Animalcouriers reached Lagos last night where we met up with friends Heather and Alan at Barking Mad Kennels. German Shepherd Dogs Hendrix and Shakira, and Jake the Estrela Mountain Dog, were waiting for us. They belong to Kate and Paul, who’ve gone on ahead to Yorkshire. When Kate and Paul lived in Lagos, Kate was Heather and Alan’s weekend dog-walker — Heather says it was marvellous as it meant she and Alan could go out for Sunday lunch!

Today we met up with Pacino, who belongs to Nick and Jackie. Pacino is going on ahead and will be waiting in Surrey to welcome the family when they arrive for Christmas.

Still in the Lagos area, we called in on Marilynn and her son Daniel to collect their dog Brady. Marilynn found Brady in the street not long after he’d been hit by a car. Several months’ of vet treatments followed to repair broken limbs, with Marilynn extending her stay in Portugal to be with him while he recovered. Now six months on, he’s travelling to Scotland where he has a new permanent home with Marilynn and Daniel.

Then it was off to Guia, near Faro, to meet Maureen and Bella the Retriever. Bella is moving to Stowmarket to live with Maureen’s daughter Annette and her family, who are all very excited about her imminent arrival.

Hendrix (L) and Shakira (R), both trying to give Alan goodbye licks!

Hendrix (L) and Shakira (R), both trying to give Alan goodbye licks!

Jake, seen here with Heather. Kate and Paul discovered Jake as a small ball of fluff under a tree when they were walking Hendrix and Shakira. They took him home, and he never stopped growing!

Jake, seen here with Heather. Kate and Paul discovered Jake as a small ball of fluff under a tree when they were walking Hendrix and Shakira. They took him home, and he never stopped growing!

Pacino with his owners Nick and Jackie. He's named after Al Pacino but is rather better looking!

Pacino with his owners Nick and Jackie. He’s named after Al Pacino but is rather better looking!

Brady with his rescuer Marilynn and her son Daniel

Brady with his rescuer Marilynn and her son Daniel

Brady always seems to have one ear up, the other one down

Brady always seems to have one ear up, the other one down

Maureen with Bella

Maureen with Bella

A closer look at gorgeous Bella

A closer look at gorgeous Bella

TomTom, who's been with us since yesterday, is a very lively fellow at 18 months of age. He's a good lad who knows commands like 'sit' and 'lie down' — and manages to look cute and handsome at the same time!

TomTom, who’s been with us since yesterday, is a very lively fellow at 18 months of age. He’s a good lad who knows commands like ‘sit’ and ‘lie down’ — and manages to look cute and handsome at the same time!

Terrapins Thor and Odin, who joined us yesterday with cats Cerys and Dylan

Terrapins Thor and Odin, who joined us yesterday with cats Cerys and Dylan

Still reminiscing about our stay at the Pousada Hotel in Extremoz, here's a selection of masons' marks from the castle

Still reminiscing about our stay at the Pousada Hotel in Extremoz, here’s a selection of masons’ marks from the castle

We wonder what they all mean…

We wonder what they all mean…

…and what sort of lives were led by the people who left the marks behind

…and what sort of lives were led by the people who left the marks behind