As we start our journey north from Portugal, we collect more pets who are heading to the UK.
Manu, a friend of Animalcouriers, drove Jack and his sister and their Husky Swarsky from Gibraltar to meet up with us in Seville. Swarsky will homeboard with Animalcouriers for a week, before travelling to Lancashire to catch up with Jack once he gets back to the UK.
Next to get on board was Toffee, one of a litter of pups found in the Portuguese campo near the Spanish border. Antonio and his mum reared them, and now Toffee has been adopted by their friends Mary and her husband. Toffee started off unsure about what to do when a lead was put on him, but just 24 hours later was walking on a lead as though he’d always done it. Everything was very sedate until he came upon a rugged patch of campo-like terrain, when he started rolling around and sniffing everything in reach — as if to say, this is where I belong!
Despite our vans being air-conditioned, the high temperatures at this time of year mean we try to avoid too many detours on our trips. So, to enable four pets from Madrid to join our trip, we arranged for a well known local pet transport company, Automascotas, to bring them to us. We booked ourselves in at the Casa Rural El Arrullo in San Juan de Requena, Valencia — which is listed on booking.com as ‘superb’ with a rating of 9.2 out of 10 — and waited for Xavier to arrive.
It turned out to be a great place to stop. Apart from the warm welcome from our hosts, we were greeted by a number of local residents who popped over for a chat, all of us speaking rather broken Spanish and English! It felt like we’d landed in the middle of traditional Spanish hospitality. Everyone was fascinated by the customised Animalcouriers and Automascotas vans, and intrigued to watch us walking dogs on leads, as in much of Spain dogs simply run free in the campo.
The four pets who travelled with Xavier from Madrid were Berty, Jet, Xania and Briguita. Liz from AAH Vets in Madrid asked us to transport Berty for one of her clients, and Berty has been staying with her in the meantime. This fun-loving hound is on his way to Leicester.
Sharron asked us to transport her handsome cat Jet, whom she rescued in the Dolores area, to the UK. Liz at AAH has been looking after him since Sharron left Spain. Jet has a number of health issues and has come with his own medication. He’s very lucky that Sharron rescued him as he wouldn’t have survived living in the wild. Sharron and Jet’s ultimate destination is Australia.
Gorgeous Eurasier puppy Xania, bred by Antonio, is the half-sister of two other Eurasiers, Molly and Ozzie, already owned by Kayleigh. At a show in Italy, Molly was crowned champion, and both dogs have qualified for Crufts 2016. Xania looks set to follow in their footsteps.
Lovely Briguita belongs to Rita and Ricardo, and is their two-year-old son’s favourite playmate. The family is relocating to London where Ricardo ha a new job. They’re very excited about being reunited with her at their new home.
Today we met Pedro and his guinea pig Coby. Pedro and his wife, Leo, think the world of her. She came armed with a bag of food, including her favourite green and red sweet peppers, and many other accessories that only a travelling guinea pig will understand. Coby and Pedro are joining Leo in Cambridge where she has started a new job.