Last night we stayed in Thessaloniki, at a hotel just over a mile from Makedonia Airport. Which was very handy, as it meant Sami could fly in with Spooky the cat from Nine Lives Greece, an organisation we’ve worked with before. It had suddenly become urgent to get Spooky to the UK, and this way we could add her to the passenger list without disrupting the dogs’ journey.
With Spooky safely on board, we’re now on our way to Igoumenitsa where we’ll pick up the ferry to Italy. So there’s a bit of time now to reflect on our passengers and how they’re coping with the journey.
The animals’ welfare is our top priority at all times. We keep a close eye on their eating, drinking and toileting. None of dogs appear to be showing any signs of stress — mostly they do a lot of sleeping. We’ve established and keep to a routine with them that gives a shape to their days.
Three times a day, for all 15 dogs, we:
- Walk them
- Do room service and put out fresh water
- Put biscuit treats in various places for them to find — near the door of their travelling compartment, on their beds and so on
- Give them a pat and a hug and have a quick chat
They show confidence in us and we reward them with attention. If any of them seemed stressed, we would stop more often to provide extra reassurance. They are quiet and patient, and sometimes excited, which leads to squeaking and tail thumping! As we get to know them better as individuals, it gets easier to have fun with them. And of course, our pockets are always full of treats.
We are impressed that every dog has been clean every day and there have been no accidents at all.
Some interesting stats from our journey:
- Every day we get through 40 poo bags, 20 litres of water, a whole big bag of James Wellbeloved food, a pile of newspapers and 15 disposable food bowls
- Every two days we finish a roll of kitchen paper
- Every three days we finish a box of anti-bacterial wipes
- So far, we’ve used up six anti-bacterial sprays
On top of that, we’ve run out of plasters. That means courier M can’t walk Topaz any more as she likes biting him too much! We still love her dearly, and courier J has gladly taken over walking her (she doesn’t bite courier J).