Animalcouriers met up with Cordelia from Nine Lives Greece in Athens Central Park. She brought Melassa and Oscar to us for their journey to their forever homes in the UK.

Once these two cats were settled into our van — where they joined Matilda whose trip had already started — we went on to the Filozoikos Shelter to collect our doggy passengers.

We were greeted by a table full of breakfast delights and freshly brewed coffee. Kiki told us over breakfast that they have 120 dogs for rehoming at the moment, plus two recently dumped litters of puppies.

Once everyone was on board, we headed to the port for our ferry to Italy, where everything ground to a halt, owing to new paperwork requirements that were brought in by the Greek authorities in February. (We’ll be posting more detail on this in the next blog.) Right now, we’re in the process of working our way through it, to ensure we can deliver all these lovely animals to their forever homes in the UK.

Cordelia with Oscar

Cordelia with Oscar

Oscar settled in for the journey

Oscar settled in for the journey

Melassa gets comfy in her bedroom

Melassa gets comfy in her bedroom

Cordelia and Kiki shared many stories about animal rescues — here Cordelia is introducing Kiki to Melassa (Oscar is just next door)

Cordelia and Kiki shared many stories about animal rescues — here Cordelia is introducing Kiki to Melassa (Oscar is just next door)

The wonderful breakfast spread

The wonderful breakfast spread

One of the dogs we were due to take was simply too big for the compartment in our van. So Millie, who was due to travel with us next month, had her trip brought forward. Kiki dashed to the vet for a pet passport while Millie got a wash and brushup. She's a lovely dog, quiet and good natured, with a pronounced limp. Martha (shown here with Millie) has been trying to rehome her for quite a while now.

Millie is a lovely dog, quiet and good natured, with a pronounced limp. Here she is with Martha who’s taken a special interest in her.

Margarita, who greeted us with a big friendly smile, took on the role of chief groomer today

Margarita, who greeted us with a big friendly smile, was chief groomer for the day

Athina really enjoyed being brushed and fussed over

Athina really enjoyed being brushed and fussed over

Sweet-natured Rottie Melissa had already had a long day's travel from Thessaloniki, but still managed to give everyone lovely 'hello' licks

Sweet-natured Rottie Melissa gave everyone lovely ‘hello’ licks

Stathis looking very handsome — he's something of pin-up at the shelter

Stathis looking very handsome — he’s something of pin-up at the shelter

Sopi all groomed and eager to hop on the bus

Sopi all groomed and eager to hop on the bus

Dewar brushed and combed and ready to get going

Dewar brushed and combed and ready to get going

Very happy Alicia, grinning from ear to ear, shows off the special bow on her collar

Very happy Alicia, grinning from ear to ear, shows off the special bow on her collar

Martha burns the midnight oil making these splendid adornments for the travelling dogs' collars, imbuing them with love and luck for their future lives

Martha burns the midnight oil making these splendid adornments for the travelling dogs’ collars, imbuing them with love and luck for their future lives in their forever homes

(A different) Athina modelling Stathis's collar!

(A different) Athina modelling Stathis’s collar!

There's a name tag for every dog too, with a hand-drawn heart

There’s a name tag for every dog with a hand-drawn heart

Martha has a great sense of humour and tells us little snippets about all the dogs

Martha has a great sense of humour and told us little snippets about all the dogs

Checking microchips before we set off — we can't risk getting to Calais only to discover a missing, wrong or unreadable chip

Checking microchips before we set off — we can’t risk a missing, wrong or unreadable chip

A big wave from the Filozoikos team. As we were leaving one of them said, your followers will think this is a photo of mad people. To which another replied, we ARE mad!

A big wave from the Filozoikos team. As we were leaving one of them said, your followers will think this is a photo of mad people. To which another replied, we ARE mad!