This should be our last stop, and our last blog, before we reach Calais.

We have so enjoyed having this group of passengers on board. Every one of these pets is equally lovable, but ‘critter of the trip’ has to be Snowy. He was handed over to us with a packet of tranquilisers which is still intact — he’s been a laid-back old sleepyhead who’s had to be prodded awake for walks!

He’s also been very affectionate and likes nothing more than standing up on his hind legs, resting his paws on your tummy, to enjoy lengthy bouts of fuss. We can’t resist his grin!

Scamp and Daisy are typical terriers who like to keep an eye on everything that’s going in and out of, and around, the van. Daisy is the only dog that barks, so we’ve relied on her to let us know when there’s a stranger about.

Hagi and Tess a pair of close companions. They haven’t grasped why they’re not the first to go for their walk, but eventually learned that things are done in a certain order and that their turn does come too. Hagi’s tail goes thump, thump on the compartment wall, while Tess paces up and down, me too, me too.

Every time they get out of the van they make it a mission to pull courier M’s arms out of their sockets, but after a quick orientation they settle down and walk very well on leads, and seem to enjoy their time snuffling about during their walks. Despite the urgency to get out of the van they’re always very good at getting back in and onto their beds without any extra encouragement. Such good dogs!

Barney appears to be a docile character but has shown us his strong personality. The setters are devoted to him and defer to him over food ownership matters. He’s also quite single minded at times when he doesn’t really want to get back into the van.  But like all greyhounds he’s also a calm, quiet presence.

Josh and Mac, or as we know them, ‘the Setters’, draw comment and admiration wherever they go. We had pose for photographs and answer questions about them in Turkey, Greece and Italy. They’re fun to walk and appear to be joined at the hip most of the time.

When we collected Carol’s cats, Tiny, Choco, Peggy and Floffy, they were a bit nonplussed and most put out by the experience. They’ve taken a while to relax but now we can see their characters.  Peggy wants fuss and when you walk near her out comes her little paw for a pat or a stroke. Tiny is still wary, but Floffy and Choco are not so timid and like watching to see what’s going on — Floffy from the comfort of her litter tray. They have all overcome their initial reluctance to eat, thanks to the large stock of Whiskas lamb that was recommended by the Cyprus fairy.

Wallace and Elsa are a pair of characters. Wallace keeps to the background while Elsa holds court at the front of their compartment.

Hagi and Tess

Scamp

Daisy, our brave guard dog

Snowy, paws on tummy

Elsa and Wallace (at last!)

Barney, Josh and Mac