, we decided that courier Mike should turn back and start collecting our Italian passengers.

Martina’s Jack Russell Terrier, Jack, arrived from Poros on the high-speed hydrofoil, where he was met by Akis and whisked over to us. A lot of rapid activity for a little chap, but he’s been very stoical about it all!

Another Martina, from PetSociety  kennels, brought us lovely Lab Sugar, who’s been staying at the kennels for a little while. Owner Anastasia went on ahead to London and is very excited that Sugar can now join her.

It wouldn’t be a proper Greek trip if we didn’t meet up with Cordelia. She’s been looking after Tony’s cat, Arizona, until we could transport her to the UK. Cordelia and her husband brought Arizona to us at the port.

Sophia has moved to Nottingham and now her cat Gismo is joining her. Sophia’s parents Toula and Zisis, along with their French Bulldog, Zoe, brought Gismo to join the trip. Toula wondered if we needed any help on the journey — she was keen to hop on board and travel with us so she could visit Sophia!

Maria has relocated to Scotland for work reasons, and left her dogs Diego and Souki in the temporary care of her cousin Anastasia. Now it’s time for this sweet brother and sister to rejoin Maria.

Sonia, Ellena and Sophia from local cat welfare charity Nine Lives Greece brought us Carol’s cats Carrie and Olive. The charity, which does brilliant work with stray cats in Athens, is holding a fund-raising bazaar today. They hope to raise around €2,000, but admit that will probably only meet one vet bill.

John and Jacqui are returning to the UK from Athens. Their cat Lilly is naturally going to join them at their home in London.

We met Niko under the massive Charilaos Trikoupis Bridge near Patras. He’s such a cool hound, he has his own Facebook page! Niko came to Anne as a stray puppy about two years ago. Anne has a stables on the hillside overlooking the bridge, where she gives riding lessons to people with and without disabilities, and organises hacking and other activities. Plenty of stray and rescued dogs and cats find a home here. Recently, Elizabeth from Livingstone met Niko and completely fell in love with him. Anne very wisely allowed Elizabeth to adopt Niko, knowing he’s going to a super home, and that she’ll have room for another local stray.

Akis took control of disembarking the seven dogs from Lesvos. Here he is collecting the puppies, telling them to be good for him.

Akis took control of disembarking the seven dogs from Lesvos. Here he is collecting the puppies, telling them to be good for him.

Lovely Maya in a photo sent by Aphrodite. "Just thought you'd better know that sometimes I talk too much and I can't get my tongue to fit back in my mouth..."

Lovely Maya in a photo sent by Aphrodite. “Just thought you’d better know that sometimes I talk too much and I can’t get my tongue to fit back in my mouth…”

Maya in her bedroom in our van — her tongue still hanging out!

Maya in her bedroom in our van — her tongue still hanging out!

Handsome Jack from Poros

Handsome Jack from Poros

Anastasia's dog Sugar, with Martina, at whose kennels Sugar has been staying

Anastasia’s dog Sugar, with Martina, at whose kennels Sugar has been staying

Cordelia and Paul brought us gifts — and Tony's cat Arizona!

Cordelia and Paul brought us gifts — and Tony’s cat Arizona!

Arizona is a rather striking looking tortie puss

Arizona is a rather striking looking tortie puss

Toula and Zisis with their dog Zoe — in the cat box is Gismo, who belongs to their daughter Sophia

Toula and Zisis with their dog Zoe — in the cat box is Gismo, who belongs to their daughter Sophia

Lovely fluffy Gismo

Lovely fluffy Gismo

Souki and Diego with Anastasia and her mum

Souki and Diego with Anastasia and her mum

Glamorous Souki and Diego settle in for the trip

Glamorous Souki and Diego settle in for the trip

Sophia, Ellena and Sonia, volunteers from Nine Lives Greece, brought us Carrie and Olive, who belong to Carol

Sophia, Ellena and Sonia, volunteers from Nine Lives Greece, brought us Carrie and Olive, who belong to Carol

One of Carol's cats

One of Carol’s cats

John and Jacqui with their cat Lilly

John and Jacqui with their cat Lilly

Lilly is a rather gorgeous creature

Lilly is a rather gorgeous creature

Fuzzy hound Niko

Fuzzy hound Niko

Charilaos Trikoupis Bridge

Charilaos Trikoupis Bridge

Anne (L) and Panagiota (R) arranged for Niko to travel to join new owner Elizabeth in Scotland

Anne (L) and Panagiota (R) arranged for Niko to travel to join new owner Elizabeth in Scotland

Lucy from Lesvos is a calm and friendly girl

Lucy from Lesvos is a calm and friendly girl

Dexter always has an eager look on his face

Dexter always has an eager look on his face

Berti is taking the journey in his stride

Berti is taking the journey in his stride

The Lesvos pups look like they're in a police line-up!

The Lesvos pups look like they’re in a police line-up!

Danai from Greece has a new home in the Netherlands; can you help Rita find a new home too?

Do you remember Danai? She was in the care of the Filozoikos Shelter in Athens Central Park since being left there as a puppy with her six litter mates. Danai had a serious eye condition — a dermoid cyst — that needed operating on. But at around €700, the cost was beyond the budget of the shelter. So Kiki, Martha and their colleagues set about raising funds.

Many people were moved by Danai’s story. Alexandros, a friend of the shelter, ran the Athens marathon to help raise money. Others — including followers of this blog — made donations. Everyone’s generosity meant enough money was soon raised and the operation could quickly go ahead. It was a complete success and Danai made a full recovery.

The latest great news about Danai is that she has a new home with Hans and Erica in the Netherlands. Conrad, part of the UK team that supports the shelter, says:

“Hans and Erica are the most special, caring and lovely people, and Danai has a wonderful and much loved life to look forward to. We thank so many different people who were deeply touched by Danai’s story, and helped out generously with her progress since she was first found abandoned and brought to the shelter, through her successful eye surgery and her foster home, to helping out her marathon running sponsors, and by spreading the word far and wide as to what an adorable dog she truly is.”

Danai flew from Athens to Amsterdam to join her forever home

Danai flew from Athens to Amsterdam to join her forever home

Danai, looking beautifully behaved, with Erica

Danai, looking beautifully behaved, with Erica

Hoping to be as lucky as Danai…

We recently heard from Cordelia who is looking for a home for Rita who is currently in the care of Nine Lives Greece. Cordelia describes her as follows.

Rita is a precious little soul, who has all four limbs and both eyes but, for whatever reason, has still not been adopted here. She is so gentle and easygoing and loving, just the easiest kitty.

If you can give Rita a forever home, please contact Nine Lives Greece directly.

Rita

Rita

Rita

Rita

Meet Peabody, Fidel, Lady, Milou, Poppi, Philomena, Daisy, Robbie, Narla, Silva and Louis from Greece

Animalcouriers travelled from Italy to Greece and arrived to the unusual sight of snow in Patras. We drove on to Athens, where the first passenger to get on board was Champion Mini Bull Terrier Peabody. He’s off to England in time for Crufts, and we wish him lots of luck. John and Clare breed and show these lovely dogs.

Next up were Fidel and Lady, a lively pair of Spaniels who belong to Dimitri. He’s gone on ahead to England, leaving his dogs in the care of his parents, who brought them to us at the Palace Hotel.

Stavros brought us his cute dog Milou, as they and Anni are off to live and work in Scotland. Stavros’s sister Angeliki is already there — her dog Suzana travelled with us last October.

Cordelia and Anya came to our hotel with two gorgeous cats, Poppi and Philomena. Anya has been fostering them and was sad to see them go, but is pleased to think they have lovely new homes to go to. And finally, Marta and Kiki from the Filozoikos Shelter arrived with lovely black-and-white dog Daisy, who has a new home waiting for her in the UK.

From Athens we headed to Volos Port to meet Andrea and Tom, their dog Robbie and cat Narla. They’ve spent five wonderful years on Skiathos, but now the time has come to go back to the UK. Then it was off to Thessaloniki — an earlier accident on the motorway held us up, but we finally caught up with Ilias and his dog Silva, a cuddly brown and black terrier. There was just time for a quick hug before Ilias  had to dash off to catch his plane to Newcastle, where Afroditi is waiting for Ilias and Silva to join her.

The last passenger to board was Louis, a Boxer cross, who was lucky enough to be adopted by Tracy while she was living and working in Greece. Now on their way to the UK, Louis is travelling with us while Tracy takes the plane.

Patras in the snow

Patras in the snow

Goodbye hugs for Peabody from John's mum

Goodbye hugs for Peabody from John’s mum

Fidel and Lady get a great send-off

Fidel and Lady get a great send-off

Pretty Milou shows us her fine profile

Pretty Milou shows us her fine profile

Milou gets a big goodbye cuddle

Milou gets a big goodbye cuddle

Cordelia and Anya with Poppi and Philomena, the cats Anya has been fostering

Cordelia and Anya with Poppi and Philomena, the cats Anya has been fostering

Cordelia shared this lovely photo of Poppi (L) and Philomena (R) relaxing at Anya and Alesa's home

Cordelia shared this lovely photo of Poppi (L) and Philomena (R) relaxing at Anya and Alesa’s home

Martha with Daisy. Not sure which is more luminous — Martha's shoes or Daisy's collar!

Martha with Daisy. Not sure which is more luminous — Martha’s shoes or Daisy’s collar!

Lovely Daisy sports a signature Filozoikos hand-made collar

Lovely Daisy sports a signature Filozoikos hand-made collar

Kiki and Cordelia having a chat about TRACES

Kiki and Cordelia having a chat about TRACES

Tom trying to persuade Robbie to sit and smile for the camera

Tom trying to persuade Robbie to sit and smile for the camera

Success this time around!

Success this time around!

Narla watching the whole performance

Narla watching the whole performance

Narla calmly settled in for the journey

Narla calmly settled in for the journey

Ilias cuddling Silva

Ilias cuddling Silva

Tracy saying goodbye to Louis

Tracy saying goodbye to Louis

We left Greece from the port of Igoumenitsa, where we were cheered to be reminded of how the street dogs are tolerated — and even looked after — by the port authorities. Everyone had to step around this sleeping hound to get their tickets!

We left Greece from the port of Igoumenitsa, where we were cheered to be reminded of how the street dogs are tolerated — and even looked after — by the port authorities. Everyone had to step around this sleeping hound to get their tickets!

We arrived at the Italian port of Ancona and, when we stopped nearby to walk the dogs, the heavens opened! Milou jumped straight back into the van and into the driver's seat!

We arrived at the Italian port of Ancona and, when we stopped nearby to walk the dogs, the heavens opened! Milou jumped straight back into the van and into the driver’s seat!

Heading towards Genoa to try and avoid the snow in Italy, we felt quite peckish. Fortunately we had those lovely biscuits from Kiki and Marta to hand...

Heading towards Genoa to try and avoid the snow in Italy, we felt quite peckish. Fortunately we had those lovely biscuits from Kiki and Marta to hand…

Meet our passengers from Greece, who are heading to the UK

Animalcouriers reached Glyfada in Greece, and our first job was to reunite Florrie, Rosie and Izi with Elias and Sheila, and Neo with Henry. Unfortunately it was a dark and rainy night — no good for photos — but we can assure you the reunions were very happy ones.

We’ve now collected our UK-bound passengers and are on board the ferry from Igoumenitsa to Italy. The van is parked very near our cabin, so we can keep popping  across to check on the pets and walk the dogs. We can even have one dog in our cabin from time to time, so they’re taking it in turns to watch DVDs with us. Shame we don’t have Lady and the Tramp or 101 Dalmatians with us! There are lots of other people on board with cats and dogs, so we’ll probably bump into other dog walkers while we’re out on deck.

Travelling with us is lovely Cleo the cat, who belongs to Efthinious and Valerie. They’re moving from Athens to Sheffield where both will be working and Efthinious will also be studying economics.

We were pleased to see Nela and her Chinchilla chum Ollie again, who are on their way back to the UK to rejoin their family — there’s a new baby for them to meet, too.

Eleni works with a group in the north of Athens who take care of stray dogs and also from time to time help visitors who want to adopt a dog. She brought Haiko to us who is off to join Johanna and Colin’s family of rescue dogs in Norfolk. Eleni arranged Haiko’s TRACES certificate at the local prefecture office, which goes with his pet passport to enable him to travel to the UK.

Lovely Nana, soon to be known as Lotte, is from the Filozoikos Shelter and has been adopted by Mel in Dorset. We’ve told Nana all about Dorset and she’s very excited about seeing it for herself.

Fred is also from Filozoikos, another gentle character. All the dogs from the shelter are so relaxed and gentle — it must be because of the way Kiki and the rest of the team look after them. Within seconds of getting into his travel compartment, Fred was lying down, fast asleep! He’s on his way to a new home with Allyson in Brighton.

Cordelia from Nine Lives Greece brought us three cats who have new homes in the UK. Catherine has adopted a gorgeous pair of youngsters, and a rather gorgeous black-and-white puss is also travelling. There will be more about these cats in a later blog.

Handsome Beagle Alvin was brought to us by a friend of his family. Ellie and her children are already in London and missing their dogs, and Alvin is the first of the three to travel. We feel quite sure he’ll get a rapturous welcome.

Snowy white cat Lara belongs to the Spyros family who are flying to London, and will be there in good time to greet her.

And just a couple of days ago Kaiti got in touch to see if we could take her French Bulldog Victor to London for her. Luckily the timing was perfect and we had space for him to join the trip.

Beautiful smoky grey Chloe

Beautiful smoky grey Cleo

Chloe says goodbye and see you soon to Efthinious

Cleo says goodbye and see you soon to Efthinious

Welcome back on board, Nela!

Welcome back on board, Nela!

Ollie settles in for the journey

Ollie settles in for the journey

Handsome Haiko with Eleni and friend

Handsome Haiko with Eleni and friend

Lovely laid-back Nana

Lovely laid-back Nana

Nana's beautiful collar

Nana’s beautiful collar

Fred in his sporty bandanna

Fred in his sporty bandanna

The two pretty youngsters who've been adopted by Catherine

The two pretty youngsters who’ve been adopted by Catherine

A goodbye tickle from Cordelia

A goodbye tickle from Cordelia

Alvin with a family friend

Alvin with a family friend

A family farewell for Lara

A family farewell for Lara

A closer look at lovely Lara

A closer look at lovely Lara

Victor gets a goodbye hug from Kaiti

Victor gets a goodbye hug from Kaiti

Bye Mum! says Victor

Bye Mum! says Victor

A lost cat gets back to his family; and three animal charities get a windfall

When Elaine Fairfax was on holiday recently in the south of France, she was adopted by a stray tabby-and-white cat who walked in her back door looking a bit thin and bedraggled. Concerned that he didn’t have a home of his own, Elaine fed him and shared her home with him.

As the end of her holiday approached, Elaine decided she wanted to adopt the cat, now called Pepe, and take him back to the UK with her. Being the founder and MD of Animal Friends Pet Insurance in the UK, Elaine knew that without a pet passport, Pepe would have to spend a few weeks in quarantine. So she contacted Animalcouriers to find out about arranging for him to travel to quarantine in the UK.

In conversations with Elaine we discussed various transport options and alternatives to quarantine. Getting Pepe a pet passport was the first step; but when Pepe was taken to the vet to get the ball rolling, it was discovered that he already had a microchip. So things took a different direction. The new mission was to find out who Pepe’s owners were, with Elaine prepared to cover the costs of Pepe’s journey to be reunited with them.

Finding Pepe’s family

Leaving her friends and family on the beach, Elaine took an entire morning out of her holiday to start looking for Pepe’s family. Animalcouriers also asked Dr Diana James, a British vet living in France and an old friend of ours, to help. Pepe’s microchip records revealed he had a family in the Dijon area of France. As soon as they heard he had been found, the family jumped in their car and set off to collect him!

Very pleased to have been able to do the right thing by Pepe and his owners, Elaine told us: “It’s the best outcome, Pepe is such a character cat and obviously loved by his family.”

What happened next

But the story didn’t end there. Elaine has always been a great supporter of animal welfare charities, both in a personal capacity and through her business. She offered a £3,000 donation to be shared between three charities of Animalcouriers’ choice. We nominated Nine Lives Greece, the Filozoikos Shelter, and Chats du Quercy. The fantastic work of both Greek charities, based in Athens, is well known to us; and Diana James is the nominated vet for Chats du Quercy, a well known cat charity in the Cahors region of France. Here’s how the three charities plan to use their donations.

Nine Lives Greece

Cordelia from Nine Lives Greece tells us:

“We will be spending this extremely generous donation on neutering, vaccinating and providing other necessary veterinary care for illness or injury to a colony of stray cats in central Athens. This colony will be selected judging by how risky their situation is, how many individuals there are, and whether there is a local feeder who is open to the concept and benefits of neutering.

Since we founded Nine Lives Greece in 2006, we have trapped and taken for neutering/spaying more than 5,000 cats in Athens, returning the cats back to their location after sterilisation. We try to work colony by colony, in order to get as many individuals neutered as possible in each place. We make sure to keep visiting each large colony to make sure that all the cats are well, that no-one needs veterinary attention, and to make sure any newcomers are taken to the vet to be neutered too. This way, instead of an ever-increasing group of sickly cats and kittens, with tomcats spraying and caterwauling, and females constantly pregnant or feeding kittens, the neighbourhood gets a healthy colony of cats whose numbers stabilise and gradually decrease.”

Filozoikos Shelter

Kiki from the Filozoikos Shelter says:

“This wonderful gift is very much appreciated as we are in the middle of the summer, and the number of dogs and consequently our needs are at their highest. We are in the middle of treating June, a young female dog who we found suffering from leishmaniasis, mange and ‘aphrodisio’ — a sexually transmitted disease. The treatment plus her neutering is going to cost €500. Elpida, Marina, Haris, Earth and Velvet will be neutered with the rest of the money — neutering costs €100 per dog. They were all found abandoned and all of them except Marina have already found homes.”

Chats du Quercy

Lynn and Ron from Chats du Quercy tell us:

“We would like the £1000 to be the first donation for the start of our new Rescue Facility funding, so it will help immensely, hopefully encouraging others too! Our objective is simple: to help cats in needEach cat receives the best possible care and attention from the first day. Every cat is assessed by a veterinary surgeon before receiving the medical, surgical and emotional treatment and care that they need. We also have a qualified cat behaviourist on hand. All our cats are checked and treated on a daily basis until they are fit to be found good homes.”

Pepe, who started the whole story off

Pepe, who started the whole story off

Nine Lives Greece: kitten saved after a dog attack

Nine Lives Greece: kitten saved after a dog attack

Nine Lives Greece: kittens who needed fostering before being ready for adoption

Nine Lives Greece: kittens who needed fostering before being ready for adoption

June at the Filozoikos Shelter

Filozoikos Shelter: June

Marina — this one-year-old sweetheart is still looking for a new home

Filozoikos Shelter: Marina — this one-year-old sweetheart is still looking for a new home

Filozoikos Shelter: Elpida

Elpida

Harris

Filozoikos Shelter: Harris

Filozoikos Shelter: Earth

Earth

Filozoikos Shelter: Velvet

Velvet

Dr Diana James (L) and Lynn with two kittens recently helped by Chats du Quercy

Chats du Quercy: Dr Diana James (L) and Lynn with two kittens recently helped by Chats du Quercy

Frankie, one of the Chats du Quercy kittens, looking for a home

Chats du Quercy: Frankie, — one of the many kittens looking for a home

Thaddeus and Perseus from Greece are en route for Ireland

Animalcouriers met Sarah at Folkestone Services. She had flown from Athens in Greece to Brussels in Belgium, then taken a taxi to England.

She was travelling with three cats of her own, plus two rescue cats from Nine Lives Greece, Thaddeus (formerly Homer) and Perseus, whose ultimate destination is Ireland, where a new home with Ann and Trevor awaits them.

Until their transport to Donegal is arranged, Thaddeus and Perseus are homeboarding with Animalcouriers.

Sarah with her beautiful tabby cat

Sarah with her beautiful tabby cat

Handsome ginger Perseus

Handsome ginger Perseus

Perseus and Thaddeus

Perseus and Thaddeus

Sarah says goodbye to Perseus and Thaddeus — Perseus very politely shaking hands!

Sarah says goodbye to Perseus and Thaddeus — Perseus very politely shaking hands!

Chunky and Lurcher pups head north, Anakin and Bob jet off from Heathrow, and Flup and Sailor reach their new home

Courier M collected two Lurcher Collie cross puppies from breeder Sally Handcock in Sutton Coldfield. These two youngsters, who don’t yet have names, are travelling with us to their new owners in Fife in Scotland. Also on board was lovely tortoiseshell cat Chunky. This chatty, friendly puss is on her way from Sussex to Cumbria.

Meanwhile courier S made sure stunning Siberian Husky Anakin and incredibly cute Shih Tzu Bob got to Heathrow airport in plenty of time for their flights. Anakin from Hove in West Sussex is flying to New Zealand where his owners are relocating. Anakin was originally born and raised in the US, and accompanied his family when work brought them to the UK, so he’s a seasoned traveller who takes flying in his stride.

Bob travelled with us from Lancashire, where his owner shed a few tears at the prospect of even a short time apart. He spent the night before his flight home boarding with Animalcouriers, then it was off Heathrow for his flight to Australia, where he’ll be reuinited with his family.

We also heard from Maddie, who adopted little Greek kitties Flup and Sailor. She says:

“Flup and Sailor arrived this evening! And oh my god are they cute! Flup is best friends with everything and everyone straight away! He’s just a little bundle of love! Sailor is a little unsure but has already settled down some since coming home so I think she will be absolutely fine in no time! Good thing she has her buddy Flup with her!

They really are so so sweet though. I’m in love with them already. They haven’t been formally introduced to Zeus yet as we want them to settle first but he knows something is going on and he’s very excited! We have two weeks off work to slowly introduce them properly so that they become best of friends.”

Little girl puppy

Little girl puppy

Little boy puppy

Little boy puppy

Sally's Lurcher Collie pups are all very alert and pleased to meet new people

Sally’s Lurcher Collie pups are all very alert and pleased to meet new people

Chunky shows us her lovely tortie markings

Chunky shows us her lovely tortie markings

Handsome Anakin with his blue and brown eyes

Handsome Anakin with his blue and brown eyes

A last goodbye to a very relaxed Anakin as he head off to board his flight. The airport vet commented on what a beautiful and gentle dog he is.

A last goodbye to a very relaxed Anakin as he head off to board his flight. The airport vet commented on what a beautiful and gentle dog he is.

Loving and well loved Bob

Loving and well loved Bob

Bob has a goodbye chat with house dog Hugo — these two really bonded while Bob was staying

Bob has a goodbye chat with house dog Hugo — these two really bonded while Bob was staying

Bob is cleared and ready for take-off

Bob is cleared and ready for take-off

Flup and Sailor on their way to their new home

Flup and Sailor on their way to their new home

Lola, Lucca and Gino have joined our journey in Italy

When we docked at the Italian port of Brindisi we were met by pretty calico cat Lola with her grandma and grandpa. Lola has been very well provided for on her journey and, despite our lack of Italian and their lack of English, we were able to understand the special instructions concerning what Lola likes for her primero plato and segundo plato.

Then it was off to Aviano to collect one-year-old yellow Labrador brothers Lucca and Gino from Anthony and Shana. Engineer Anthony has been stationed here with the US air force, looking after huge jet engines. Their four children have gone back to Georgia to spend the summer holidays with Shana’s parents, and now Anthony and Shana are off to join them. Meanwhile Lucca and Gino are travelling with us to the UK, where they’ll board until the family takes up a new posting at Lakenheath.

Just outside Cesena we stayed at an agriturismo hotel, L’Infinito, where the kind owners are dog lovers. They weren’t quite ready for us when we arrived, so treated us to cold glasses of frizzante while we waited — poor us! Over supper we listened in to an interesting discussion about the global market for fruit, wine, olive oil and vegetables. Like many of Italy’s agriturismo hotels, this one sells its produce throughout and beyond Italy.

Lola with her grandparents and her supplies for the trip

Lola with her grandparents and her supplies for the trip

Lola gets comfy for the ride

Lola gets comfy for the ride

Anthony and Shana with very obedient Lucca and Gino

Anthony and Shana with very obedient Lucca and Gino

Here you can see how much lighter in colour Gino is than Lucca

Here you can see how much lighter in colour Gino is than Lucca

The brothers settle in for their journey

The brothers settle in for their journey

Feta was a bit shy at first but she and courier M soon bonded over biscuits, and now she's really got the hang of being on the road with us

Feta was a bit shy at first but she and courier M soon bonded over biscuits, and now she’s really got the hang of being on the road with us

Ollie looking contented after a hearty breakfast

Ollie looking contented after a hearty breakfast

Wonder what Lily knows that we don't?

Wonder what Lily knows that we don’t?

Kaluha waiting (im)patiently for biscuits as we do our morning rounds

Kaluha waiting (im)patiently for biscuits as we do our morning rounds

Sailor and Flup wondering if they might have a dog biscuit too

Sailor and Flupp wondering if they might have a dog biscuit too

Pete and Kaluha enjoyed a walk through orchards and olive groves

Pete and Kaluha enjoyed a walk through orchards and olive groves

Pete is very calm, as always

Pete is very calm, as always

Lucca and Gino rummaging on their walk

Lucca and Gino rummaging on their walk

Feta enjoys interesting new scents in the air

Feta enjoys interesting new scents in the air

Sweet-faced Charlie

Sweet-faced Charlie

Ouzo looking very winsome

Ouzo looking very winsome

Daisy determined not to look in our direction

Daisy determined not to look in our direction

An intricately carved wooden fountain at Brennero

An intricately carved wooden fountain at Brennero

Dainty flowers spotted while out walking this morning

Dainty flowers spotted while out walking this morning

Another variation on bell-shaped flowers

Another variation on bell-shaped flowers

Daisies always make us smile

Daisies always make us smile

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flupp has odd-coloured eyes

Flupp has odd-coloured eyes

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

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

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

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

Pretty Sylvie (L) and handsome Alain (R)

Pretty Sylvie (L) and handsome Alain (R)

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

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

Emilia and Kiki with Kaluha and Pete

Emilia and Kiki with Kaluha and Pete

Kaluha has lovely markings

Kaluha has lovely markings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s reunion time for our passengers from Greece, Italy and France

Animalcouriers waved goodbye to Stathis as he set off on the final leg of his journey, while Jackie called in to collect cats Melassa and Oscar. We suggested Oscar might like to take his Zen garden!

We then set about delivering Mouser, Gracie and Tiger, and Ruben, Red and Hugo, to their UK homes. Bo, who’d flown in from Cyprus, hitched a ride. She spent last night at Heathrow Airport’s animal reception centre, where we collected her this morning to drive her to her home in Southport.

Stathis sets off towards his Surrey home

Stathis sets off towards his Surrey home

Melassa is pleased to see Jackie

Melassa is pleased to see Jackie

Jackie pops Oscar in the car, minus his Zen garden!

Jackie pops Oscar in the car, minus his Zen garden!

Stathis at his new home with Steph

Stathis at his new home with Steph

Stathis enjoying every dog's favourite treat — a tasty marrow bone!

Stathis enjoying every dog’s favourite treat — a tasty marrow bone!

Mouser, seen here, and her companions Gracie and Tiger were delighted to reunited with Antonia, who told us how she came to adopt these three while living in Cyprus. Mouser was found as a kitten small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, the only survivor of a litter by a busy road. Tiger was found in a skip, having survived a wild and stormy night. And Gracie was a stray who had a litter of kittens on Antonia's doorstep. Good homes were found for her kittens, and Gracie felt the love and decided to stay. From Cyprus they all moved to Italy, and are now starting the next chapter of their lives in the UK.

Mouser, seen here, and her companions Gracie and Tiger were delighted to reunited with Antonia, who told us how she came to adopt these three while living in Cyprus. Mouser was found as a kitten small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, the only survivor of a litter by a busy road. Tiger was found in a skip, having survived a wild and stormy night. And Gracie was a stray who had a litter of kittens on Antonia’s doorstep. Good homes were found for her kittens, and Gracie felt the love and decided to stay. From Cyprus they all moved to Italy, and are now starting the next chapter of their lives in the UK.

Ruben…

Ruben…

…Red…

…Red…

… and Hugo were ready to explore their new home as soon as their paws reached the ground. Although the house isn't quite ready yet, this handsome trio have been provided with everything their hearts could desire — a playhouse, scratching posts, beds, toys, tasty treats and a row of litter trays. There were lots of happy purrs, including from courier S who was lucky enough to be given a yummy box of chocs to nibble on during her onward journey!

… and Hugo were ready to explore their new home as soon as their paws reached the ground. Although the house isn’t quite ready yet, this handsome trio have been provided with everything their hearts could desire — a playhouse, scratching posts, beds, toys, tasty treats and a row of litter trays. There were lots of happy purrs, including from courier S who was lucky enough to be given a yummy box of chocs to nibble on during her onward journey!

The cats' all-natural scratching posts

The cats’ all-natural scratching posts

Kopeic — Bo to her friends — was found by her owners as a tiny stray puppy and has grown into a long-legged beauty. She was over the moon at being reunited and there were lots of loving cuddles for her before playtime in the garden.

Kopeic — Bo to her friends — was found by her owners as a tiny stray puppy and has grown into a long-legged beauty. She was over the moon at being reunited and there were lots of loving cuddles for her before playtime in the garden.