Bridie flies to Bermuda, birdies take off for the British Virgin Islands

Animalcouriers recently arranged for Cockerpoo puppy Bridie to travel from the UK to her new home in Bermuda. This gorgeous, silky young girl homeboarded with us for a few days while her import and export paperwork was finalised, and provided to be a delightful, demure house guest!

Her owner let us know Bridie arrived, saying:

“The little lady arrived safely, she is absolutely beautiful and full of energy. She is eating and quite happy as she zooms around the house with her new favourite toys! Thank you so much for facilitating transporting her.”

We also organised air travel for a pair of very special budgerigars, Agamemnon and Caesar. Their move to the British Virgin Islands was twice thwarted by recent UK outbreaks of avian flu, but finally the BVI government vet approved their travel to the Caribbean sunshine. The birds flew with BA to Antigua, then transited to Beef Island with the help of LIAT.

Owner David wrote to say:

“I just wanted to say a massive thank you for your hard work in getting our budgies out. We’re sure they’re going to have a good life out here, and we’re thrilled to bits to have them back. It goes without saying, but we absolutely couldn’t have done it without your support. I think we’ve been working on this for just over 6 months now! We’d be more than happy to recommend Animalcouriers to anyone.”

Cockerpoo Bridie chez Animalcouriers

Cockerpoo Bridie chez Animalcouriers

Lovely Bridie at her new home in Bermuda

Lovely Bridie at her new home in Bermuda

Stunning Agamemnon and Caesar in their travel cage

Stunning Agamemnon and Caesar in their travel cage

The two birds in their big cage. David says: It's a little sparse (we needed room in the bottom to put their travel cage in, to get them out of it, and didn't want to overload them too early with new things!) but it will be more elaborate very soon — and the living room they're kept in is double height, so they should have great fun flying around in there!

The two birds in their big cage. David says: It’s a little sparse (we needed room in the bottom to put their travel cage in, to get them out of it, and didn’t want to overload them too early with new things!) but it will be more elaborate very soon — and the living room they’re kept in is double height, so they should have great fun flying around in there!

Reunions for Pip and Tigger in France; and for Arya, Lulu, Biscuit, Timmy, Moomin and Giacomo in Italy

After a long day on the road, Animalcouriers found a lovely Logis at Vaison la Romaine in Provence, where we stayed the night.

The next morning, our first stop was in Antibes, to reunite Pip and Tigger with Rob and Helen. Both dogs were hugely pleased to see Rob who walked up the hill to meet us.

We then crossed the border into Italy to reunite Labradoodle Arya with Stephanie and Luke. Last year Arya flew from Italy to England but nearly didn’t make the plane as the cargo-handlers at Venice airport decided that the number of suitcases mean there was no room for Arya in the hold. It was a nail-biting time, as Luke and Stephanie were already on the plane. In the end, the airline’s head office in London had to intervene, and Arya was given priority over some of those Armani suits! This year, all was much calmer as Arya travelled by road.

Sonia, her mum and her cousin drove from Pisa to Lucca meet us and collect Sonia’s guinea pig, Lulu. The whole family was delighted to see Lulu again.

And while in Lucca we also delivered family of four, Biscuit, Timmy, Moomin and Giacomo, to Barry and his wife Miho. They’ve been splitting their time between London and Italy but as their pet population expanded, they were finding it harder to spend time in Italy. The solution? Move the pets to Italy!

The Logis at Vaison la Romaine

The Logis at Vaison la Romaine

Rob tried hard to get both dogs to look at the camera, but Tigger was much more interested in a cat sitting on a nearby wall (But at least this side view of his stripes lets you can see why he's called Tigger!)

Rob tried hard to get both dogs to look at the camera, but Tigger was much more interested in a cat sitting on a nearby wall (But at least this side view of his stripes lets you can see why he’s called Tigger!)

A very happy Arya reunited with Luke and Stephanie

A very happy Arya reunited with Luke and Stephanie

Sonia's mum was a bit worried about everyone falling over as they lifted Lulu out of the Animalcouriers van!

Sonia’s mum was a bit worried about everyone falling over as they lifted Lulu out of the Animalcouriers van!

Sonia (seen here with her cousin) delighted to have Lulu back with her

Sonia (seen here with her cousin) delighted to have Lulu back with her

Lulu seemed quite unruffled by the whole business

Lulu seemed quite unruffled by the whole business

Big hugs for Gorgeous Giacomo the Maine Coon…

Big hugs for Gorgeous Giacomo the Maine Coon…

…and marvellous Moomin the Ragdoll

…and marvellous Moomin the Ragdoll

Barry with Timmy and Biscuit — the dogs were so excited as we drew up, they clearly knew they were home

Barry with Timmy and Biscuit — the dogs were so excited as we drew up, they clearly knew they were home

UK reunions for Ziollo, Meiow Meiow, Odie and Baboushka; and Jack makes a new friend

The last stop for Animalcouriers on the trip back from Portugal was at a working wine domaine near Auxerre, in the Burgundy region of France. Couriers J and M immersed themselves in the table d’hôte experience and enjoyed tasting the fantastic wines produced at the domaine: a rosé to start, a crisp white to accompany the artisan meat pie, a pinot noir with the main, and a spicier version with pudding.

The family who run the domaine invited us to park our van and walk the dogs within the vintners yard. They watched over us as we prepared the pets for a safe and secure overnight stay.

Once back in the UK, reunions started. Ziollo and Meiow Meiow from Spain arrived at their new home in Hove, where owner Sue was waiting anxiously for them. Odie, also from Spain, was delivered to Kate, who’s been raising money for his rescue and rehoming. He went up to her like a long lost friend and jumped up all waggy tailed. Kate thinks‎ she may have already met his sister, too.

Gorgeous Abyssinian Baboushka has been homeboarding with us since we collected her in France last month. When her owners Fiona and Richard called in to collect her, she gave them a rapturous greeting.

The delightful wine domaine at Auxerre

The delightful wine domaine at Auxerre

Even the drainpipes were in keeping with the general theme!

Even the drainpipes were in keeping with the general theme!

Ziollo and Meiow Meiow back with Sue

Ziollo and Meiow Meiow back with Sue

Odie meets Kate in Sussex

Odie meets Kate in Sussex

Richard and Fiona delighted to collect Baboushka

Richard and Fiona delighted to collect Baboushka

Baboushka gave them such an enthusiastic greeting

Baboushka gave them such an enthusiastic greeting

Jack Russell Jack from France is homeboarding with us for a little while. He's already best mates with housedog Pugsley!

Jack Russell Jack from France is homeboarding with us for a little while. He’s already best mates with housedog Pugsley!

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

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

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

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

Freddi and Moma on their way to the beach

Freddi and Moma on their way to the beach

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

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

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

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

Freddi would like to be picked up please!

Freddi would like to be picked up please!

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

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

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

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

Rafa spotted it too, and was equally fascinated

Rafa spotted it too, and was equally fascinated

Cute rabbit Elspeth got on board in Barcelona

Cute rabbit Elspeth got on board in Barcelona

Odie enjoying a walk in the evening sunshine in France

Odie enjoying a walk in the evening sunshine in France

Lovely Jack joined our trip in the south of France

Lovely Jack joined our trip in the south of France

Jack and Odie say hello

Jack and Odie say hello

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

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

Inscrutable Q, very self contained

Inscrutable Q, very self contained

Mieow Mieow shows his handsome face at last!

Mieow Mieow shows his handsome face at last!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…and wild flowers in all directions…

…and wild flowers in all directions…

…and all colours

…and all colours

Wild grasses blooming in the Spanish sun

Wild grasses blooming in the Spanish sun

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

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

Fun-loving Freddi gets settled in to his compartment

Fun-loving Freddi gets settled in to his compartment

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

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

Gary says goodbye to Holly and Baldrick

Gary says goodbye to Holly and Baldrick

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

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

Gorgeous Whippet Moma

Gorgeous Whippet Moma

Clever Q cooking up the next gadget for agent 007

Clever Q cooking up the next gadget for agent 007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rosemary with her handsome hound Rafa

Rosemary with her handsome hound Rafa

Rafa all ready for the off

Rafa all ready for the off

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mark with Meiow Meiow and Ziollo

Mark with Meiow Meiow and Ziollo

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

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

Kirstie says goodbye to Meiow Meiow

Kirstie says goodbye to Meiow Meiow

Ziollo is a real smiler

 

Margot with Q outside their apartment block

Margot with Q outside their apartment block

The name's Q…

The name’s Q…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Baby safely delivered into the welcoming arms of family members

Baby safely delivered into the welcoming arms of family members

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

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

Emilio celebrating Pluto's arrival

Emilio celebrating Pluto’s arrival

A big smile from Clare on being reunited with Mr Bojangles

A big smile from Clare on being reunited with Mr Bojangles

Super cute Belle

Super cute Belle

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

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

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

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

Matt thrilled to have Arfa back in his arms

Matt thrilled to have Arfa back in his arms

Vic and Andy welcoming Poppy to Gibraltar

Vic and Andy welcoming Poppy to Gibraltar

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

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

A novel interpretation of a treehouse!

A novel interpretation of a treehouse!

A French reunion for Scrumpy, Sirius and Throttle

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

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

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

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

Big hugs on arrival for Sirius

Big hugs on arrival for Sirius

Scrumpy getting to know her new environment

Scrumpy getting to know her new environment

Looks like Throttle can hardly wait to start exploring outside

Looks like Throttle can hardly wait to start exploring outside

Sweet Baby, who'll reach her Barcelona home today

Sweet Baby, who’ll reach her Barcelona home today

Lovely Poppy is really coming out of her shell

Lovely Poppy is really coming out of her shell

Mr Bojangles loves a chat and a fuss…

Mr Bojangles loves a chat and a fuss…

…as does Byron — a very insistent paw!

…as does Byron — a very insistent paw!

PJ and Belle enjoying a walk by the vineyard

PJ and Belle enjoying a walk by the vineyard

Pluto shows off his magnificent ears

Pluto shows off his magnificent ears

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gorgeous ginger lion Aslan

Gorgeous ginger lion Aslan

Pretty tortie Boo

Pretty tortie Boo

Lovely ginger-and-white Pepper

Lovely ginger-and-white Pepper

Handsome black-and-white Scat

Handsome black-and-white Scat

Snuggly black-and-white Mia

Snuggly black-and-white Mia

Slinky black Kara

Slinky black Kara

Handsome Omar relaxing in the evening sun

Handsome Omar relaxing in the evening sun

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

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

Close-up on young pup Dolly

Close-up on young pup Dolly

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

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

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

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

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

Owner Tania wrote to say:

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

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

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

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

Bella and Louie happy at their new home in Perth

Bella and Louie happy at their new home in Perth

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

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