Reunions in Spain and Portugal; Molly, Eva and Magali get on board; and we catch sight of Africa

Animalcouriers delivered Penny, Leonard, Oscar and Spike to their various destinations in Spain, then drove on to Portugal to collect the first of our UK-bound passengers, Molly. It seems only right to have another friendly English Bulldog on board, now that Spike is back with Fernando. Molly’s been staying at the Merrylegs Pet Hotel in Loule, run by Logan and Laura. Molly is on her way to Birmingham to rejoin Fran.

We then headed to Obidos for a hectic reunion for Tinks, JJ, Dexter and Aslan with their family. As we drove away, we spotted several hundred pine trees with their bark scored and a cup attached to the trunk to collect the resin — it looked rather like rubber being collected in Malaysia. Pine resin is used principally for the production of turpentine and rosin (best known for its use on the bows of violins and other stringed instruments).

Then, just outside Lisbon, we met our next UK-bound passengers joined us — Eva and Magali. These two gorgeous felines belong to Susana, and they’re travelling to Coventry to join her. Helena and Rachael, Susana’s sister, were on hand to see them off‎.

Alycia with Penny and Leonard — Alycia is Rafael's sister, and will be looking after these two character cats until Rafael and Nicola arrive

Alycia with Penny and Leonard — Alycia is Rafael’s sister, and will be looking after these two character cats until Rafael and Nicola arrive

Oscar happily delivered into the arms of Pauline, who jogged all the way up the hill to meet us

Oscar happily delivered into the arms of Pauline, who jogged all the way up the hill to meet us

Lola getting big hugs from her owner Emma (R), with Mum Jo in the middle and sister Katie (L). Happy Lola dashed about, saying, hello! and, I'm home! to one after the other.

Lola getting big hugs from her owner Emma (R), with Mum Jo in the middle and sister Katie (L). Happy Lola dashed about, saying, hello! and, I’m home! to one after the other.

Handsome Spike heads off with owner Fernando

Handsome Spike heads off with owner Fernando

This view, en route from Estepona to Jerez, never fails to amaze us — the darker rock is Gibraltar, the lighter one behind is the Atlas mountains in Africa

This view, en route from Estepona to Jerez, never fails to amaze us — the darker rock is Gibraltar, the lighter one behind is the Atlas mountains in Africa

The pet hotel where we collected Molly, in Loule on the Portuguese Algarve

The pet hotel where we collected Molly, in Loule on the Portuguese Algarve

Logan pointing towards Molly, all settled in for her journey

Logan pointing towards Molly, all settled in for her journey

Tara's mum was quick off the mark to greet Dexter

Tara’s mum was quick off the mark to greet Dexter

The dogs were completely overdone by the fact that everyone was back together

The dogs were completely overdone by the fact that everyone was back together

Still for just a moment — JJ with Steve and Tara

Still for just a moment — JJ with Steve and Tara

JJ had to keep coming back for another cuddle

JJ had to keep coming back for another cuddle

During the journey, Aslan and JJ had walked together, but six-year-old Aslan (still a baby, really) was too boisterous to walk with 14-year-old Dexter. So here there are, seeing each other properly for the first time in a few days, with Aslan giving Dexter lots of kisses.

During the journey, Aslan and JJ had walked together, but six-year-old Aslan (still a baby, really) was too boisterous to walk with 14-year-old Dexter. So here there are, seeing each other properly for the first time in a few days, with Aslan giving Dexter lots of kisses.

Tinks telling John (Tara's dad) all about her trip

Tinks telling John (Tara’s dad) all about her trip

Tinks keeping an eye on everything from her vantage point on the patio, and making sure she doesn't miss out on all the homecoming excitement

Tinks keeping an eye on everything from her vantage point on the patio, and making sure she doesn’t miss out on all the homecoming excitement

Pine resin collection in Portugal— an average sized pine tree can produce 3 to 4 kg of resin a year. The trees produce the best quality resin during their growing period, between April and September.

Pine resin collection in Portugal— an average sized pine tree can produce 3 to 4 kg of resin a year. The trees produce the best quality resin during their growing period, between April and September.

The resin-tapper removes an area of bark at the base of the tree, exposing the wood below. Metal pieces are inserted into the tree to direct the resin flow into a bowl. The resin-tapper collects the resin from the bowl and from the cut in the tree. Over time the bark will grow over the original cut.

The resin-tapper removes an area of bark at the base of the tree, exposing the wood below. Metal pieces are inserted into the tree to direct the resin flow into a bowl. The resin-tapper collects the resin from the bowl and from the cut in the tree. Over time the bark will grow over the original cut.

Helena (L) and Rachael (R) gave Eva and Magali a proper send-off

Helena (L) and Rachael (R) gave Eva and Magali a proper send-off

Lovely pale ginger tabby Eva, slightly wondering what's going on

Lovely pale ginger tabby Eva, slightly wondering what’s going on

Cheeky Magali is very confident and likes a chat — she told us she's quite excited about relocating to England

Cheeky Magali is very confident and likes a chat — she told us she’s quite excited about relocating to England

Reunions for Xania, Gigi, Toffee and Coby when we reach the UK

Kayleigh and her Dad called in at our Surrey base to collect Eurasier puppy Xania, having had a wonderful day at a major dog show in Bournemouth at the weekend. Xania is their 8th dog — it’s very exciting for them that they’re doing so well with their chosen breed.

Kayleigh and her Dad collecting Xania

Kayleigh and her Dad collecting Xania

Xania in Kayleigh's arms

Xania in Kayleigh’s arms

Xania's half-siblings Molly (an Italian champion)…

Xania’s half-siblings Molly (an Italian champion)…

…and Ozzie. Both dogs have already qualified for Crufts 2016.

…and Ozzie. Both dogs have already qualified for Crufts 2016.

Will and Elli called for Gigi, a kitten Will met while out jogging in the Lot region of France. They were so excited they rushed down from London as soon as we let them know we were back.

Will and Elli called for Gigi, a kitten Will met while out jogging in the Lot region of France. They were so excited they rushed down from London as soon as we let them know we were back.

Late at night on his way home from golf, Jack called for young pup Toffee, adopted from Portugal. Jack had never met Toffee before, but was very taken with him, as you can see.

Late at night on his way home from golf, Jack called for young pup Toffee, adopted from Portugal. Jack had never met Toffee before, but was very taken with him, as you can see.

Pedro and Leo are delighted that guinea pig Coby is home. Pedro texted to thank us for the caring service. We were chuffed at that, and have to say Coby was no trouble at all! 

Pedro and Leo are delighted that guinea pig Coby is home. Pedro texted to thank us for the caring service. We were chuffed at that, and have to say Coby was no trouble at all!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Roussie during her brief stay in Narbonne

Roussie during her brief stay in Narbonne

Roussie on her way to Calais with us

Roussie on her way to Calais with us

Delyth with Puddles

Delyth with Puddles

Pretty Puddles settles in for the journey

Pretty Puddles settles in for the journey

Gorgeous Gigi gets on board

Gorgeous Gigi gets on board

Vet Diana James with Jack

Vet Diana James with Jack

Jack makes himself right at home in his compartment

Jack makes himself right at home in his compartment

Eurasier Xania enjoys an evening walk

Eurasier Xania enjoys an evening walk

Husky Swarsky poses in front of a newly planted field

Husky Swarsky poses in front of a newly planted field

Lexi is such a well behaved girl…

Lexi is such a well behaved girl…

…although a rabbit hole is hard to resist!

…although a rabbit hole is hard to resist!

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

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

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

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

 

Swarsky, Berty, Xania, Jet, Briguita, Toffee and Coby join our UK-bound trip; but we leave donkeys and dinosaurs behind

As we start our journey north from Portugal, we collect more pets who are heading to the UK.

Manu, a friend of Animalcouriers, drove Jack and his sister and their Husky Swarsky from Gibraltar to meet up with us in Seville. Swarsky will homeboard with Animalcouriers for a week, before travelling to Lancashire to catch up with Jack once he gets back to the UK.

Next to get on board was Toffee, one of a litter of pups found in the Portuguese campo near the Spanish border. Antonio and his mum reared them, and now Toffee has been adopted by their friends Mary and her husband. Toffee started off unsure about what to do when a lead was put on him, but just 24 hours later was walking on a lead as though he’d always done it. Everything was very sedate until he came upon a rugged patch of campo-like terrain, when he started rolling around and sniffing everything in reach — as if to say, this is where I belong!

Despite our vans being air-conditioned, the high temperatures at this time of year mean we try to avoid too many detours on our trips. So, to enable four pets from Madrid to join our trip, we arranged for a well known local pet transport company, Automascotas, to bring them to us. We booked ourselves in at the Casa Rural El Arrullo in San Juan de Requena, Valencia — which is listed on booking.com as ‘superb’ with a rating of 9.2 out of 10 — and waited for Xavier to arrive.

It turned out to be a great place to stop. Apart from the warm welcome from our hosts, we were greeted by a number of local residents who popped over for a chat, all of us speaking rather broken Spanish and English! It felt like we’d landed in the middle of traditional Spanish hospitality. Everyone was fascinated by the customised Animalcouriers and Automascotas vans, and intrigued to watch us walking dogs on leads, as in much of Spain dogs simply run free in the campo.

The four pets who travelled with Xavier from Madrid were Berty, Jet, Xania and Briguita. Liz from AAH Vets in Madrid asked us to transport Berty for one of her clients, and Berty has been staying with her in the meantime. This fun-loving hound is on his way to Leicester.

Sharron asked us to transport her handsome cat Jet, whom she rescued in the Dolores area, to the UK. Liz at AAH has been looking after him since Sharron left Spain. Jet has a number of health issues and has come with his own medication. He’s very lucky that Sharron rescued him as he wouldn’t have survived living in the wild. Sharron and Jet’s ultimate destination is Australia.

Gorgeous Eurasier puppy Xania, bred by Antonio, is the half-sister of two other Eurasiers, Molly and Ozzie, already owned by Kayleigh. At a show in Italy, Molly was crowned champion, and both dogs have qualified for Crufts 2016. Xania looks set to follow in their footsteps.

Lovely Briguita belongs to Rita and Ricardo, and is their two-year-old son’s favourite playmate. The family is relocating to London where Ricardo ha a new job. They’re very excited about being reunited with her at their new home.

Today we met Pedro and his guinea pig Coby. Pedro and his wife, Leo, think the world of her. She came armed with a bag of food, including her favourite green and red sweet peppers, and many other accessories that only a travelling guinea pig will understand. Coby and Pedro are joining Leo in Cambridge where she has started a new job.

Handsome Husky Swarsky with Manu (L), Jack (R) and Jack's sister in the middle

Handsome Husky Swarsky with Manu (L), Jack (R) and Jack’s sister in the middle

Toffee — good enough to eat!

Toffee — good enough to eat!

Hanging out at the Casa Rural El Arrullo

Hanging out at the Casa Rural El Arrullo

A crowd of friendly but curious onlookers, interested to watch us cleaning out, walking and feeding our charges

A crowd of friendly but curious onlookers, interested to watch us cleaning out, walking and feeding our charges

Xavier with Berty (L) and Xania (R)

Xavier with Berty (L) and Xania (R)

If we could harness Berty's energy we could use it to run all of our van's aircon and electric ventilation!

If we could harness Berty’s energy we could use it to run all of our van’s aircon and electric ventilation!

Gorgeous jet-black Jet

Gorgeous jet-black Jet

Very pretty tabby Briguita

Very pretty tabby Briguita

Pedro with his beloved guinea pig Coby

Pedro with his beloved guinea pig Coby

We can see why Pedro and Leo love her so much — she's very cute indeed

We can see why Pedro and Leo love her so much — she’s very cute indeed

Can you spot Diesel? Sometimes cats just don't want to play —or even say hello!

Can you spot Diesel? Sometimes cats just don’t want to play —or even say hello!

Diesel finally shows her beautiful self to us

Diesel finally shows her beautiful self to us

Poor Humberto was very bemused by Miuxa's behaviour — she's normally very friendly, he told us. We did notice he was sporting a plaster on one finger, though…

Poor Humberto was very bemused by Miuxa’s behaviour — she’s normally very friendly, he told us. We did notice he was sporting a plaster on one finger, though…

Carriça, on the other hand, is very relaxed and enjoys her snuggly catnaps

Carriça, on the other hand, is very relaxed and enjoys her snuggly catnaps

We love Carriça's markings. She's very alert and keeps a close eye on everything we do.

We love Carriça’s markings. She’s very alert and keeps a close eye on everything we do.

ET is very amusing and full of antics. Like Carriça, she watches us closely and wants petting and cuddling all the time!

ET is very amusing and full of antics. Like Carriça, she watches us closely and wants petting and cuddling all the time!

Miuxa is finally settling down and starting to trust us. We persuaded her to eat some supper last night, and watched while she grumbled her way through one of our poshest tins of cat food. She pretended to ignore us throughout the whole operation!

Miuxa is finally settling down and starting to trust us. We persuaded her to eat some supper last night, and watched while she grumbled her way through one of our poshest tins of cat food. She pretended to ignore us throughout the whole operation!

Lexi showing us her perfect 'sit' skills

Lexi showing us her perfect ‘sit’ skills

View from the office window yesterday — Portugal to the left, Spain to the right

View from the office window yesterday — Portugal to the left, Spain to the right

Fortunately, we didn't have to fit this donkey in…

Fortunately, we didn’t have to fit this donkey in…

…nor his musician chum

…nor his musician chum

We spotted dinos galore at Dos Hermanos when collecting Swarsky. Everyone loves a dinosaur, especially courier J's three-year-old grandson, who's just graduated to a two-wheeled bike, and courier M's 23 year old daughter who's just graduated as a teacher‎. So, all you dino-fans out there, which one is this?

We spotted dinos galore at Dos Hermanos when collecting Swarsky. Everyone loves a dinosaur, especially courier J’s three-year-old grandson, who’s just graduated to a two-wheeled bike, and courier M’s 23 year old daughter who’s just graduated as a teacher‎. So, all you dino-fans out there, which one is this?

And this one — a Tyrannosaurus Rex maybe?

And this one — a Tyrannosaurus Rex maybe?

Pretty sure this one's a Pterodactyl

Pretty sure this one’s a Pterodactyl

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sheena with one member of her cat gang

Sheena with one member of her cat gang

Ian with another of the feline trio

Ian with another of the feline trio

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

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

Beaming Bailey, whose turn it was to go first

Beaming Bailey, whose turn it was to go first

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

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

Ray with Lulu

Ray with Lulu

An ecstatic reunion for Beau and owner Moe

An ecstatic reunion for Beau and owner Moe

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

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

Philip and Janet delighted to have Wispa back with them

Philip and Janet delighted to have Wispa back with them

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

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

Humberto bringing us his gorgeous ginger tabby Miuxa

Humberto bringing us his gorgeous ginger tabby Miuxa

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

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

Diesel the cat with devoted 'grandparents'

Diesel the cat with devoted ‘grandparents’

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

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

The rather stunning Carriça, with her ginger-tabby coat

The rather stunning Carriça, with her ginger-tabby coat

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

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

…and huge green eyes!

…and huge green eyes!

Reunions for Jules, Stephen, Kirsty, Vienna, Ianto, Boris and Killibrae Kit

Our first stop yesterday in France was to deliver handsome puss Jules to his family waiting in Nantes. Austin and Alyssia, were extremely excited to see him. Jules said that he’d enjoyed his trip but was very pleased to be back with his family.

Then it was on to the Creuse region to deliver Sam’s dog, cat and geese. First out were the geese, Stephen and Kirsty. We were pleased to see how chilled they were after their trip, which had lasted more than two days. The geese have a wonderful new home, and Sam told us it was the bird space which persuaded her to buy the house — there’s a paddock, running water and a fabulous shelter. Sam’s Elkhound, Moleskine, who accompanied Sam on her leisurely journey from the UK, welcomed the geese first, then Vienna the cat and finally Bull Terrier Ianto. She was delighted to have the rest of her family around her! Sam soon wrote to say:

“Thank you so much. Ianto & Moleskine are playing rough & tumble in the grass. Vienna is asleep upstairs. The geese can’t believe their new surroundings.”

We then continued on to Cahors to deliver Waterdog Boris to his family. He knew as we walked up the drive that he was home.

After spending the night in Narbonne, we cross the border into Spain and made our way to Barcelona where we reunited cats Conan and Gypsy with Victor. Then it was on to the airport to meet Xanthe, who had flown in from Majorca to collect Border Collie pup Killibrae Kit. Little Kit will be travelling with her in the cabin to Palma. Xanthe already has Kit’s aunt and great aunt, so there will be quite a reception committee waiting at home.

Alyssia and Austin (with a little help from courier M) greeting Jules on his arrival in Nantes

Alyssia and Austin (with a little help from courier M) greeting Jules on his arrival in Nantes

Alyssia very excited to have Jules at home

Alyssia very excited to have Jules at home

Courier M and Sam with Stephen and Kirsty

Courier M and Sam with Stephen and Kirsty

The geese headed straight for the purpose-built new home

The geese headed straight for the purpose-built new home

Almost a skip for joy as they try out their new environment, nibble at the grass and feel the wind in their feathers

Almost a skip for joy as they try out their new environment, nibble at the grass and feel the wind in their feathers

Stephen and Kirsty are in complete agreement — they love their new home!

Stephen and Kirsty are in complete agreement — they love their new home!

Sam's Elkhound Moleskine, who didn't travel with us, was quick to hop in and inspect our van

Sam’s Elkhound Moleskine, who didn’t travel with us, was quick to hop in and inspect our van

Boris was such a happy boy to be home, and the feeling was shared with the entire household

Boris was such a happy boy to be home, and the feeling was shared with the entire household

In Narbonne, resident Cocker Spaniel George strikes a pose.

In Narbonne, resident Cocker Spaniel George strikes a pose.

Sunglasses off, a closer look at the wineglass! George is a past passenger of ours and knows all about Animalcouriers. He regularly welcomes us to his home, and quite likes to have a chat with our passengers and reassure them about travelling.

Sunglasses off, a closer look at the wineglass! George is a past passenger of ours and knows all about Animalcouriers. He regularly welcomes us to his home, and quite likes to have a chat with our passengers and reassure them about travelling.

Nearly home! Conan and Gypsy supervise courier M as he prepares their travel boxes for transferring them from our van to their owner Victor

Nearly home! Conan and Gypsy supervise courier M as he prepares their travel boxes for transferring them from our van to their owner Victor

Conan very excited, knowing he's almost home

Conan very excited, knowing he’s almost home

Such a happy Kit in Xanthe's arms

Such a happy Kit in Xanthe’s arms

Wispa on the lookout, curious as ever

Wispa on the lookout, curious as ever

Dave gets up close and personal — it's a challenge to photograph this handsome tabby as all he wants is a neck and chin rub. We have to try and snap him as he weaves back and forth.

Dave gets up close and personal — it’s a challenge to photograph this handsome tabby as all he wants is a neck and chin rub. We have to try and snap him as he weaves back and forth.

Fifi strides towards us, while Lulu stays comfy at the back

Fifi strides towards us, while Lulu stays comfy at the back

Beau listens intently as we explain that she'll be back with Moe very soon

Beau listens intently as we explain that she’ll be back with Moe very soon

Leaving the UK with eight cats, six dogs — and a pair of geese!

Two Animalcouriers vans left Portsmouth this afternoon, heading to France. We were a bit disappointed we had to take a daytime ferry, but what with the holiday season being in full swing, and the conditions at Calais being so difficult, the overnight sailings from Portsmouth are all booked up weeks ahead. So we felt fortunate to get a crossing, and relieved that we didn’t have to brave Calais.

On board we have a fantastic set of passengers who are on their way to rejoin their families all over France and Spain.

Glamorous cat Jules was delivered to us by Fraser and his daughter. The family has relocated to France, and we expect to catch up with them tomorrow in Nantes, where they will be very pleased to be reunited with Jules.

Bull Terrier Ianto is travelling with Vienna the cat and brother-and-sister geese Stephen and Kirsty. Courier Joe was a little surprised on arriving to collect them to discover his role included catching the geese first! An hour later, with Stephen and Kirsty secure in a carrier, everyone was on their way. These four well loved pets are all off to join Sam and her family in the Creuse region in central France. It’s the first time Brittany Ferries has been asked to transport pet geese. It was a bit touch and go at first but, in the end, the special permission we needed was granted.

Waterdog Boris has been a regular passenger over the past few years, as he splits his time between London and the Cahors region of France. He’s starting to show a few white whiskers around his muzzle now, but is as exuberant a character as ever.

Feline chums Conan and Gypsy have also travelled with us before — we transported them from Barcelona to the UK a little over a year ago, and now they’re on their way back to Barcelona. Owner Victor has gone on ahead and is very much looking forward to their arrival. Conan and Gypsy were due to stay at a cattery for three weeks until the start of this trip. But when we checked their documents, we discovered their inoculations had run out. Fortunately courier R had space for them in his study. They kept him great company, practising Spanish with him and Googling tortilla recipes on his computer.

Cute Border Collie pup Killibrae Kit is also on board. She’s off to live in Palma, Majorca, with Xanthe, who’s planning to fly into Barcelona where we’ll meet up and hand Kit over. Xanthe and Kit will then travel the rest of the way to Palma together.

Jackadoodle Bailey’s journey started in the Scottish Highlands and will take him all the way to Javea in Spain. He told us he’ll miss Aviemore and the ski season, but is looking forward to enjoying the sun, sea and sand. He’ll spend a day at Casa Antigua kennels and cattery in Denia until Simon and the rest of the family arrive.

Lulu, Fifi and Dave, a fine trio of cats, are travelling with us from Wolverhampton. They’re on their way to join Linda and family who’ve relocated to Alhaurin in the Malaga area of Spain.

Gorgeous Beagle Beau hails from Peebles in Scotland and is on her way to Marbella to join Moe. Beau and Moe travel back and forth between their two homes, so we won’t be surprised to see them again soon!

Character cat Wispa belongs to Philip and family. They’ve moved from Sheffield to Albufeira and now Wispa is on the way to join them in their new home.

Glamorous Golden Retriever Lula is travelling from London to the Haute Savoie region of France in one of our smaller vans with courier H. Not only does her owner Jane not want to be parted from her for a moment longer than necessary; it also saves the rest of us a detour eastward and so avoids compromising the length of the journey for the other pets we have on board.

Jules is a real stunner with a beautiful colour coat

Jules is a real stunner with a beautiful colour coat

Vienna takes to travelling like a pro

Vienna takes to travelling like a pro

Ianto making out he's a bit shy about having his photo taken

Ianto making out he’s a bit shy about having his photo taken

Stephen and Kirsty are a very bonded pair

Stephen and Kirsty are a very bonded pair

Boris the Waterdog — sorry it's not a great photo, we'll try again soon!

Boris the Waterdog — sorry it’s not a great photo, we’ll try again soon!

Fluffball Conan and black-and-white Gypsy — we did enjoy having these two to stay

Fluffball Conan and black-and-white Gypsy — we did enjoy having these two to stay

Lovely young Border Collie Killibrae Kit — who could resist those puppy dog eyes!

Lovely young Border Collie Killibrae Kit — who could resist those puppy dog eyes!

A winsome look from Jackadoodle Bailey

A winsome look from Jackadoodle Bailey

Black beauty Fifi, travelling with…

Black beauty Fifi, travelling with…

…gorgeous floofy Lulu and

…gorgeous floofy Lulu and

… handsome Dave — here he is telling courier J all about what Fifi and Lulu get up to

… handsome Dave — here he is telling courier J all about what Fifi and Lulu get up to

Ooh, that moment when you just have to have a chin rub!

Ooh, that moment when you just have to have a chin rub!

Beau is an exceptionally pretty Beagle

Beau is an exceptionally pretty Beagle

Wispa is a very charming character cat

Wispa is a very charming character cat

Lovely Lula who'll soon be reunited with Jane

Lovely Lula who’ll soon be reunited with Jane

Transporting a Hermann’s Tortoise to France, a Cocker Spaniel to the Netherlands, and two kittens for Lynn

Natasha and her family are spending the summer in Paris with members of their family who live there. They asked us to transport their Hermann’s Tortoise, Dave, so that he could join in the holiday fun. He’s a tiny tortoise, about 6 cm wide and 15 cm long. His tank and the bags that came with him more than made up for his diminutive size!

Beautiful Cocker Spaniel Bella came to stay before travelling with us to Amsterdam to rejoin her owners. It was a great opportunity to be reminded about what lovely personalities Cockers have! She’s a very inquisitive little girl who loves having a chat. James wrote to say:

“Thank you and the rest of the team at Animalcouriers. Bella has safely arrived in Amsterdam. The courier was very nice. Really appreciate all your help.”

We collected a gorgeous pair of kittens for Lynn. Lynn rescues Pekingese dogs, and has 19 at the moment. The two kittens aren’t rescues, however, they’re a treat for herself. We look forward to hearing what names she chooses for these two little bundles of fluff.

Dave in his habitat, with some pebbles and a small plant for scale

Dave in his habitat, with some pebbles and a small plant for scale

Dave came with clear instructions on how to take care of him and what he likes to eat

Dave came with clear instructions on how to take care of him and what he likes to eat

A closer look at Dave's fascinating shell markings

A closer look at Dave’s fascinating shell markings

Beautiful Cocker Spaniel Bella

Beautiful Cocker Spaniel Bella

A happy reunion in Amsterdam for Bella and her owners

A happy reunion in Amsterdam for Bella and her owners

A pair of cuties sitting in their bed on courier J's desk

A pair of cuties sitting in their bed on courier J’s desk

A very excited Lyn with her two new babies

A very excited Lyn with her two new babies

UK reunions for Neo, Lino, Willow, Gulliver, Hector, Sammy and Demetri

The happy reunions started almost as soon as we reached the UK and just kept going.

Neo very pleased to be back with owner Christos — we met up at Maidstone services on the way back to our Surrey base.

Neo very pleased to be back with owner Christos — we met up at Maidstone services on the way back to our Surrey base.

Here's Lino being met by his grandparents, who were very excited to see him. It wasn't long before Lino spotted his ball, and started looking for someone to play.

Here’s Lino being met by his grandparents, who were very excited to see him. It wasn’t long before Lino spotted his ball, and started looking for someone to play.

A very happy Amanda and Chris with Willow and Gulliver. These young cats treated the whole trip as an adventure and never stopped playing.

A very happy Amanda and Chris with Willow and Gulliver. These young cats treated the whole trip as an adventure and never stopped playing.

It was love at first sight for Hector and his new family — check out the speed of that wagging tail!

It was love at first sight for Hector and his new family — check out the speed of that wagging tail!

Here's Hector with Jo, Jonny, Tilly, Samuel and William. Hector just loved being stroked and cuddled and showed everyone how pleased he was to be joining the family.

Here’s Hector with Jo, Jonny, Tilly, Samuel and William. Hector just loved being stroked and cuddled and showed everyone how pleased he was to be joining the family.

There was an amazing reception at the Brighton Rocks bar for Sammy who is going to have the best life here with Jane and Edward

There was an amazing reception at the Brighton Rocks bar for Sammy who is going to have the best life here with Jane and Edward

A very happy and cuddly reunion for Demetri with Jules and Kate

A very happy and cuddly reunion for Demetri with Jules and Kate

Billie (behind) looking very comfy in her new home with Joanne and new playmate Charlie

Demetri (behind) looking very comfy in his new home with new playmate Charlie

Collecting Nacho, Jack Sparrow, Charlie, Carmella and Zeva in Italy

The ferry from the Greek port of Igoumenitsa to Italy arrived late, and our favourite hotel in Ancona was already fully booked. We had to work quite hard to find an alternative that offered secure parking and somewhere to walk the dogs. After a couple of false starts, we lucked out with La Cantina di Ale, which ticked all the boxes. At this hotel and pizzeria, the pizzas were wonderful —thin and light with delicious toppings, and such a huge diameter that they have to order special plates to fit!

The next morning we headed to Pescara to collect Nacho, who belongs to Dana and Bruce. They’ve already moved to Scotland, where a tartan welcome mat is doubtless being laid out., So we had a rendezvous with Dana’s sister Laura at the Pescara Ikea to collect Nacho.

From there it was a short hop to Vasto to collect Guisy’s three cats, Jack Sparrow, Charlie and Carmella. Guisy is relocating to London and, of course, her beloved cats are going too. Her Dad and her brother-in-law, Federico, came to see them off.

Our next stop was Genoa to meet up with Zeva, a beautiful Bracco Italiano puppy, bred by Maurice, who was very moved at parting with her. Zeva is off to live in Morpeth with Alex, who’s been waiting more than two months for Zeva to join her.

We were hoping to reach Calais tonight but the holiday traffic in Italy means the roads are choked and everything’s moving very slowly. So we think tomorrow is a more realistic ambition!

Awards on the walls of the Cantina di Ale's breakfast room. And in the kitchen, photos of chefs past and present and all their families. A super place where simplicity and good food prevail.

Awards on the walls of the Cantina di Ale’s breakfast room. And in the kitchen, photos of chefs past and present and all their families. A super place where simplicity and good food prevail.

Our hotel was on the outskirts of Recanati, about which the guides usually say 'Recanati is art, history, culture, music, faith and nature.' This is Palazzo Bello, the summer home of one of Italy's most famous poets, Giacomo Leopardi.

Our hotel was on the outskirts of Recanati, about which the guides usually say ‘Recanati is art, history, culture, music, faith and nature.’ This is Palazzo Bello, the summer home of one of Italy’s most famous poets, Giacomo Leopardi.

A plaque showing the opening stanza of Leopardi's best known work, Zibaldone, which reads, 'Palazzo Bello, a dog's bark in the night, comes from the farmhouse, with the passing traveller... ' Very apt as the farmhouse is now the Cantina di Ale!

A plaque showing the opening stanza of Leopardi’s best known work, Zibaldone, which reads, ‘Palazzo Bello, a dog’s bark in the night, comes from the farmhouse, with the passing traveller… ‘ Very apt as the farmhouse is now the Cantina di Ale!

 

The poor old palazzo really is crumbling away, but provided us with a lovely breezy hill-top walking spot for the dogs. Just as well, as it was already 92F at 7.30am!

The poor old palazzo really is crumbling away, but provided us with a lovely breezy hill-top walking spot for the dogs. Just as well, as it was already 92F at 7.30am!

Amazing what you can get at Ikea these days! Laura and her friend bring us Dana's cat Nacho.

Amazing what you can get at Ikea these days! Laura and her friend bring us Dana’s cat Nacho.

A closer look at friendly Nacho who loves a cuddle

A closer look at friendly Nacho who loves a cuddle

Jack Sparrow and Charlie are great mates

Jack Sparrow and Charlie are great mates

Jack Sparrow has amazing markings around his eyes

Jack Sparrow has amazing markings around his eyes

Handsome ginger-and-white Charlie

Handsome ginger-and-white Charlie

Carmella looking very snuggly in her bed

Carmella looking very snuggly in her bed

Maurice saying goodbye to puppy Zeva

Maurice saying goodbye to puppy Zeva

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Lovely Lino shows us his fine profile

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Hector always seems to have a smile on his face

Sammy is also a smiley fellow

Sammy is also a smiley fellow

Neo very eager for his walk…

Neo very eager for his walk…

…and relaxing in a spot in the shade

…and relaxing in a spot in the shade

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Randall enjoying the fresh air

A winsome look from cute kitty Willow

A winsome look from cute kitty Willow

We think Gulliver is well named — very alert, always exploring his bedroom, and doubtless ready to research his next trip!

We think Gulliver is well named — very alert, always exploring his bedroom, and doubtless ready to research his next trip!

Zavia is gaining in confidence and happy to have a little chat. We love the ginger detail on her head and nose!

Zavia is gaining in confidence and happy to have a little chat. We love the ginger detail on her head and nose!

Pretty hot out on our walk — Lino was glad to get back for a cool drink of water

Pretty hot out on our walk — Lino was glad to get back for a cool drink of water

Billie is very lively and finds it hard to stand still

Billie is very lively and finds it hard to stand still

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Judi is also a live wire. Here she is in the beautiful shady gardens of the Palazzo Bello

Demetris has 'cute' down to a T

Demetris has ‘cute’ down to a T