Animalcouriers collected Labradors Cisco and Clay at Barking Mad Kennels in Lagos, Portugal. Following a summer in Portugal, these two are heading back to Wimbledon in the UK to rejoin their family. Also getting on board was Rusty, who is moving to Surrey having lived all his life until now on the Algarve. He’s quite a senior chap so his family are keen to have him home.

We stayed the night at the Monte Rosa B&B, just a few kilometres from the kennels. It’s a very quiet, rural location — perfect for us and our pets.

As we continued north the next morning, we stopped near Mexilhoeria Grande to collect Aphrodite from her breeder Ana. Although bred in Portugal, Aphrodite is a British Shorthair, who’s off to live in Scotland.

Once across the border and into Spain, we called in at Pets Paradise in Sabinillas in Andalucia, where we were pleased to catch up with owner Louise again. She brought us Lucie, who belongs to Jayne. Jayne relocated from Gibraltar to the UK a few weeks ago, and we were pleased to recommend Pets Paradise, where Lucie could stay until we could collect her.

While were chatting with Louise we noticed a police car cruising around. Louise went to see what was happening and discovered the police were trying to round up a stray puppy. Had the officers taken her to the Malaga pound, she would have been put to sleep after seven days if not claimed or rehomed. So Louise took charge of her temporarily and is trying to find a home for her.

Finally, near Marbella, we were joined by regular passenger Jake, a handsome Weimaraner. He seemed pleased to see us and hopped readily into his ‘usual’ compartment. Jake is on his way back to Ireland after his summer holidays.

We love this sign at Barking Mad Kennels

We love this sign at Barking Mad Kennels

Mini Pinscher Lillian's parasite treatment (required for entry into the UK under the pet passport scheme) had timed out, so kennels owner Heather kindly offered to take her to their vet to have it redone

Mini Pinscher Lillian’s parasite treatment (required for entry into the UK under the pet passport scheme) had timed out, so kennels owner Heather kindly offered to take her to their vet to have it redone

Cisco and Clay very excited at the prospect of the journey, waiting eagerly to come out to the van

Cisco and Clay very excited at the prospect of the journey, waiting eagerly to come out to the van

Kennels owner Alan showing off his dog management skills, trying to get Cisco to face the camera — but Cisco thought it was all about sitting for treats

Kennels owner Alan showing off his dog management skills, trying to get Cisco to face the camera — but Cisco thought it was all about sitting for treats

Success at last! Heather and Alan told us they have enjoyed having Cisco and Clay to stay.

Success at last! Heather and Alan told us they have enjoyed having Cisco and Clay to stay.

Heather brings us Rusty

Heather brings us Rusty

Rusty is ready for the off, with a lovely soft bed in his compartment to rest his old bones on

Rusty is ready for the off, with a lovely soft bed in his compartment to rest his old bones on

He may a senior chap but Rusty is very alert and interested in everything going on around him.

He may a senior chap but Rusty is very alert and interested in everything going on around him

A local resident at the Monte Rosa B&B

A local resident at the Monte Rosa B&B

Rudi was beside herself, desperate to get a sniff of the cat, who couldn't have been less interested

Rudi was beside herself, desperate to get a sniff of the cat, who couldn’t have been less interested

As the cat sauntered off to find something more interesting to do, Rudi showed off her 'standing on my back legs, looking over the wall' skills until the cat was out of sight

As the cat sauntered off to find something more interesting to do, Rudi showed off her ‘standing on my back legs, looking over the wall’ skills until the cat was out of sight

Following a sumptuous breakfast, we were ready to hit the road

Following a sumptuous breakfast, we were ready to hit the road

Ana and her husband with Aphrodite

Ana and her husband with Aphrodite

Louise brings us Jayne's cat Lucie

Louise brings us Jayne’s cat Lucie

The homeless pup in Louise's temporary care — about 8-10 weeks old and real cutie

The homeless pup in Louise’s temporary care — about 8-10 weeks old and real cutie

Jake arriving to join our trip

Jake arriving to join our trip

Jake watching courier M putting the final touches to his bedroom

Jake watching courier M putting the final touches to his bedroom

Spotted on our drive — maize (sweetcorn) drying in the sun

Spotted on our drive — maize (sweetcorn) drying in the sun