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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Couriers J and M had quite a time of it when they reached the northern French port of Calais. Fencing was being erected and there was a strong police presence to hold back a flow of migrants, reminding us about all the unhappy places in the world people are fleeing from. Then, on checking in, we discovered there was a strike at the port, so it was a three-hour wait before we could set sail.
Eventually we made it back to our Surrey base, where a delighted Teresa was waiting to collect her cats Napoleao and Cuca who had travelled from Porto. “We would have waited all night!” they told us. So wonderful how much people care about their pets, and what a lovely contrast to the rather trying time we’d had at Calais.
The following day there were more ecstatic scenes when Ana and George arrived to collect their dogs Kathy and Neska, who travelled with us from Granada. The whole family is moving to Bristol.
Meanwhile courier M headed north to deliver more pets to their waiting owners. Along with African Grey Charlie and young wolfdog Galatzo who travelled with us from Spain, he also had Melody on board. This lovely black-and-white Pointer was flown to the UK by the Friends of Filozoikos, who support the Filozoikos shelter in Athens which does such a great job with stray and abandoned dogs. Melody was fostered by Gabby, who brought her to us in Surrey ready to travel up to Ayrshire in Scotland to her new home with Sheila.
We also recently received news of another Filozoikos rescue — Danae, who had an eye operation and was then adopted by Erica and Hans in the Netherlands. Erica wrote to Martha at Filozoikos to tell her how well Danae is getting on:
“We are so happy we have Danae. She is listening very good, she likes to be cuddled (can sit beside us for minutes long to be cuddled). And she very much likes to play with other dogs. That is, she likes other dogs to run after her — there are only a few dogs who can run as fast as she can. We want to thank you and Kiki again for giving us Danae, we enjoy every day with her.”
From Narbonne Animalcouriers headed north towards Calais, stopping last night at Chaumont, where there were excellent dog walks to be had alongside a pretty canal.
On our way this morning, we were driving though a small hamlet, only to find the road blocked by an aged yet distinguished Golden Retriever. He waited until we had shown due respect by completely stopping our van. At which point he rose slowly from the middle of the road and sauntered in his own sweet time to the pavement to let us pass. A class act!
We’re now at Calais, ready to board the ferry to cross the Channel.
PS – we’ve just been informed by WordPress that it’s six years since we started our blog! 2, 570 posts later we are still enjoying our travels — thank you all for your follows, likes and comments, it’s a pleasure to have you on the road with us.