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!

Travelling back from France with Jalankayu Joquet, Jalankayu Jetnayu, Baboushka and Minnette

Continuing our feline theme after delivering Sophia, Chiara and Georgia to their new French home, Animalcouriers collected four cats who are travelling with us to the UK.

In Goujonac we met up with old friends of ours, Jacquie and Stephen, along with vet Dr Diana James. We first met Jacquie, who breeds Singapura cats, when we helped her move her cats to France. Since then, we’ve transported a number of her lovely kittens to UK homes. On this trip are gorgeous Jalankayu Joquet and Jalankayu Jetnayu, who were born on Boxing Day 2014. One is going to live in Wales and the other in the Midlands. Because it’s a change of ownership across EU borders, the kittens are travelling on TRACES certificates.

Our next stop was Monpazier in the Bergerac region, to collect Baboushka, a fine-featured nine-year-old Abyssinian. Her family went on ahead and Baboushka has been in the care of a sitter at the family’s French home. Following a brief period of home boarding with Animalcouriers, her new home in the UK will be in Hampshire.

Last but not least, Minnette from Nantes got on board the bus. This eight-year-old beauty is on her way to be reunited with her owner in Birmingham.

Jackie with the wonderfully named Jalankayu Joquet and Jalankayu Jetnayu

Jackie with the wonderfully named Jalankayu Joquet and Jalankayu Jetnayu

The kittens are a lively pair who enjoy having fun with Courier Mike during feeding time and litter tray cleaning!

The kittens are a lively pair who enjoy having fun with Courier Mike during feeding time and litter tray cleaning!

Baboushka, who was a little vocal at first but soon settled down well and made friends with courier Mike

Baboushka, who was a little vocal at first but soon settled down well and made friends with courier Mike

Minnette showing her cute pink nose and subtle tabby markings

Minnette showing her cute pink nose and subtle tabby markings

Sophia, Chiara and Georgia travel with us from the UK to France

Animalcouriers set off from the UK with three tabby cats on board, Sophia, Chiara and Georgia. They belong to Roger and his family, who have moved from a very rural location in Kent to an equally rural location near Montcuq in France.

All three cats are quite senior ladies, around 18 years young, so Roger asked us to transport them on a dedicated journey so that they wouldn’t be disturbed by any other pets.

We’re glad to report that all three took to travelling like pros and arrived in great spirits.

Roger with Sophia, Chiara and Georgia at their new home in France

Roger with Sophia, Chiara and Georgia at their new home in France

Displaying typical cat behaviour, instinctively wary of new events and surroundings, this tabby trio stalked around the room, orienting themselves and assessing for danger at the same time

Displaying typical cat behaviour, instinctively wary of new events and surroundings, this tabby trio stalked around the room, orienting themselves and assessing for danger at the same time

Roger and family had gone on ahead with their dogs and were waiting to welcome the cats and help them to settle in with familiar scents and sounds. Looks like the pets have a lovely rural area to romp in.

Roger and family had gone on ahead with their dogs and were waiting to welcome the cats and help them to settle in with familiar scents and sounds. Looks like the pets have a lovely rural area to romp in.

UK reunions for Bunch, Boxoh, Bilia and Dusty

Animalcouriers reunited the irrepressible Bunch with his owner, Lorenzo, in Winchester. They’d been apart for two months, so were understandably very pleased to see each other! There was an equally rapturous welcome for Boxoh and Bilia from their owners Lila and her family, at their new home in Basingstoke.

Meanwhile, Lisa called in at our Surrey base to collect Dusty. This lovely puss has been a complete star, seeming to enjoy the attentions of two resident pet-loving youngsters.

Pug Bunch, obeying Lorenzo's instruction to look at the camera

Pug Bunch, obeying Lorenzo’s instruction to look at the camera

The inseparable Bilia and Boxoh with Lila

The inseparable Bilia and Boxoh with Lila

The kids reluctantly allow Dusty to go home with Lisa

The kids reluctantly allow Dusty to go home with Lisa

At Animalcouriers we like to start training them while they're young… here's courier D's youngest helping to clean one of our vans

At Animalcouriers we like to start training them while they’re young… here’s courier D’s youngest helping to clean one of our vans

Meet Dexter and Lucy who are on their way to London

Brother and sister Border Collies Dexter and Lucy are taking travel in their stride. Just seven months old, they’re very confident passengers and seem to be enjoying their adventure.

Animalcouriers collected them from their beautiful country villa near Avignon in the south of France, and are transporting them to their London address. These two darlings are set to become ‘frequent flyers’ as they split their time between their two homes, enjoying a very different lifestyle in each.

Lovely Lucy not too approving of the increasing wind and rain as we travel northwards

Lovely Lucy not too approving of the increasing wind and rain as we travel northwards

Dear Dexter's not too keen on the change of weather either — what happened to the blue skies and sunshine?

Dear Dexter’s not too keen on the change of weather either — what happened to the blue skies and sunshine?

Both dogs are kitted out with their favourite beds and blankets…

Both dogs are kitted out with their favourite beds and blankets…

…just perfect for chilling out on the road

…just perfect for chilling out on the road

Ginger-and-white Whiskey from Rome joins our journey to the UK

Animalcouriers drove from Athens to the port of Igoumenitsa to catch the ferry to the Italian port of Brindisi.

We then headed to Rome to meet Gennaro and his cat Whiskey. Gennaro has lived all his life around Rome and Naples but now, at 90 years young, is off to live with his son and his partner, Irene, in the UK. Whiskey is going on ahead, and will be waiting to greet Gennaro when he arrives.

Whiskey was all ready for the off when we called in to collect him from Gennaro

Whiskey was all ready for the off when we called in to collect him from Gennaro

A closer look at handsome Whiskey

A closer look at handsome Whiskey

Gennaro came out to our van to oversee Whiskey's settling in

Gennaro came out to our van to oversee Whiskey’s settling in

Gennaro told us he was pleased that Whiskey had a 'nice cage' for his journey

Gennaro told us he was pleased that Whiskey had a ‘nice cage’ for his journey

Boxoh having a bit of a bad hair day on a windy walk

Boxoh having a bit of a bad hair day on a windy walk

Zarly completely understands the problem. Very snug in her little jumper, though. And what a smart collar tag!

Zarly completely understands the problem. Very snug in her little jumper, though. And what a smart collar tag!

Hector is so annoyed about being on this journey that he doesn't want to look at us. But he still goes stoically on his walks.

Hector is so annoyed about being on this journey that he doesn’t want to look at us. But he still goes stoically on his walks.

Hector finally deigns to have a chat with courier M about what life in London will be like…

Hector finally deigns to have a chat with courier M about what life in London will be like…

…And even shows us his best side for a photo

…And even shows us his best side for a photo

Bilia spots Jason and would like to play…

Bilia spots Jason and would like to play…

But Jason has other plans. Did I see boats over there?

But Jason has other plans. Did I see boats over there?

Pretty Pouca manages to leap about very gracefully on her three legs. Eugenia tells us that Pouca was found, aged two months, having been hit by a car and left to die. The girl who found her took her to the vet, who did the surgery to amputate her leg and tail, and nursed her back to health, free of charge. When Eugenia took her dog to the vet, she saw Pouca, heard her story, and immediately offered to adopt her.

Pretty Pouca manages to leap about very gracefully on her three legs. Eugenia tells us that Pouca was found, aged two months, having been hit by a car and left to die. The girl who found her took her to the vet, who did the surgery to amputate her leg and tail, and nursed her back to health, free of charge. When Eugenia took her dog to the vet, she saw Pouca, heard her story, and immediately offered to adopt her.

Beautiful flowers spotted on the Greek mainland as we passed the Ionian islands

Beautiful flowers spotted on the Greek mainland as we passed the Ionian islands

A closer look reveals honey bees, hard at work

A closer look reveals honey bees, hard at work

The hives were just across the other side of the road. We're intrigued by these wonderfully colourful hives which are dotted all over Greece. Perhaps if bees are driven by the colours of flowers, this is some kind of clever colour-coding?

The hives were just across the other side of the road. We’re intrigued by these wonderfully colourful hives which are dotted all over Greece. Perhaps if bees are driven by the colours of flowers, this is some kind of clever colour-coding?

Ladybirds were also out, enjoying the spring sunshine

Ladybirds were also out, enjoying the spring sunshine

We passed this perfectly happy dog on the way to Igoumenitsa, but don't think we'll be adopting this style of transport any time soon!

We passed this perfectly happy dog on the way to Igoumenitsa, but don’t think we’ll be adopting this style of transport any time soon!

Must be a nightmare trying to build anything in Greece. You only have to dig your spade in and up pops another ruin!

Must be a nightmare trying to build anything in Greece. You only have to dig your spade in and up pops another ruin!

News of Jim, who travelled from London to France with us. Faith tells us: "The sun shone at lunchtime and we were able to sit on my sheltered terrace and sunbathe while Jim helped with me with some mending. He's slotted back in to French village life effortlessly..."

News of Jim, who travelled from London to France with us. Faith tells us: “The sun shone at lunchtime and we were able to sit on my sheltered terrace and sunbathe while Jim helped with me with some mending. He’s slotted back in to French village life effortlessly…”