News of recent passengers, and Christmas comes early for Mal

Ian, Jackie and Mal have all been in touch recently with updates about their dogs and cats who travelled with Animalcouriers on recent road trips.

But first, here’s a reunion between tortoise Max, who travelled with us from Zurich, and homeboarded with us until Jim and his son James could call in and collect him.

Little Max has a beautiful shell

Little Max has a beautiful shell

A cuddle for Max, to show how much they missed him

A cuddle for Max, to show how much they missed him

Dexter was a holiday romance, adopted by Ian and Pat on the Greek island of Lesvos. Rebecca from Lesvos Stray Dog and Cat Adoptions took care of Dexter until he could travel to the UK.

Life continues to be a hard struggle for Dexter — not! says Ian. Dexter is now part of a three-dog household, living with Nell and Honor.

Life continues to be a hard struggle for Dexter — not! says Ian. Dexter is now part of a three-dog household, living with Nell and Honor.

Dogs Tina and Fizzy, and cats Panda and Chiki, travelled with us from Gandesa in Spain to join Jackie at the new family home in Cumbria. Jackie wrote to say:

“I would like to thank you and your great team for the safe arrival of my family. The gang are settling in beautifully. Tina has claimed the chair, Panda and Chiki the settee, with a limited amount of space for Fizzy at one end and me at the other. Tina and Fizzy also soon established their claim to the bed.”

Tina on the chair

Tina on the chair

Chiki and Panda on the settee

Chiki and Panda on the settee

…leaving just enough room for Fizzy at the end

…leaving just enough room for Fizzy at the end

Tina and Fizzy on the bed

Tina and Fizzy on the bed

And finally, good news from Mal, whose 22 cats and two birds relocated with Animalcouriers from the Lot-et-Garonne in France to Lincolnshire. When we delivered Mal’s pets in early November, the cattery was just being finished off. Unfortunately, a small part of the roof wasn’t completely secure, and Brandy managed to squeeze his way out and made a run for it.

Mal went looking for Brandy in the fields every day, and set a trap in the woods as someone told her they’d seen him there. Finally, a few night ago, Mal heard a loud meow in her garden, and went outside to look. Mal picks up the story:

“I went outside and kept hearing the meowing sound, went around the garden for half an hour, calling Brandy, but thought 100 to 1 against it would actually be him. Then I got a look and it was Brandy! It took another 15 minutes to get near him and grab him. He struggled, but I held on for dear life as I wasn’t losing him again. He was thin and tired but when I put him in the outside run, he still tried to climb up the wire. I got him down, wrapped him in a blanked, then gave him a little food. The next day I wormed him and treated him for fleas before putting him back in with Soda. I’m so happy to have him back. It’s been seven weeks and I feel so much better now he is back.”

Brandy safely home — and here are a few of his 21 feline chums…

Brandy safely home — and here are a few of his 21 feline chums…

All stretched out

All stretched out

Black-and-white babies

Black-and-white babies

Plenty of climbing opportunities

Plenty of climbing opportunities

And that just leaves us to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and all the very best for 2016 — thank you for keeping us such great company on the road!

We’re planning a bit of fun in the new year so please be sure to keep an eye out for our next post…

Fred and Betty swap Zurich for Chiswick

While courier J flew to Athens to meet Milou and Buddy, courier M drove to Switzerland to collect Yana and Stefano’s beloved (big) dogs.

Fred is a Dogue de Bordeaux and Betty Boop is a Great Dane. Both are very friendly and love people, as courier M discovered when he received a rapturous greeting!

The dogs originally moved with their owners from Italy to Switzerland, and now work is taking them to the UK.

Betty has a fine head

Betty has a fine head

Fred has wonderful wrinkles

Fred has wonderful wrinkles

Betty enjoys a walk…

Betty enjoys a walk…

…as does Fred

…as does Fred

Fred considering a 'longest tongue' bid

Fred considering a ‘longest tongue’ bid

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

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

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

Dexter’s owner Ian wrote to say:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Courier Rickie with Niko, just before setting off

Courier Rickie with Niko, just before setting off

Dexter making himself at home

Dexter making himself at home

Dexter throwing up a few zeds

Dexter throwing up a few zeds

Niko gets a very warm welcome at his new home

Niko gets a very warm welcome at his new home

What a fuzzy fellow he is!

What a fuzzy fellow he is!

Niko all tuckered out

Niko all tuckered out

Lilly on her favourite bed

Lilly on her favourite bed

Lilly exploring her temporary home

Lilly exploring her temporary home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

… and here's Bella

… and here’s Bella

And here's Wendy with Bear and Hercules

And here’s Wendy with Bear and Hercules

Lucy with a new friend at Wendy's house

Lucy with a new friend at Wendy’s house

Heading through autumnal Swiss landscapes as we make for the UK

Animalcouriers continued north towards the UK, stopping off at Lake Lucerne in Switzerland, which is a super place to walk dogs. As well as lots of new smells to enjoy, there were plenty of waterbird cries to attract their attention.

We then continued on through France, and spent four hours getting through all the layers of security at the port before we could board our ferry to Dover. Once we reach the UK, our passengers will head off in different directions with various couriers, to be reunited with their families.

It’s been quite a challenging trip in some ways, especially at the Greek end. Greece was already being torn apart by its own financial and social issues, and the situation is now compounded by the humanitarian crisis that sees thousands of refugees arriving on Lesvos and nearby islands every day. Reeling under the pressure of it all, Greek ferry and transport workers stage 24-hour flash strikes, which add to the chaos.

As we left Athens on Saturday, crowds of people were picketing the toll booths. When we pulled up to pay, a scared-looking attendant just waved us through. At Igoumenitsa port, it was peaceful, but we later heard that the long delay to our boat was caused by an intensive search for suspected stowaways. We never felt personally threatened — the crowds were generally quiet and orderly, and we always have the tightest security around our van at all times.

Lake Lucerne, where the dogs enjoyed autumnal walks

Lake Lucerne, where the dogs enjoyed autumnal walks

These sheep came to greet us as we walked dogs by the side of Lake Lucerne. As you probably know, they provide the blue milk which is traditionally used to create the blue veins in various types of Swiss blue cheese. They're also shorn annually to provide the knitting wool for smurf hats.

These sheep came to greet us as we walked dogs by the side of Lake Lucerne. As you probably know, they provide the blue milk which is traditionally used to create the blue veins in various types of Swiss blue cheese. They’re also shorn annually to provide the knitting wool for smurf hats.

What's that? wonders Jacq, as he catches sight of the blue sheep…

What’s that? wonders Jacq, as he catches sight of the blue sheep…

…and wanders towards them for a better look

…and wanders towards them for a better look

Niko went up close and personal…

Niko went up close and personal…

…then got distracted by waterbirds flying overhead

…then got distracted by waterbirds flying overhead

Sugar poses in the autumn leaves

Sugar poses in the autumn leaves

Dexter looks for yet more love from courier M

Dexter looks for yet more love from courier M

Look into my eyes, says Lucy. Willingly! say we.

Look into my eyes, says Lucy. Willingly! say we.

Souki and Diego, a very relaxed pair, exchange friendly greetings with Berti

Souki and Diego, a very relaxed pair, exchange friendly greetings with Berti

 

Pretty Carrie, one of Carol's cats, is a rather shy girl, but she showed her face at teatime!

Pretty Carrie, one of Carol’s cats, is a rather shy girl, but she showed her face at teatime!

Young ospreys travel from Scotland to Spain and Switzerland

In 2013 and 2014 Animalcouriers helped to organise the transfer of osprey chicks from Scotland to Spain. This year we were very pleased to be asked to help again with this important and interesting osprey conservation project.

In July, Roy Dennis of the Highland Foundation for Wildlife in Scotland, and Dr Aitor Galarza of Urdabai Bird Center near Bilbao, organised the transfer of 13 osprey chicks to the centre. The birds flew with BA from Aberdeen to Madrid via London Heathrow.

Roy is also involved in a new project to reintroduce ospreys to Switzerland, about 100 years after the last breeding osprey was seen there. Ospreys continue being seen regularly (though in very small quantity) passing through Switzerland during their migration, but the last actual breeding pair of the species was back in 1914. Roy worked with Wendy Strahm from Projet Balbuzard/Nos Oiseaux to mastermind the move of six ospreys from Aberdeen to Geneva. Animalcouriers arranged the flights with BA from Aberdeen to Geneva via London Heathrow. The six young birds spent the night at the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre before continuing their journey to Switzerland.

A mountain of paperwork was involved. Because Switzerland isn’t part of the EU, CITES export and import certificates were needed. Roy also had to arrange special licences to capture the birds from the wild. As with all CITES movements in and out of the EU, special customs clearance was also needed, but this couldn’t be done until after the birds were checked in at Aberdeen, so it was all rather nailbiting as the period between checking the birds in and loading them was quite short. Then we had to stop biting our nails and instead cross our fingers that there wouldn’t be any computer glitches to interfere with the HMRC centre at Salford granting the OK. Thankfully all went well and the birds went on their way without delay.

One of the young birds in the aviary shortly after arriving (photo © Denis Landenbergue from the Projet Balbuzard website: http://www.balbuzards.ch/en/

One of the young birds in the aviary shortly after arriving (photo © Denis Landenbergue from the Projet Balbuzard website: www.balbuzards.ch/en/

Swiss TV coverage (in French) of the birds’ arrival. Their aviary was built at at Swiss prison surrounded by 350 hectares of agricultural land which is inaccessible to the general public. This ensures the birds will have all the peace and quiet they need to settle in once they’re released from the aviary.

We reach Italy where Leo gets on board; then Alfredo joins us in Germany

Animalcouriers took the ferry from Greece to Italy and spent the night in Bologna. The next morning we headed to the Milan area to collect Leo. This handsome cat belongs to Delia, who moved to England a short while ago and has now been able to send for Leo to join her. We met Delia’s mother Sebastiana and her brother Joseph (who’s looking forward to practising his English in England), along with Massimo who carried Leo out from their apartment to our van.

From Italy we headed to Switzerland and spent the night at one of our favourite places, the Eden Hotel in Sisikon, where we enjoyed taking a bit of time out to explore while walking the dogs.

Today we drove to the German city of Stuttgart to collect Corgi cross Alfredo. Carolyn adopted him off the streets in Spain many moons ago, and they subsequently moved to Germany. Now Carolyn has relocated to the UK, and Alfredo is on his way to join her.

We’re now getting close to the end of our journey, and expect to be back in the UK tomorrow.

The staff at the hotel in Bologna were friendly and helpful. After filling up our water containers for us, the nice barman gave Vali a wave…

The staff at the hotel in Bologna were friendly and helpful. After filling up our water containers for us, the nice barman gave Vali a wave…

…He asked her how she was and how the journey was going

…He asked her how she was and how the journey was going

Sebastiana, Massimo and Joseph bring us Delia's cat Leo

Sebastiana, Massimo and Joseph bring us Delia’s cat Leo

A closer look at handsome Leo

A closer look at handsome Leo

What big eyes you have, Leo!

What big eyes you have, Leo!

Even the snails in Italy are effortlessly stylish!

Even the snails in Italy are effortlessly stylish!

The Eden Hotel in Sisikon

The Eden Hotel in Sisikon

A fast-running river flows down the mountain behind the Eden Hotel — it probably used to provide this quaintly old-fashioned timber-yard with tree-trunk transport

A fast-running river flows down the mountain behind the Eden Hotel — it probably used to provide this quaintly old-fashioned timber-yard with tree-trunk transport

The river itself — very noisy and boisterous

The river itself — very noisy and boisterous

A novel way to get your shopping home? Doubtless invaluable for hillside houses!

A novel way to get your shopping home? Doubtless invaluable for hillside houses!

Some of these little guys apparently work very hard when you're not looking…

Some of these little guys apparently work very hard when you’re not looking…

…while others just daydream and polish their watering cans!

…while others just daydream and polish their watering cans!

Going to work on the slow snail

Going to work on the slow snail

Early-morning view across the lake. We reflected on a previous stay here with 15 dogs from North Cyprus, one of whom leapt into the water. The courier kept a firm hold on its lead, so couldn't help but be dragged in too!

Early-morning view across the lake. We reflected on a previous stay here with 15 dogs from North Cyprus, one of whom leapt into the water. The courier kept a firm hold on its lead, so couldn’t help but be dragged in too!

An emotional goodbye in Stuttgart for Alfredo

An emotional goodbye in Stuttgart for Alfredo

What a lovely fellow he is!

What a lovely fellow he is!

Super chilled-out Scotty

Super chilled-out Scotty

Monte having his nose wiped

Monte having his nose wiped

Atlas has been showing us his playful side — if this were a video you'd see him leaping into the air and rolling around on the grass! He has a fab collar with a Union Jack on it along with his name…

Atlas has been showing us his playful side — if this were a video you’d see him leaping into the air and rolling around on the grass! He has a fab collar with a Union Jack on it along with his name…

…There's no mistaking Atlas for another dog!

…There’s no mistaking Atlas for another dog!

Courier M, who's replaced courier Mike for the return leg of the trip, is a big fan of Golden R

Courier M, who’s replaced courier Mike for the return leg of the trip, is a big fan of Golden Retreavers. So courier J doesn’t get a look-in when it comes to walking pretty Baloo!

Baloo is just as playful as Atlas. She likes chasing and throwing stones around. Here she is with a special 'trophy'…

Baloo is just as playful as Atlas. She likes chasing and throwing stones around. Here she is with a special ‘trophy’…

… and showing off her stone-handling skills

… and showing off her stone-handling skills

Bibi and Odin are reunited in Switzerland, and Ruben, Hugo, Red and Jim arrive in France

After reuniting cats Fleur and Mittens with their owners, Mike and Debbie, in Normandy, we drove into Switzerland to deliver Bibi and Odin to Alan and his family. It was hard to say who was more excited at the reunion — humans or dogs!

Then it was back into France to drop handsome trio Ruben, Hugo and Red at Le Jardin des Chats, a super cattery in the Montpellier area, where they’ll have a short stay until their owner Susan catches up with them. And we left Gentleman Jim with mutual friends, for collection by his owner Faith.

The next day, with Mr Pickles, Douglas, Twiglet and Murphy still on board, we motored on to Italy, staying the night in Florence before heading to the port to catch the overnight ferry to Greece.

Bibi and Odin were so excited at being back with Alan and his wife that they quite forgot all their good manners for a few moments!

Bibi and Odin were so excited at being back with Alan and his wife that they quite forgot all their good manners for a few moments!

But it really didn't take long for all that training to kick back in

But it really didn’t take long for all that training to kick back in

Proof that in Switzerland Easter eggs actually grow on trees

Proof that in Switzerland Easter eggs actually grow on trees

Easter bunnies collect the eggs and deliver them to all the boys and girls (and grown-ups!) who've been good so far this year

Easter bunnies collect the eggs and deliver them to all the boys and girls (and grown-ups!) who’ve been good so far this year

Mr Pickles (top) and Douglas are just about the nosiest pair of cats who've ever travelled with us!

Mr Pickles (top) and Douglas are just about the nosiest pair of cats who’ve ever travelled with us!

Meet our passengers from the UK: Odin, Bibi, Murphy, Twiglet, Mr Pickles, Douglas, Jim, Hugo, Ruben, Red, Fleur and Mittens

Animalcouriers set off from the UK with a fine group of feline and canine passengers on board.

Odin and Bibi are travelling with us to Switzerland, to join Alan and his family. Although they’ll primarily be the family’s pets, they’ve also been trained by Len from K9 Protector to protect and look after all the family members. Len says he’s really enjoyed training these two — we must say, they are a very soft and friendly pair of dogs.

Family of four Mr Pickles, Douglas, Murphy and Twiglet are relocating with Sharon to Greece. Their journey started in Devon, and their new home is in the hills just south of Stoupa, with wonderful sea views to enjoy.

Tuxedo cat Jim joined us for one of his regular trips from London to the south of France. Now 15 years old, he sadly recently lost his twin brother Jules, and is travelling alone for the first time. We’re pleased to say he’s very relaxed and taking everything in his stride.

Three more familiar faces are also on board: Hugo, Ruben and Red. This trio of cats travelled with us from the Languedoc to York last year. But their owner, Susan, missed the warmth of the south of France, so the family are now on their way back, and will be managing a campsite at Saint Mandrier sur Mer.

Mum and daughter Fleur and Mittens are on their way to Normandy, to be reunited with Mike and Debbie. The two cats homeboarded with us while Mike and Debbie went on ahead to get everything ready for their arrival.

Trainer Len admitted to an especially soft spot for Bibi and said he'll really miss her

Trainer Len admitted to an especially soft spot for Bibi and said he’ll really miss her

Handsome Odin is a little younger than Bibi. Len says that he very much followed Bibi's lead during training.

Handsome Odin is a little younger than Bibi. Len says that he very much followed Bibi’s lead during training.

Twiglet (L) and Murphy (R) soon get settled in

Twiglet (L) and Murphy (R) soon get settled in

Mr Pickles has a head for heights — here he is sitting on top of the box in the compartment he's sharing with Douglas

Mr Pickles has a head for heights — here he is sitting on top of the box in the compartment he’s sharing with Douglas

Dear Douglas has no tail and not many teeth — so obviously his favourite activities are jumping around and eating!

Dear Douglas has no tail and not many teeth — so obviously his favourite activities are jumping around and eating!

Douglas gets a tickle…

Douglas gets a tickle…

…and Mr Pickles wants in on the action, too!

…and Mr Pickles wants in on the action, too!

Gentleman Jim (who bears more than a passing resemblance to Mr Pickles) in pensive mood

Gentleman Jim (who bears more than a passing resemblance to Mr Pickles) in pensive mood

Creamy ginger brothers Ruben (L) and Hugo (R)

Creamy ginger brothers Ruben (L) and Hugo (R)

Tired of posing, Ruben and Hugo gently nod off

Tired of posing, Ruben and Hugo gently nod off

Fluffy Red is a more nervous character than either of his brothers, but is starting to relax

Fluffy Red is a more nervous character than either of his brothers, but is starting to relax

Fleur, perhaps showing how she got her name?

Fleur, perhaps showing how she got her name?

Mittens on arrival at their new home in Normandy, taking a close look at the front door

Mittens on arrival at their new home in Normandy, taking a close look at the front door

Now it's Fleur's turn to examine the front door. You can see both cats thinking: we came in this door, so logically… Both did a lot of scurrying and sniffing — a cat's flight instinct drives it to try and run away, perhaps back to where it came from? But as is the case with many of our cat passengers, within an hour or so, they were well settled in thanks to familiar smells and the sound of their owners' voices. Debbie and Mike will keep them in for about three weeks to give them a chance to adapt properly to their new environment.

Now it’s Fleur’s turn to examine the front door. You can see both cats thinking: we came in this door, so logically… Both did a lot of scurrying and sniffing — a cat’s flight instinct drives it to try and run away, perhaps back to where it came from? But as is the case with many of our cat passengers, within an hour or so, they were well settled in thanks to familiar smells and the sound of their owners’ voices. Debbie and Mike will keep them in for about three weeks to give them a chance to adapt properly to their new environment.

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.

IMG_20150223_124842

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

Leaving the UK with Borat, Yuna, Ruas, Bonnie, Aragon, Cigrunet, Faith and Charlie

Animalcouriers set off for mainland Europe yesterday, crossing with Eurotunnel. On board are a delightful bunch of passengers heading to Switzerland, Spain and Portugal.

Dog and cat family mini Dachshund Borat, with Yuna and Ruas, are travelling with us from Leicester to Lisbon in Portugal, where their owners Ines and Lina are relocating for work.

Beautiful silver tabby cat Bonnie is travelling with us from Dorchester to Valencia in Spain, where her family are going back to live.

Stunning four-month-old Savannah cat Aragon is off to live in Switzerland with Céline, who will meet us in France to take him home. His breeder Sarah tells us that Savannahs are hybrids like the Bengal but crossed to an African Serval. She describes Savannahs as “super intelligent, friendly and people oriented — can be trained to walk on a lead and play fetch. Also high energy!”

He’s such a handsome chap, we felt sure Sarah had found it hard to part with him. “He is the most loving and cuddly kitten I’ve ever known,” says Sarah, “but I know he will have a lovely home with Céline.”

We received a call from our friends Traveldog in Barcelona, Spain, to collect a rabbit called Cigrunet, as his owner Miriam was relocating at short notice from the UK to Barcelona. Cigrunet has been homeboarding with courier J since we collected him. He’s a cool dude with splendid rabbit ears!

Also on board is Faith, who’s heading to Lisbon. She’s been staying at kennels near Swanley and Jorge her owner is very much looking forward to seeing her again.

Our final passenger is Charlie, a completely mad Spaniel, whose owners have gone on ahead from Swaffham to Murcia in Spain. Charlie has been staying in kennels for a while so they are very much looking forward to being reunited.

We're looking forward to walking Borat, who seems like a lively, friendly chap

We’re looking forward to walking Borat, who seems like a lively, friendly chap

Gorgeous Yuna (behind) and Ruas (in front) settle down for the journey

Gorgeous Yuna (behind) and Ruas (in front) settle down for the journey

Bonnie looking beautiful but perhaps a bit cross about this travelling lark!

Bonnie looking beautiful but perhaps a bit cross about this travelling lark!

Sarah, breeder of handsome Aragon, sent us this photo of him with his equally handsome uncle

Sarah, breeder of handsome Aragon, sent us this photo of him with his equally handsome uncle

Cigrunet is a very chilled-out bunny

Cigrunet is a very chilled-out bunny

Big softie Faith loves people, playing and having fun

Big softie Faith loves people, playing and having fun

Courier M showing off his dog-handling skills with Charlie. But Charlie has ideas of his own…

Courier M showing off his dog-handling skills with Charlie. But Charlie has ideas of his own…

What Charlie loves best is a big tummy tickle

What Charlie loves best is a big tummy tickle