Portuguese reunions for Faith, Borat, Ruas and Yuna; and Fluffy, Alfie and Mia Bluebell join our trip

The first stop for Animalcouriers on reaching Portugal was to collect Fluffy the cat, who’s leaving Porto to join her owner Bruna in London. Fluffy has been in the tender care of her owner’s mama since Bruna left. Having already said goodbye to her youngest child and only daughter, mama was naturally very sad to be saying goodbye to Fluffy, too.

Then it was on to Aveiro to meet Sara at the Policlinica Veterinaria da Aveiro. Sara’s been looking after Alfie, who came to the clinic as a stray puppy. Luisa in England has been following his progress and decided to adopt him. Alfie’s been waiting a while to travel, as the clinic had to go through the lengthy process of organising a TRACES certificate for Alfie, Now, with everything in order, this handsome fellow is on his way to a very excited Luisa.

We then motored on to Entroncamento to collect pretty little Mia Bluebell. She’s off to join her owner Vera, who’s moved to London for work. Vera’s mum and grandmama were on hand to give Mia Bluebell a proper send-off.

At Lisbon airport we found a very excited Jorge, who was delighted to be reunited with his lovely dog Faith. And finally, mini Dachshund Borat, along with cats Ruas and Yuna, were reunited with Ines and Lina.

Bruna's brother Vitor was on hand to oversee Fluffy's departure

Bruna’s brother Vitor was on hand to oversee Fluffy’s departure

Fluffy was somewhat fed up at being roused from her afternoon nap!

Fluffy was somewhat fed up at being roused from her afternoon nap!

Very sad mama waving goodbye to Fluffy, who's so beautiful we can see why she'll be missed

Very sad mama waving goodbye to Fluffy, who’s so beautiful we can see why she’ll be missed

Alfie with Sara, who's been looking after him

Alfie with Sara, who’s been looking after him

Mia Bluebell with Vera's mum and grandma

Mia Bluebell with Vera’s mum and grandma

A very lively reunion for Jorge and Faith

A very lively reunion for Jorge and Faith

Smiles all round for Borat and Lina. Sorry Borat, you won't win the longest tongue competition with that effort!

Smiles all round for Borat and Lina. Sorry Borat, you won’t win the longest tongue competition with that effort!

Ruas and Yuna with Ines and Lina

Ruas and Yuna with Ines and Lina

Rapturous reunions for Aragon, Cigrunet, Bonnie and Charlie; and tasty treats in Spain

It was rather wet and snowy when Animalcouriers met up with Céline in the French town of Pontarlier, near the border with Switzerland, to deliver young Savannah cat Aragon to her. Within about an hour, Céline was in touch to say Aragon was already walking on a lead and had been out and about, exploring his new surroundings!

We then headed on south and spent the night just outside Narbonne. The next day, we continued into Spain, where our first stop was near Tarragona to reunite cute rabbit Cigrunet with Miriam, who was very pleased to see him.

Then it was on to Valencia to reunite beautiful silver tabby Bonnie with Sophie. Sophie has moved from Dorchester, having completed her training to teach English, and is very excited about entering this profession.

Our final delivery in Spain was lively Spaniel Charlie, whose owners have moved to a countryside idyll in Murcia. Charlie had stayed in kennels while Heather and her husband got their new home ready, and everyone was very pleased to be back together. Their new home is sandwiched between a goat farm, a pig farm and a turkey farm. There’s miles of lovely countryside for Charlie to run in — and no-one has far to go for goat’s cheese, milk, pork or a Christmas turkey! Heather wrote to say:

“Thank you for delivering Charlie safely to us, he seems really pleased to see us again, and loves the garden!”

Last night we stayed at the Parador in Ciudad Rodrigo, Salamanca — a secure hotel with good parking, panoramic views and quiet dog-walking areas, and one that offers good deals at this time of year. Today we’re continuing our journey into Portugal, where Borat, Yuna and Ruas, and Faith, will be reunited with their owners; and new passengers will board the bus.

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Very happy Céline with her handsome Aragon

 

Aragon out exploring his new surroundings

Aragon out exploring his new surroundings

Miriam delighted to have Cigrunet back in her arms

Miriam delighted to have Cigrunet back in her arms

A joyful reunion for Sophie and her cat Bonnie

A joyful reunion for Sophie and her cat Bonnie

A rapturous welcome home for Charlie from his owners

A rapturous welcome home for Charlie from his owners

Cuddles for Charlie from Heather

Cuddles for Charlie from Heather

Charlie all settled in on his favourite rug

Charlie all settled in on his favourite rug

Courier M enjoyed one of his favourite Spanish dishes at dinner last night — morcilla (a kind of black pudding)

Courier M enjoyed one of his favourite Spanish dishes at dinner last night — morcilla (a kind of black pudding)

Courier J preferred a different sort of pudding — 'chocolate in three textures'

Courier J preferred a different sort of pudding — ‘chocolate in three textures’

View over Ciudad Rodrigo from the parador parapet

View over Ciudad Rodrigo from the parador parapet

Borat seemed pretty taken with the outlook, too!

Borat seemed pretty taken with the outlook, too!

Faith too busy trying out for 'longest tongue' to admire the scenery

Faith too busy trying out for ‘longest tongue’ to admire the scenery

Lookout tower on the city wall — somewhere for a watchman to shelter. Little windows, so he could keep an eye out without losing one to an enemy arrow. And a hole in the floor — some kind of ancient sanitary fitting perhaps?

Lookout tower on the city wall — somewhere for a watchman to shelter. Little windows, so he could keep an eye out without losing one to an enemy arrow. And a hole in the floor — some kind of ancient sanitary fitting perhaps?

Courier M in a former life, perhaps?

Courier M in a former life, perhaps?

Orchids spotted on our morning walk

Orchids spotted on our morning walk

In for a closer look

In for a closer look

Fabulously bright spring colours

Fabulously bright spring colours

Charming daisy types

Charming daisy types

Almond trees in full blossom, despite the biting cold winds…

Almond trees in full blossom, despite the biting cold winds…

…and angry black-and-blue skies

…and angry black-and-blue skies

Jake, Bob, Minnie and Polly swap snowy Doncaster for sunny Australia

When Debra and family decided to head home to Australia, they were definitely not leaving their two dogs and two cats behind in the UK. These much loved pets are somewhat senior travellers — the cats, Polly and Minnie, are 15 and 14 years old respectively; and Bob the dog is also 14. Jake the terrier is quite the baby of the bunch at just seven years old.

Animalcouriers arranged their flights and the pets spent 10 days in quarantine at Eastern Creek, Sydney. From there they flew via Adelaide to Port Lincoln in South Australia, where the family has relocated.

Debra sent some photos of the pets at home and told us:

“All four animals arrived safe and well. They are all settling in to their new home. I cried when I saw them! Thank you so much for all your great planning and organising. You did a wonderful job and I will definitely recommend you. It is amazing to think they travelled from the other side of the world.”

Jake already has his paws under the table

Jake already has his paws under the table

Which dot shall I pounce on?

Which dot shall I pounce on?

Bob and feline chum getting the lay of the land

Bob and feline chum getting the lay of the land

Debra battled through snow as she went back and forth to the vet in the UK to sort out the final paperwork and parasite treatments. Two weeks later it was wall-to-wall sunshine for everyone, with a wonderful sea view across Spencer Gulf

Debra battled through snow as she went back and forth to the vet in the UK to sort out the final paperwork and parasite treatments. Two weeks later it was wall-to-wall sunshine for everyone, with a wonderful sea view across Spencer Gulf

Lovely Lolli reaches her new home in the UK with Sam

Sam adopted Lolli, a young puppy living at a shelter in the northern Spanish town of Tossa de Mar. Sam heard about Lolli from Kate, whose daughter Debbie lives in Tossa de Mar. Kate and Debbie work hard to help dogs from the shelter get adopted. They focus their efforts on one dog at a time, with Kate raising money near her home in the UK to pay for the dog’s passport, vaccinations and health check.

Animalcouriers were due to collect Lolli on a recent road trip that took in Spain, but it didn’t work out as some of her paperwork wasn’t ready. Sam was worried about Lolli missing out on some of the important socialisation that puppies need when they’re growing up, so pulled out all the stops to speed her journey. She even sent her son to accompany Lolli so that the shelter wouldn’t face the hurdle of getting a TRACES certificate.

Animalcouriers organised a flight for Lolli from Barcelona to the UK. Our colleagues at Traveldog collected Lolli from the shelter and homeboarded for a few nights, before driving her to the airport for her flight to the UK.

Pilar from Traveldog told us:

“Lolli is so nice! At the beginning very nervous and scared, now she is calm and very comfortable in her bedroom for these nights, already sleeping! Warm, fresh water, fresh air, nice meal and soft carpet. She really looks like she has always been here.”

Lolli arrived safely in the UK and was soon settled in at Sam’s home. Sam sent some photos and wrote to say:

“Thank you to all of you that have helped Lolli come home. It means a lot.”

Lolli homeboarding with Traveldog in Barcelona

Lolli homeboarding with Traveldog in Barcelona

Lolli snoozing after a yummy supper

Lolli snoozing after a yummy supper

Lolli soon settles in at Sam's

Lolli soon settles in at Sam’s

Such a smart and comfy bed!

Lolli looks like she knows where home is

Lolli looks like she knows where home is

Peabody meets John; Daisy meets Sarah; and Snoopy, Billie and Charlie are welcomed home

Mini Bull Terrier Peabody (aka Boy) travelled with Animalcouriers from Greece to the UK to take part in Crufts. When he met John for the first time, Peabody stood his ground. But once John spoke to him in Greek, there was a complete transformation. Wagging his tail, Peabody leapt with excitement and threw himself at John!

Meanwhile Daisy, who came from the Filozoikos Shelter in Athens, arrived at her new home with Sarah, an old friend of the shelter. This lovely dog grew in confidence during the course of the trip and has quickly settled in to her UK home. Sarah sent some lovely photos and wrote to say:

“Thank you for bringing Daisy safely over. She will be just fine and is already wagging her tail!”

We also reunited Dalmatian Snoopy and his cat companions Billie and Charlie with their owners. These three amigos travelled with us from Toulouse in France and received a rapturous welcome at their Bristol home. The cats will remember it well, as they lived here before the family moved to France, but it’s all new for Snoopy. He’s such a self-assured chap, we’re sure he’ll soon put his Gallic charm to work and win over many hearts.

Peabody very happy to be hugged by John

Peabody very happy to be hugged by John

Daisy very happy on her first meeting with Sarah

Daisy very happy on her first meeting with Sarah

Daisy settled in within minutes

Daisy settled in within minutes

Daisy with a new toy

Daisy with a new toy

Daisy ready to play

Daisy ready to play

And she's off!

And she’s off!

Snoopy at home with Alison and her husband

Snoopy at home with Alison and her husband

Rigsby takes off for sun, sea and sand in Cyprus, while young JR heads to his new home in Los Angeles

Animalcouriers arranged for handsome 13-year-old hound Rigsby to fly to Northern Cyprus. He took off from Manchester in the snow, and arrived in wonderful Cypriot sunshine. His owners report that he was beside himself with joy on being reunited with them — “his whole body wagged and wagged!” said Suzanna, adding:

“Thank you again for helping us bring Rigsby over to Cyprus for his retirement. You can see from the photos how much he is enjoying his new life.”

We also organised for gorgeous young lop-eared rabbit JR to fly from the UK to Los Angeles. Just 12 weeks old, he’s already the size of a standard adult lop! That’s because he’s no ordinary baby: he’s the son of Darius, the world’s largest rabbit.

JR has gone to live with Angela, who runs The Bunny Hutch, an animal welfare and educational charity. Last year we arranged a flight for Hutch, another of Darius’s offspring, but very sadly he died just after Christmas from viral meningitis. Angela was devastated by the loss, so we hope JR will bring some comfort.

Rigsby loves playing in the sea…

Rigsby loves playing in the sea…

…and relaxing on the sand in the sun

…and relaxing on the sand in the sun

JR alongside his record-breaking dad Darius

JR alongside his record-breaking dad Darius

A good look at JR's splendid ears

A good look at JR’s splendid ears

JR catches a few rays before hopping on board for his trip to the airport

JR catches a few rays before hopping on board for his trip to the airport

Limpet joins us in Nice; Snoopy, Billy and Charlie get on board in Toulouse

As Animalcouriers headed through Italy from Ancona towards Genoa, we found ourselves passing lots of heavy snow deposits. Concerned at the amount of snow around, we decided to keep going until we’d got past it all to avoid any holdups. So it was into the wee small hours when we reached the southern French city of Nice, and found our hotel next to the airport. The hotel kindly ‘impounded’ our van in their secure staff car park while we and our passengers got some well deserved rest.

We woke to a cool but beautiful morning and, once walks and breakfasts were done, we went to meet Graham in Nice. His fantastically named cat Limpet has joined us for his journey to Elgin in Scotland, where Graham’s brother is looking forward to welcoming him.

From Nice we continued west to the Narbonne area where we spent the night with friends. This morning saw us in Toulouse where we collected handsome Dalmation Snoopy and his feline companions Billy and Charlie. These three firm friends are relocating to Bristol, where their owners’ work with Airbus has taken them.

Snowy scenes in Italy persuaded us to keep motoring

Snowy scenes in Italy persuaded us to keep motoring

View over Nice airport yesterday morning

View over Nice airport yesterday morning

Graham brings us Limpet

Graham brings us Limpet

Limpet having a good look around

Limpet having a good look around

Poppi and Philomena are taking travelling in their stride

Poppi and Philomena are taking travelling in their stride

Narla is such an affectionate, fubsy cat — a female ginger which is quite a rarity

Narla is such an affectionate, fubsy cat — a female ginger which is quite a rarity

We stopped at the Eco'park in Mougins where we spent a very pleasant time walking the dogs. Robbie seemed particularly taken with the congenial surroundings.

We stopped at the Eco’park in Mougins where we spent a very pleasant time walking the dogs. Robbie seemed particularly taken with the congenial surroundings.

Silva is a soft, bouncy and cuddly girl

Silva is a soft, bouncy and cuddly girl

Daisy loves to feel the grass between her toes

Daisy loves to feel the grass between her toes

Pretty Minou is a very dainty girl

Pretty Minou is a very dainty girl

Now that Louis has had a chance to get used to us, he's keen to show us how much he likes playing

Now that Louis has had a chance to get used to us, he’s keen to show us how much he likes playing

Peabody, know by his family as 'Boy', is another very playful character. In his case, it's mainly footie with his water bowl. We can hear banging and thumping as he scores heroic goals!

Peabody, know by his family as ‘Boy’, is another very playful character. In his case, it’s mainly footie with his water bowl. We can hear banging and thumping as he scores heroic goals!

Lady having the sort of bad hair day that Cockers sometimes do

Lady having the sort of bad hair day that Cockers sometimes do

Lady was a little nervous out walking on the first day, but now it's all 'come on, Fidel, I'll show you the way!'

Lady was a little nervous out walking on the first day, but now it’s all ‘come on, Fidel, I’ll show you the way!’

And Fidel is happy to oblige

And Fidel is happy to oblige

Billie checking us out on our arrival in Toulouse

Billie checking us out on our arrival in Toulouse

Snoopy with Nic, who handed him and the cats to us on behalf of Alison

Snoopy with Nic, who handed him and the cats to us on behalf of Alison

Snoopy shows us his best camera pose

Snoopy shows us his best camera pose

Charlie is a very chilled-out girl who settled in like a pro

Charlie is a very chilled-out girl who settled in like a pro

Leaving Malta with a family of seven cats and three mice

After a night of worrying whether or not our boat would be able to sail from Malta to Sicily, we were relieved to reach the port and find that the container ship we were booked on was indeed scheduled to leave.

On board with us were seven cats and three mice belonging to Julie, who works for Defra, and Colin, who designs video games. The couple arrived in Malta last year from Grimsby with three cats and three mice. Black-and-white mouse Jasmine and silver mouse Pearl were destined to be snake food before Julie rescued them. Brown mouse Bud was a wild mouse rescued from the jaws of Meo the cat — Bud stayed on with the family after convalescing.

Living next to a field in Malta, Julie and Colin were soon adopted by a family of seven more cats! When the time came to return to the UK, Julie would have brought all of them with her, but felt that three of the kittens were simply too feral to make the move. So she went to great lengths to introduce them into an outdoor cat colony, which worked out very well. So travelling with us are the three mice, the three original UK cats, and four Maltese cats: mum Grace and her three kittens.

Julie realised how easy it is to become involved with the cats on Malta. If she and Colin had stayed longer, she was planning to work as a volunteer with the colonies. The strays we saw and blogged about in our last post all looked remarkably healthy — unlike some of the places we visit, there seems to be quite a lot of harmony between the cats and the local community.

At the port we were once again amazed at how pets can be a great leveller. A very strict-looking port official checking our van broke into a huge smile when he saw our cargo of cats. ‘I have 11 cats,’ he told us, and proceeded to make cooing sounds and pretend tickles with his fingers. He was clearly hoping we’d open the compartments so he could give them all a cuddle!

From Sicily we crossed to the Italian mainland and headed to Bari, where we met up with courier M2. He took charge of Julie and Colin’s family to speed their journey to Nottingham in the UK, while couriers J and M continue towards Greece.

Waiting to board the boat to Sicily

Waiting to board the boat to Sicily

Our cat-loving port official

Our cat-loving port official

Julie saying 'au revoir' to her cats

Julie saying ‘au revoir’ to her cats

Pretty Grace, the kittens' mum

Pretty Grace, the kittens’ mum

Sam who has a cute black spot on her nose

Sam who has a cute black spot on her nose

Dave

Dave

Cleo

Cleo

Dave and Cleo snuggled up together

Dave and Cleo snuggled up together

Shy Meo finally popped out to say hello

Syd and Chockie simply didn't want to know at first…

Syd and Chockie simply didn’t want to know at first…

…but finally emerged to show us how gorgeous they are

…but finally emerged to show us how gorgeous they are

Jasmine, representing the mouse contingent

Daisy, Bella, Porscha, Le Roi, Mr Jinks, Tallulah and Ellie Mae swap Ireland for France

This family of three dogs and four Maine Coon cats, nicknamed the ‘fabulous furries’ by courier S, arrived at their new French home in Brittany yesterday.

Their journey started in Mooncoin, in Ireland, where Animalcouriers collected them 10 days ago. They stopped over at Burntwood Kennels in Surrey, before undertaking the second leg of their trip to France.

Their owners took the 24-hour ferry from Dublin to France in very rough seas, poor things. Meanwhile, their pets took the shorter (and calmer) crossing from Dover to Calais and travelled on to Brittany by road.

Daisy, a beautiful Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, snored her way through the journey, completely at ease on her big adventure

Daisy, a beautiful Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, snored her way through the journey, completely at ease on her big adventure

In maternal mode, lovely Newfoundland Bella made sure the rest of the family were all settled and happy before allowing herself to completely relax

In maternal mode, lovely Newfoundland Bella made sure the rest of the family were all settled and happy before allowing herself to completely relax

Le Roi and Mr Jinks giving courier S a rather dark brown look!

Le Roi and Mr Jinks giving courier S a rather dark brown look!

All four cats are breathtakingly beautiful

All four cats are breathtakingly beautiful

Even the customs officers at the border were struck by their exceptional looks

Even the customs officers at the border were struck by their exceptional looks

Reunion in France for two big girls and their dad

Reunion in France for two big girls and their dad

The Newfoundland is a magnificent breed — here's Porscha who, like Bella, weighs in at over 80 kilos. Porscha is both a live wire and gentle and obedient as a lamb — and clearly delighted to be reunited with her dad

The Newfoundland is a magnificent breed — here’s Porscha who, like Bella, weighs in at over 80 kilos. Porscha is both a live wire and gentle and obedient as a lamb — and clearly delighted to be reunited with her dad

Meet Felipe, Lugotti, Pere, Vella and Thor from Spain

With all our passengers from Portugal on board, Animalcouriers crossed the border into Spain and headed to Madrid. We met up with Aurelia to collect a very happy and bouncy young Felipe. Felipe travelled with us last month to spend Christmas in Madrid with all the family. His owners, Sergio and Barbara, are already back in London and are anxiously awaiting his arrival. Aurelia tells us everyone had a lovely festive time, and Felipe clearly agrees.

From Madrid we headed to Tarragona to collect Chihuahua Lugotti, who’s relocating with his owners to Middlesex in the UK. Both his dads and their friend came to see him safely on his way.

We then drove up the coast to Barcelona to meet Katy and her cats Pere and Vella. Katy and her husband are both artists who split their time between Spain and Sussex for work reasons. Katy and the cats are now off for an extended stay in Sussex so that all the family can be together for a while.

It was then just another hour or so to Blanes to collect German Shepherd Dog Thor. His owner David is already in Southampton, and ‘granddad’ Rafa has been taking care of Thor in the meantime. David tells us he’s very much looking forward to being reunited with his dog.

Felipe with his 'grandma' Aurelia

Felipe with his ‘grandma’ Aurelia

Lugotti gets a proper send-off from Argus, Antonio and Paul

Lugotti gets a proper send-off from Argus, Antonio and Paul

Lugotti quickly settles in to his compartment for the journey

Lugotti quickly settles in to his compartment for the journey

Katy with Vella and Pere in the January sunshine

Katy with Vella and Pere in the January sunshine

Beautiful Vella — it's hard to believe she's a venerable lady of 14!

Beautiful Vella — it’s hard to believe she’s a venerable lady of 14!

Pere is a handsome younger tabby

Pere is a handsome younger tabby

Katy tells her cats, goodbye and be good!

Katy tells her cats, goodbye and be good!

Thor with Rafa, who as you can see was keen for Thor to sit still for his photo!

Thor with Rafa, who as you can see was keen for Thor to sit still for his photo!

Quite the seasoned traveller by now, mini-Pinscher Blue takes his van-guarding and new-passenger-greeting duties very seriously

Quite the seasoned traveller by now, mini-Pinscher Blue takes his van-guarding and new-passenger-greeting duties very seriously