Animalcouriers travelled from Italy to Greece and arrived to the unusual sight of snow in Patras. We drove on to Athens, where the first passenger to get on board was Champion Mini Bull Terrier Peabody. He’s off to England in time for Crufts, and we wish him lots of luck. John and Clare breed and show these lovely dogs.

Next up were Fidel and Lady, a lively pair of Spaniels who belong to Dimitri. He’s gone on ahead to England, leaving his dogs in the care of his parents, who brought them to us at the Palace Hotel.

Stavros brought us his cute dog Milou, as they and Anni are off to live and work in Scotland. Stavros’s sister Angeliki is already there β€” her dogΒ Suzana travelled with us last October.

Cordelia and Anya came to our hotel with two gorgeous cats, Poppi and Philomena. Anya has been fostering them and was sad to see them go, but is pleased to think they have lovely new homes to go to. And finally, Marta and Kiki from the Filozoikos Shelter arrived with lovely black-and-white dog Daisy, who has a new home waiting for her in the UK.

From Athens we headed to Volos Port to meet Andrea and Tom, their dog Robbie and cat Narla. They’ve spent five wonderful years on Skiathos, but now the time has come to go back to the UK. Then it was off to Thessaloniki β€” an earlier accident on the motorway held us up, but we finally caught up with Ilias and his dog Silva, a cuddly brown and black terrier. There was just time for a quick hug before IliasΒ  had to dash off to catch his plane to Newcastle, where Afroditi is waiting for Ilias and Silva to join her.

The last passenger to board was Louis, a Boxer cross, who was lucky enough to be adopted by Tracy while she was living and working in Greece. Now on their way to the UK, Louis is travelling with us while Tracy takes the plane.

Patras in the snow

Patras in the snow

Goodbye hugs for Peabody from John's mum

Goodbye hugs for Peabody from John’s mum

Fidel and Lady get a great send-off

Fidel and Lady get a great send-off

Pretty Milou shows us her fine profile

Pretty Milou shows us her fine profile

Milou gets a big goodbye cuddle

Milou gets a big goodbye cuddle

Cordelia and Anya with Poppi and Philomena, the cats Anya has been fostering

Cordelia and Anya with Poppi and Philomena, the cats Anya has been fostering

Cordelia shared this lovely photo of Poppi (L) and Philomena (R) relaxing at Anya and Alesa's home

Cordelia shared this lovely photo of Poppi (L) and Philomena (R) relaxing at Anya and Alesa’s home

Martha with Daisy. Not sure which is more luminous β€” Martha's shoes or Daisy's collar!

Martha with Daisy. Not sure which is more luminous β€” Martha’s shoes or Daisy’s collar!

Lovely Daisy sports a signature Filozoikos hand-made collar

Lovely Daisy sports a signature Filozoikos hand-made collar

Kiki and Cordelia having a chat about TRACES

Kiki and Cordelia having a chat about TRACES

Tom trying to persuade Robbie to sit and smile for the camera

Tom trying to persuade Robbie to sit and smile for the camera

Success this time around!

Success this time around!

Narla watching the whole performance

Narla watching the whole performance

Narla calmly settled in for the journey

Narla calmly settled in for the journey

Ilias cuddling Silva

Ilias cuddling Silva

Tracy saying goodbye to Louis

Tracy saying goodbye to Louis

We left Greece from the port of Igoumenitsa, where we were cheered to be reminded of how the street dogs are tolerated β€” and even looked after β€” by the port authorities. Everyone had to step around this sleeping hound to get their tickets!

We left Greece from the port of Igoumenitsa, where we were cheered to be reminded of how the street dogs are tolerated β€” and even looked after β€” by the port authorities. Everyone had to step around this sleeping hound to get their tickets!

We arrived at the Italian port of Ancona and, when we stopped nearby to walk the dogs, the heavens opened! Milou jumped straight back into the van and into the driver's seat!

We arrived at the Italian port of Ancona and, when we stopped nearby to walk the dogs, the heavens opened! Milou jumped straight back into the van and into the driver’s seat!

Heading towards Genoa to try and avoid the snow in Italy, we felt quite peckish. Fortunately we had those lovely biscuits from Kiki and Marta to hand...

Heading towards Genoa to try and avoid the snow in Italy, we felt quite peckish. Fortunately we had those lovely biscuits from Kiki and Marta to hand…