Channel hopping with Jimmie, Millie, Ellis, Dooby, Lluvia and Mikey

While couriers J and M completed their return trip from Portugal to the UK, courier Mike was kept busy with a number of short hops across the channel.

Meryl’s cats Jimmie and Millie were due to join an earlier trip from the UK to France, but a problem with their passports meant their travel was delayed. They stayed at a cattery while their owners went on ahead. Once the passports were sorted, Courier Mike collected them from East Sussex and drove them to their new home in the Lot.

Amanda contacted Animalcouriers as she was struggling to get herself and her Persian cat Ellis home to London. She was flying with Air France flight from Canada to Paris, but needed help to make the final leg of the trip to the UK. Courier Mike collected them when they touched down in the early morning at Charles de Gaulle, and drove them to London via Eurotunnel. Amanda wrote to say:

“Thanks for all your help. It’s been a long day, but Mike was fantastic. I spoke with a lot of couriers and what stood out for me about you guys was your communication — it made me feel confident.”

Anna and her three dogs, Dooby, Lluvia and Mikey, flew from Chile to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport — quite a daunting undertaking. There’s the paperwork to sort, getting to the departure airport, checking the dogs in, then arriving tired and jet-lagged to start the entry process into the EU.

Courier Mike met them at the airport and together with Anna got the dogs and their travel boxes, plus luggage, on board. Then it was a nail-biting time at Eurotunnel as the paperwork from Chile was checked. Fortunately all was well, and Anna and her three hounds are now home in Margate. Anna wrote to say:

“I want to thank you and your amazing team for your wonderful service. Courier Mike was waiting at the airport for me, a sight for sore eyes! I have nothing but praise for him — helpful, courteous, knowledgeable about the whole process, reassuring, excellent with the dogs and an all-round star! He delivered us all safe and sound and made the last leg of a tedious and worrying journey an absolute pleasure! The dogs are all happily settled in our new home and are peacefully sleeping right now.”

Meryl and her husband oversee Jimmie and Millie's arrival

Meryl and her husband oversee Jimmie and Millie’s arrival

Out pops one cat…

Out pops one cat…

…and the next, both ready to start exploring their new environment

…and the next, both ready to start exploring their new environment

Amanda at home with Ellis in London

Amanda at home with Ellis in London

Anna's dogs stretch their legs in France after flying in from Chile

Anna’s dogs stretch their legs in France after flying in from Chile

Anna at home in Margate with (L to R) Lluvia, Mikey and Dooby

Anna at home in Margate with (L to R) Lluvia, Mikey and Dooby

Elspeth and Odie get on board in Spain; Jack and Ernie join us in France

Animalcouriers stopped in Valencia and had lovely evening beach walks with the dogs. The next day, we continued north towards France, stopping in Barcelona to collect Donnata’s rabbit Elspeth. Donnata is moving to Scotland to work, and was very concerned to make sure Elspeth could go too. So Elspeth is travelling with us, and will homeboard with us in Surrey for a little while, so that Donnata can get to Scotland without worrying about her. We’ll meet up with Donnata in a few weeks’ time for a handover.

In the Girona area we called in to collect Odie at a dog pound in Tossa de Mar. Kate, who lives in Sussex in the UK, is a good friend to these dogs, raising funds for them and finding them new homes. Sensibly she focuses on one dog at a time, at a rate of about one a month. Her daughter lives in Tossa de Mar and is also closely involved. Odie is the latest lucky dog to have been found a new home in the UK.

Last night we stayed near Narbonne, where we hooked up with Jack Russell Jack and Pug Ernie, both of whom are on their way to rejoin their families in the UK.

Freddi and Moma on their way to the beach

Freddi and Moma on their way to the beach

Moma loved the beach — she wanted to run and dash about, but unfortunately we didn't have a long enough lead!

Moma loved the beach — she wanted to run and dash about, but unfortunately we didn’t have a long enough lead!

Moma with her ears up, doing her best impression of a Pharaoh Hound

Moma with her ears up, doing her best impression of a Pharaoh Hound

Freddi would like to be picked up please!

Freddi would like to be picked up please!

Baldrick and Holly were noses to the ground, drinking in all the new smells

Baldrick and Holly were noses to the ground, drinking in all the new smells

Zoillo spotted something in the surf he really wanted to play with

Zoillo spotted something in the surf he really wanted to play with

Rafa spotted it too, and was equally fascinated

Rafa spotted it too, and was equally fascinated

Cute rabbit Elspeth got on board in Barcelona

Cute rabbit Elspeth got on board in Barcelona

Odie enjoying a walk in the evening sunshine in France

Odie enjoying a walk in the evening sunshine in France

Lovely Jack joined our trip in the south of France

Lovely Jack joined our trip in the south of France

Jack and Odie say hello

Jack and Odie say hello

Ernie at the vet, waiting for his parasite treatment. Spot the natty accessory no self-respecting pug should be without!

Ernie at the vet, waiting for his parasite treatment. Spot the natty accessory no self-respecting pug should be without!

Inscrutable Q, very self contained

Inscrutable Q, very self contained

Mieow Mieow shows his handsome face at last!

Mieow Mieow shows his handsome face at last!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…and wild flowers in all directions…

…and wild flowers in all directions…

…and all colours

…and all colours

Wild grasses blooming in the Spanish sun

Wild grasses blooming in the Spanish sun

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

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

Fun-loving Freddi gets settled in to his compartment

Fun-loving Freddi gets settled in to his compartment

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

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

Gary says goodbye to Holly and Baldrick

Gary says goodbye to Holly and Baldrick

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

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

Gorgeous Whippet Moma

Gorgeous Whippet Moma

Clever Q cooking up the next gadget for agent 007

Clever Q cooking up the next gadget for agent 007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rosemary with her handsome hound Rafa

Rosemary with her handsome hound Rafa

Rafa all ready for the off

Rafa all ready for the off

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mark with Meiow Meiow and Ziollo

Mark with Meiow Meiow and Ziollo

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

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

Kirstie says goodbye to Meiow Meiow

Kirstie says goodbye to Meiow Meiow

Ziollo is a real smiler

 

Margot with Q outside their apartment block

Margot with Q outside their apartment block

The name's Q…

The name’s Q…

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

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

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

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

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

Happy reunions in Spain for Baby, Byron, Pluto, Mr Bojangles, PJ, Belle, Arfa and Poppy

After spending the night near Narbonne, Animalcouriers crossed the border into Spain where our first stop was to deliver gorgeous ginger tabby cat Baby in Barcelona. Then it was on to Madrid to reunite chatty grey cat Byron and Basset Hound Pluto with their respective owners.

In Arroyo de la Miel, we reunited Clare with her beloved black-and-white cat Mr Bojangles.

On the Mijas Costa, there was much excitement and dashing about when we delivered Westies PJ and Belle to their family. Grandma Ann, who’d seen them off in Aberdeenshire, was on hand to complete the circle.

There was the usual exuberant reunion between Matt and Arfa. We’re never quite sure who is more excited — man or dog! Arfa had a terrible start in life, and it’s amazing to see the bond between him and his devoted family.

And on the Spanish side of the border with Gibraltar, we handed long-haired black-and-white puss Poppy to Vic and Andy. Vic is a dental nurse in the navy and, when the couple moved to Gibraltar, they left Poppy with friends in Plymouth, thinking she wouldn’t welcome the move. But clever Poppy made it her business not to settle down, so Vic and Andy had no choice about arranging for her to move and join them.

Baby safely delivered into the welcoming arms of family members

Baby safely delivered into the welcoming arms of family members

Byron's owner delighted to have him back with her in Madrid

Byron’s owner delighted to have him back with her in Madrid

Emilio celebrating Pluto's arrival

Emilio celebrating Pluto’s arrival

A big smile from Clare on being reunited with Mr Bojangles

A big smile from Clare on being reunited with Mr Bojangles

Super cute Belle

Super cute Belle

PJ makes a late entry into the 'longest tongue' competition

PJ makes a late entry into the ‘longest tongue’ competition

After an initial dash about, we managed to get everyone into the photo when PJ and Belle were reunited with their family. The sunny skies are somewhat different from their departure point in Aberdeenshire!

After an initial dash about, we managed to get everyone into the photo when PJ and Belle were reunited with their family. The sunny skies are somewhat different from their departure point in Aberdeenshire!

Matt thrilled to have Arfa back in his arms

Matt thrilled to have Arfa back in his arms

Vic and Andy welcoming Poppy to Gibraltar

Vic and Andy welcoming Poppy to Gibraltar

Apparently, no modern Spanish wedding is complete without a balloon bride

Apparently, no modern Spanish wedding is complete without a balloon bride

A novel interpretation of a treehouse!

A novel interpretation of a treehouse!

A French reunion for Scrumpy, Sirius and Throttle

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

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

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

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

Big hugs on arrival for Sirius

Big hugs on arrival for Sirius

Scrumpy getting to know her new environment

Scrumpy getting to know her new environment

Looks like Throttle can hardly wait to start exploring outside

Looks like Throttle can hardly wait to start exploring outside

Sweet Baby, who'll reach her Barcelona home today

Sweet Baby, who’ll reach her Barcelona home today

Lovely Poppy is really coming out of her shell

Lovely Poppy is really coming out of her shell

Mr Bojangles loves a chat and a fuss…

Mr Bojangles loves a chat and a fuss…

…as does Byron — a very insistent paw!

…as does Byron — a very insistent paw!

PJ and Belle enjoying a walk by the vineyard

PJ and Belle enjoying a walk by the vineyard

Pluto shows off his magnificent ears

Pluto shows off his magnificent ears

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

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

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

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

Rescue dogs and cats: why they can’t currently leave Greece

The EU uses an electronic system called TRACES to legally and reliably track the movement of pets being rehomed from one EU country to another.

At the moment, however, the Greek government won’t issue TRACES certificates.

This means that Animalcouriers can’t currently transport cats and dogs from rescue centres in Greece on behalf of adopters in the UK or any other EU country. (We can, however, transport pets who are relocating with their existing owners from Greece and have valid pet passports.)

For the time being, if you want to adopt a rescue animal from Greece, you have to go to Greece yourself and accompany your adopted pet out of the country. (That’s what Hans and Erica, the Dutch couple who adopted Greek rescue dog Danai, did.)

We (and many others) hope that this just a temporary measure and that the certificates will soon be available again. After all, they are an EU directive and all member states should fall in line — including Greece.

Danai with Erica in the Netherlands

Danai with Erica in the Netherlands

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dolly meeting resident cat Lucky

Dolly meeting resident cat Lucky

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

 

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

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

PJ shows us his cute button nose

PJ shows us his cute button nose

Teko (L) and tricolour Lola (R)

Teko (L) and tricolour Lola (R)

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

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

No, not Dutch tulips — Scottish daffodils!

No, not Dutch tulips — Scottish daffodils!

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

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

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

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

Gorgeous ginger lion Aslan

Gorgeous ginger lion Aslan

Pretty tortie Boo

Pretty tortie Boo

Lovely ginger-and-white Pepper

Lovely ginger-and-white Pepper

Handsome black-and-white Scat

Handsome black-and-white Scat

Snuggly black-and-white Mia

Snuggly black-and-white Mia

Slinky black Kara

Slinky black Kara

Handsome Omar relaxing in the evening sun

Handsome Omar relaxing in the evening sun

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

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

Close-up on young pup Dolly

Close-up on young pup Dolly

Taking off from the UK for Australia: Doodledogs Bella and Louie, and Timmy the cat

Animalcouriers recently arranged for lovely Labradoodle Louie and beautiful Goldendoodle Bella to fly to Perth, Australia from East Sussex.

Their owners had to return to Australia before the dogs were eligible to enter the country. Dogs must have a series of blood tests before travelling to Australia, including one for rabies at least 180 days before the date of travel.

So Bella and Louie stayed for six months at the wonderfully named Slugwash Kennels & Cattery near Haywards Heath, while Coastway Vets took care of the blood tests and treatments, and Animalcouriers arranged the paperwork and flights.

Bella and Louie flew with Thai via Bangkok to Sydney. After 10 days in quarantine at the Eastern Creek Quarantine Kennels, they completed the final leg of their journey to Perth. Jetpets collected Bella and Louie from the kennels and checked them in for the final flight to Perth.

Owner Tania wrote to say:

“Bella & Louie arrived safely. They were both in good spirits & clearly glad to be home — running around the garden, rolling on the grass & remembering all the smells of home! So good to have them home!!”

We also arranged for gorgeous green-eyed black-and-white cat Timmy to fly to Sydney to rejoin her owner, Breda. Timmy is named after the dog in the ‘Famous Five’ adventures by Enid Blyton. Breda was so pleased when Timmy could finally join her, telling us:

“Thank you so much for looking after Timmy, she is here and loving it!”

A note about Eastern Creek Quarantine Kennels, where Louie and Bella stayed: DAFF (the Australian Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries) recently announced that these kennels in Sydney are closing. So after 16 October 2015, dogs and cats will have to fly in to Melbourne to stay at the new quarantine facility at Mickleham Victoria.

Bella and Louie happy at their new home in Perth

Bella and Louie happy at their new home in Perth

Timmy looking very comfortable indeed, at home with Breda in Sydney!

Timmy looking very comfortable indeed, at home with Breda in Sydney!