Two bespoke trips: Bublik from Juan les Pins; and a family of six from Devon

In addition to our regular, shared road trips throughout Europe, Animalcouriers is also sometimes asked to do a bespoke trip, where we transport a pet (or group of pets) belonging to one family.

Last week we collected tiny Bublik from storm-struck Juan les Pins in south-east France, to take him to his winter residence in London, where his owner is waiting for him. Completely oblivious to the weather conditions, Bublik set off on his travels very calmly. So calmly, in fact, he was sound asleep and snoring before we’d even left the driveway!

Today it was the turn of a fabulous furry family of six to start their journey from Devon to La Cala de Mijas in Spain. Dogs Sasha, Lola, Cara and Liz, and their feline chums Priva and Fifi, were ready and waiting with shiny new passports when we arrived. Everything was beautifully organised, including bags of favourite food, toys, treats and blankets. They’ll reach France in the morning, and will travel on down to Malaga, where they’ll enjoy a spot of relaxation time in kennels while their human family catches up with them.

Cute and friendly Bublik

Cute and friendly Bublik

Juan les Pins after the storms — not what it usually looks like

Juan les Pins after the storms — not what it usually looks like

Bublik enjoys an evening walk and new places to explore

Bublik enjoys an evening walk and new places to explore

Gorgeous Spaniel Sasha

Gorgeous Spaniel Sasha

Lola gives us an irresistible look

Lola gives us an irresistible look

Lovely Cara (L) with Sasha (and Sasha's ears!)

Lovely Cara (L) with Sasha (and Sasha’s ears!)

Adorable black-and-white Liz

Adorable black-and-white Liz

Equally adorable black-and-white Priva

Equally adorable black-and-white Priva

Super fluffy Fifi

Super fluffy Fifi

We leave the UK with three cats; and start our trip back from Greece with 11 dogs, 11 cats, a Macaw and a Chinchilla on board

Couriers M and Mike recently set off on what will be our biggest-ever trip from Greece back to the UK. Luckily we have two vans, each with air conditioning, electrical airflow and comfy compartments for all the pets travelling with us.

A few pets travelled out with us from the UK. Gorgeous Gaia and Lulu, a pair of cats who are almost impossible to tell apart, are moving with Eric to Italy. We dropped them at a cattery in Verona for Eric to collect on his arrival.

Gaia gives us a wink

Gaia gives us a wink

Lulu has a fine 'milk moustache'

Lulu has a fine ‘milk moustache’

Black-and white cat Gizmo is relocating to Skiathos, the island where ‘Mamma Mia’ was shot. Because owner Diana and family won’t get there until after we’ve dropped off Gizmo, we managed to find a very hospitable vet in Volos on the Greek mainland to look after Gizmo. As soon as Diana reaches Greece, she’ll hop onto the Seacat to fetch Gizmo. She told us she’d never had a night apart from Gizmo, so we can only imagine how much they are missing each other.

Wide-eyed Gizmo

Wide-eyed Gizmo

Courier J flew to Athens to join us for the journey back to the UK. The first passenger to get on board in Greece was Tardu, a 16-year-old blue-and-gold macaw. This colourful bird belonged to Chryssa’s dad, who sadly passed away recently. Unfortunately, Chryssa can’t take Tardu on herself, but has found a wonderful new home for her dad’s beloved companion with Nikos and Linda in Scotland. Animalcouriers already know Nikos and Linda, as we’ve transported a number of dogs they’ve adopted from the Filozoikos Shelter in Athens. Such a small world!

We hear that Tardu, who is missing a wing, is more like a dog than a parrot, and likes to walk around on the floor. He settled into his travel compartment very quickly and started preening — a good sign that he is relaxed and happy. We’ve made him a playground with all his toys, his steps to climb up and down, and a cat carrier to perch on and watch all the comings and goings.

Tardu was driven to our hotel to meet us. We reckon he probably did a spot of back-seat driving!

Tardu was driven to our hotel to meet us. We reckon he probably did a spot of back-seat driving!

Tardu making the move from car to van

Tardu making the move from car to van

Tardu settles in nicely

Tardu settles in nicely

Tardu enjoying a piece of breakfast banana

Tardu enjoying a piece of breakfast banana

Phil and Vivian have been living on the island of Samos for the past eight years, where they were volunteers for Greek Cat Rescue and also cared for a number of cats around their home. They’re now on their way back to the West Country, and are taking five cats with them — Bumper, Captain Flint, Jalfraizi, Oscar and Jacob.

Handsome ginger tabby Jalfraizi. He's been very unwell and everyone was concerned about him, but the good news is that he's fit to travel. He has a compartment to himself and antibiotics to keep him going.

Handsome ginger tabby Jalfraizi. He’s been very unwell and everyone was concerned about him, but the good news is that he’s fit to travel. He has a compartment to himself and antibiotics to keep him going.

Captain Flint — so called because he likes to sit on your shoulder like a parrot

Captain Flint — so called because he likes to sit on your shoulder like a parrot

A winsome look from Oscar

A winsome look from Oscar

Although Bumper has only one eye, he doesn't miss a trick

Although Bumper has only one eye, he doesn’t miss a trick

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Phil and Vivian and their cats arrived with Akis in his pet taxi — a great service for people and their pets. We saw Akis again the next day with Petra, Scruff and Alfie.

Akis arrives in his pet taxi with Scruff, Petra and Alfie

Akis arrives in his pet taxi with Scruff, Petra and Alfie

When Kat from Birmingham went on holiday to Lesvos, she was adopted by a tortoiseshell cat called Petra. Kat decided to take Petra to the UK, so Rebecca of Lesvos Dog and Cat Adoptions helped out. Petra was initially fostered by one of the group’s volunteers, then Deb (owner of Scruff) offered to take Petra under her wing. Petra and Scruff were then looked after by Christine for about a week, as Deb had to return to the UK.

Gorgeous Petra — such a sweet and calm little girl

Gorgeous Petra — such a sweet and calm little girl

Playful Scruff

Playful Scruff

Alfie belongs to Tom and Laura, who adopted him while on holiday in Lesvos. Once again, Rebecca of Lesvos Dog and Cat Adoptions helped out, collecting Alfie from his foster mum, sorting his passport, arranging a travel box and popping him onto a late-night flight. And Christine stepped in again, collecting him at Athens airport and putting him in Akis’s taxi with Scruff and Petra.

Alfie, when Tom and Laura first found him

Alfie, when Tom and Laura first found him

Alfie with Laura

Alfie with Laura

Tiffany, her husband and children have moved to the Manchester area, and now Lucky and Kitten are joining them. The children were devastated when they heard that the family couldn’t afford to fly the cats to England. But then they found our website and learned about the more affordable option of a road trip. So they got in touch and we agreed a price, and a very happy family is looking forward to welcoming their beloved pets to the UK.

Pretty Kitten and stunning jet-black Lucky

Pretty Kitten and stunning jet-black Lucky

When Lesley left Crete we transported two of her dogs for her to Northumberland. Now it’s time for the other two to follow on. At Piraeus Port we met Joe with Tasha and Corby, a very friendly pair of dogs.

Jo with Lesley's dogs, Tasha and Corby

Jo with Lesley’s dogs, Tasha and Corby

Labrador Aris arrived with an enormous grin on his face and a very waggy tail, willing to be friends with everyone. Ioannis (John) and his family have already relocated to the UK and are really missing Aris. Not long now til everyone’s back together.

The very friendly Aris

The very friendly Aris

Rex and Ringo, a pair of German Shepherd Dogs, are travelling with us to stay at a kennels in Calais for a little while. They’ll then hop on board when we pass by on our next trip to Portugal, towards the end of next month. The dogs were originally adopted from the Filozoikos Shelter, but when their owners moved to Portugal, they couldn’t afford to take the dogs immediately. So Filozoikos, being very responsible, stepped in and offered to look after the dogs until they could start their journey.

Martha, courier M, courier Mike and Kiki with Rex and Ringo

Martha, courier M, courier Mike and Kiki with Rex and Ringo

A closer look at handsome Rex…

A closer look at handsome Rex…

…and the equally handsome Ringo

…and the equally handsome Ringo

Lovely little Zouzou arrived looking a bit worried, so we spent a bit of time chatting and making a fuss of her, which helped to calm her down. Her owner Maria has already relocated to England and Zouzou, who’s been in the care of a relative, is the last member of the family to travel.

Super-cute Zouzou

Super-cute Zouzou

English Setter Boo belongs to George and Flora, who’ve relocated to Edinburgh from Athens. Now Boo, who has been staying with George’s parents in Athens, is off to join them. Boo is completely deaf, but apparently understands everything you say to her. Flora and George say they miss her very much, so it will be happy time when they are reunited.

Lovely Boo, who is on her way to Scotland

Lovely Boo, who is on her way to Scotland

Cordelia, an old friend of ours, brought us three cats whose owners have moved back from Athens to Ireland. Little Paw and Michael belong to Paula; and Dexter is owned by Linda. We’re expecting some Irish folk singing (or perhaps dancing) from this trio en route!

Cordelia (R) and friend bring us cats belonging to Paula and Linda

Cordelia (R) and friend bring us cats belonging to Paula and Linda

Snowy white Michael

Snowy white Michael

Tuxedo cat Little Paw

Tuxedo cat Little Paw

These two chums got settled in quickly

These two chums got settled in quickly

Diego is a Griffon cross whose owner Dora has moved to Tunbridge Wells. Diego has been staying with a relative and is now ready to travel to join her.

Another fluffy white dog — Diego

Another fluffy white dog — Diego

We met Angeliki and her son with Max the dog at Igoumenitsa. They had travelled from Corfu on the local ferry to catch us just as we were leaving Greece.

Angeliki and her son with Max

Angeliki and her son with Max

 

Max shows us his fine profile

Max shows us his fine profile

Chinchilla Ollie is one of our smallest and most frequent travellers — this is his third trip with us. Owner Napoleana has now had a baby so their family gets bigger. Nela the dog is flying with the family via Paris Charles De Gaulle, but that isn’t an option for Ollie, so he’s on the road with Animalcouriers.

Cute Chinchilla Ollie, who's quite familiar with the routine of our trips

Cute Chinchilla Ollie, who’s quite familiar with the routine of our trips

Here's a road sign you don't see every day!

Here’s a road sign you don’t see every day!

Man versus food — man (Courier Mike) won this time (well, he managed all the ribs, anyway!)

Man versus food — man (Courier Mike) won this time (well, he managed all the ribs, anyway!)

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.

 

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

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

Reaching the Greek mainland and collecting Neo, Lino, Zavia, Willow, Gulliver and Judi

Our ferry took us from Lesvos island to the Athenian port of Piraeus. Once breakfast had been served to our five passengers from Lesvos, and they had been walked, we were ready to meet up with the next set of passengers for our UK-bound trip.

First up was Neo, a mixed breed dog who belongs to Christos and family. They’ve moved to Kent, and now Neo is off to join them. He’s been looked after by Giannis, a dog behaviourist, who wanted to check us out before allowing Neo to leave with us. We were flattered to get a big thumbs up from him!

Sarah brought us her Cocker Spaniel, Lino. Sarah and family are also relocating to Kent, where they’ll be near Sarah’s mum. The family is leaving Athens shortly and will soon be reunited with Lino.

We were pleased to catch up with our friend Cordelia, who’s been looking after tortoiseshell cat Zavia on behalf of her owner. Zavia is travelling all the way to Scotland from Athens. We also met Elena, who brought us young cats Willow and Gulliver whose owner has already left for the UK.

We then headed to our usual meeting place near Thessaloniki to collect Judi from Maria and her Mum in temperatures approaching 100F. The tarmac was somewhat toasty under Judi’s toes, so it was a quick photo op before she gladly stepped into the Animalcouriers van. Maria will be in England in time to receive Judi from us.

The area at Piraeus port where boats from the islands dock, bringing swathes of homeless people looking for a way to make the next stage of their journey

The area at Piraeus port where boats from the islands dock, bringing swathes of homeless people looking for a way to make the next stage of their journey

Giannis with Neo

Giannis with Neo

Lino waiting his turn for a walk…

Lino waiting his turn for a walk…

…getting quite excited at this point!

…getting quite excited at this point!

Cordelia chatting with courier M

Cordelia chatting with courier M

Zavia is a very shy, very pretty tortoiseshell girl — we hope to get a better photo of her as we become closer friends

Zavia is a very shy, very pretty tortoiseshell girl — we hope to get a better photo of her as we become closer friends

Super cute cats Willow in front, and Gulliver behind

Super cute cats Willow in front, and Gulliver behind

Maria and her mum with German Shepherd Judi

Maria and her mum with German Shepherd Judi

Sammie all eagerly alert

Sammie all eagerly alert

We love Harvey's hairy ears

We love Harvey’s hairy ears

Hector seems to prefer being called Hector, rather than Ben, so we've let Jonathan know!

Hector seems to prefer being called Hector, rather than Ben, so we’ve let Jonathan know!

Demetris perched on the front seat for a few minutes, watching other dogs being walked

Demetris perched on the front seat for a few minutes, watching other dogs being walked

Randall looking up at him, with Hector behind

Randall looking up at him, with Hector behind

Leaving the UK with Hector, Harvey, Macchia, Iorek, Willow, Teddy, Tubbo, Bertie, Ted and Beau

Animalcouriers set off from the UK to Greece via France and Italy with gorgeous dogs and cats on board. We were lucky enough to have a few of them staying with us for a couple of nights beforehand, too.

One of our house guests was Hector, a handsome black Cocker Spaniel from south London. He’s off to join his owners who’ve relocated to the Paris area — they’ve gone on ahead to get everything ready for his arrival. Hector has unbelievable ball skills, and managed to keep a three-year-old boy amused for hours. Hector is a real joy to have around, always bouncy and happy and waggy tailed.

Best pals Harvey and Macchia have also been staying with us. This Black Lab and Italian Pointer travelled down from Cheshire and are off to Italy where owner Sally and her husband have a second home. Both are rescue dogs: Macchia found Sally when she was on one of her trips to Italy — Macchia is very attached to humans and loves cuddles. Harvey was attacked by another dog so he’s a little anxious on the lead, but loves playing ball almost as much as Hector.

Seven-year-old Iorek, a beautiful light-coloured German Shepherd dog is traveling with us from Birmingham back to Milan. His owner Isabella is still in England, so her sister Nadia will be waiting to roll out the red carpet. Iorek is travelling really well, despite Isabella’s fears he could be travel sick.

British Blue cats Willow and Teddy are relocating with their owners Nicky and David from Surrey to Brittany. Despite their slightly haughty demeanour, they are very confident, friendly cats. We’re sure they’ll love the countryside and open spaces that will be at their back door, and that they’ll become country cats in no time.

Black-and-white Tubbo is travelling with us from southern England to Arezzo in Italy to join his family, who’re already on their way there by car with their dog. In his younger days he was inclined to portliness, which is how he acquired his name. Now, however, he’s a fine figure of a cat and sports a splendid set of whiskers‎. One of the reasons his family asked us to transport him is because he makes a lot of noise in the car. We must say, however, that we’ve barely heard a peep from him. This may well be because travelling in our van is a very different experience from the car journeys most cats are used to, which involve going to the vet in a small cat carrier, with a view of the world rushing past the window. This can be rather disconcerting for them so, next time you take your cat to the vet, try draping a cloth over the carrier to help him or her to stay calm.

Almost identical Beagles Bertie and Ted seem to operate as a single unit. They’re relocating from Cheshire to the Naples area, where they will doubtless waste no time putting their noses to the ground to show off their sniffing and snuffling skills to the locals. Owner Robert has gone on ahead and is really looking forward to being reunited with his dogs. However they’ll be very much missed by his Mum and Dad who’ve been doing a great job of dog sitting.

Little Beau is a typical friendly Staffie who loves people. We met her just hours before the trip set off and there’s little doubt we’ll be best friends with her by the time we reach Piraeus port in Athens, which is where we’re meeting up with her owners Kate and family. They’ve relocated from London to beautiful Rhodes, which will be a very different place indeed for them all to live. ‎

Hector can throw as well as catch the ball. Here he is waiting patiently for help to get the ball out from under a cupboard.

Hector can throw as well as catch the ball. Here he is waiting patiently for help to get the ball out from under a cupboard.

Hector and his three-year old friend sharpen their ball skills

Hector and his three-year old friend sharpen their ball skills

The promise of a treat enabled us to get all three of our houseguests in one shot, along with housedog Pugsley (aka Superbeast). Pugsley is at the back, then Harvey, Macchia and Hector at the front. So keen, even the balls were put down!

The promise of a treat enabled us to get all three of our houseguests in one shot, along with housedog Pugsley (aka Superbeast). Pugsley is at the back, then Harvey, Macchia and Hector at the front. So keen, even the balls were put down!

Hector enjoys a sunny walk

Hector enjoys a sunny walk

Harvey is the senior dog on this trip and likes to keep everyone in order

Harvey is the senior dog on this trip and likes to keep everyone in order

Macchia is very affectionate and loves a fuss

Macchia is very affectionate and loves a fuss

Courier Mike with handsome floofy Lorek

Courier Mike with handsome floofy Iorek

A closer look at that noble head

A closer look at that noble head

Lorek posing by the broad beans

Iorek posing by the broad beans

Gorgeous Willow, looking just a tad grumpy at being woken up for a photoshoot

Gorgeous Willow, looking just a tad grumpy at being woken up for a photoshoot

Willow decides to grin and bear it

Willow decides to grin and bear it

Willow's equally gorgeous companion, Teddy

Willow’s equally gorgeous companion, Teddy

Storm welcomes Willow and Teddy to their new home in Brittany

Storm welcomes Willow and Teddy to their new home in Brittany

Tubbo shows us his fine markings

Tubbo shows us his fine markings

Now that's what I call whiskers!

Now that’s what I call whiskers!

Cheeky chappies Bertie and Ted Beagle

Cheeky chappies Bertie and Ted Beagle

You get the impression they're constantly plotting mischief behind your back!

You get the impression they’re constantly plotting mischief behind your back!

Pretty tri-colour Staffie Beau — the sunshine brings out her lovely markings

Pretty tri-colour Staffie Beau — the sunshine brings out her lovely markings

Oversize seagull spotted by courier M on his recent travels

Oversize seagull spotted by courier M on his recent travels

Hia flies in from Korea; and Dexter and Lucy head to France for the summer

Beautiful little Hia (short for Hyena) had a long journey from Korea to the UK. She left Korea at 08.00am and arrived in Paris 11 hours later. On the flight she sat next to her human mum, and was as good as gold. Animalcouriers collected Hia in Paris and drove her to Calais, where we boarded the Eurotunnel, courier S ensuring plenty of pampering along the way for this little girl. On arrival in the UK it was a short hop to Hia’s new home in Surrey to be reunited with her family. It’s all very exciting as a new baby is due in just a few months.

A few days later courier S was back on the road with Border Collie brother and sister Dexter and Lucy. These very frequent travellers are heading from their home in London to their summer home in Avignon. A perfect pair of angels, these two dogs are completely at ease with the routine of travelling. They know when to lie back and enjoy the ride, when to smile at customs, and when to rush around and make the most of our comfort breaks.

Hia shows us her beautiful profile

Hia shows us her beautiful profile

Lovely Lucy enjoys the fresh air

Lovely Lucy enjoys the fresh air

Dashing Dexter enjoys a rest on the grass

Dashing Dexter enjoys a rest on the grass

Lucy and Dexter were so excited when they arrived, that after a cursory lick of the hand to say goodbye, they went tearing off to reaquaint themselves with the sights and smells of their Provencal home

Lucy and Dexter were so excited when they arrived, that after a cursory lick of the hand to say goodbye, they went tearing off to reaquaint themselves with the sights and smells of their Provencal home

A classic Provence scene — a lavender-lined driveway

A classic Provence scene — a lavender-lined driveway

And where you find lavender, you often find sunflowers, too

And where you find lavender, you often find sunflowers, too