The first contingent of Bearstone Labradors has arrived from Canada. Jake and Jess are off to stay for a month with colleagues in Calais. Once their passports are ready, they will return to the UK to join their family. Alfie has gone to wait for his family to join him in Sussex.
The Fowler family's 5000+ mile journey from Cyprus is over. They are now on their way to Chesterfield to start their six-month quarantine. Our van is now empty, rather sad for us as we have grown so fond of our little passengers over the past week. We really do wish them everything they and Roger and Celia want for themselves in their new life in Lincolnshire. By the way, it's pouring with rain — so English!
Animalcouriers are looking forward to the return of the Bearstone Labradors. In 2008 we shipped what was then a family of 12 to Ontario, Canada, for Keith and Alison Edwards. Now 18 Labradors and one French Bulldog (who thinks he's a Labrador) are returning to England, and we are pleased to be shipping them home. Like all very important people, they are not all travelling together on one plane. Instead, they're travelling in several groups, arriving over a period of a few days at London Gatwick: 29 April — Jake, Jess and Alfie 30 April — OJ, Merlin and Trooper [...]
Yesterday evening we arrived at our hotel in Le Wast, Pas-de-Calais, where we are regulars. As usual, Madame was very pleased to see us. She came out to see who we had on board and made us all feel very welcome. The dogs liked her and she liked them. Big, shiny, black-and-white cows looked on with interest as, two by two, the dogs went for their evening walk. Unsure what to make of the cows, the dogs stayed very definitely on one side of the fence, and the cows on the other. [...]
The Fowler dogs and Bingo all had a great walk today in meadow grass, with poppies, wild flowers and birdsong, while Spike and Rags had their parasite treatment. And it's now the penultimate day of our journey to the UK. Tonight we should overnight in Calais, and tomorrow our quarantine van will meet us at Eurotunnel to collect the Fowler family for their ride North to Chesterfield. As you can imagine, Roger and Celia are starting to relax just a little. An email from Roger says: "Expect it's a bit of a relief to see the Paris signs as it [...]
Everyone was very chilled at the vet's this morning. Rags and Spike had their tick and flea treatment, while the Fowler family took a walk in the morning air. They will all be ready for their crossing tomorrow.
This is little blind Bessie, and it's a big deal that we could take this picture of her out walking. Until now we haven't walked her much. Although she's been happy enough to trot along next to one of us, with a friendly voice egging her on, too often a noise, a car, a person, a car door — almost anything, in fact — would spook her! Then she would dash about in circles and get so worried that we stopped expecting her to walk. But here, the only noises we could hear were birds and insects. We received a [...]
Italian border control were no less amazed than any of the others we have so far passed through. Having reached Italy, we thought we'd better check with Roger and Celia whether the dogs like pasta. Roger responded: "Don't forget the chicken necks with the pasta. Not sure if Italian pasta is the same as Turkish but they would enjoy it if you would pull over and get the primus out for a cook-up, Oh and one Maggy chicken stock cube goes in as well and no additional salt."
It was a last-minute dash. The gangway was already halfway up but the word was out: 21 VIP passengers due to travel to Italy, and how Endeavour L would be honoured to have them on board for the overnight crossing. With chocolate dog biscuits, renditions of "How much is that doggie in the window" (by special request) and "Hound Dawg", all were tucked up for the night in a breezy position on the car deck — thanks to the ship's crew who found us somewhere special for them, and are happy for us to check on them. This little band [...]
Dogs Rags and Spike joined us in Greece for the journey to the UK. There's a very high standard of client in our van: good behaviour, impeccable manners and lots of pleases and thank yous. We have to agree with Shawn that Rags does indeed look like Poppy Fowler. We feel sure Rags and Spike will fit right in!