Animalcouriers expect to reach our base in Surrey late this afternoon.

As always on these trips, the pets and couriers have come together to form a kind of family. The pets quickly learn the routine, understanding by the sights and sounds when they’ll be fed, and which order the dogs will be walked in. They react to the sound of the biscuit tin opening and the rattle of the food containers.

Each animal reveals his or her own personality during the journey, and we try hard to fall in with their preferences. We learn to recognise the tattoos beaten on the compartment walls and floors by the thumping of each dog’s tail.

Tonight a courier will go to Fulham and south-east London and, if it’s not too late, to Essex as well. Tomorrow we’ll start getting our north- and west-bound passengers home.

Two hours to go to Calais!