Couriers J and M set off from the UK with five dogs and four cats on board who are joining their families in France and Italy.

Tess and Sausage

Basset Hound Tess and Sausage the Spaniel belong to Steve and his family, who’ve moved to Clermont l’Herault in the Languedoc region of France. We collected the dogs from Rita in Dorset, who took care of them for a few days while the family went on ahead to roll out the red carpet.

What a great pair of characters these two are

What a great pair of characters these two are

Rita told us she would miss having them around

Rita told us she would miss having them around

Steve welcoming Tess and Sausage — Sausage grinning with delight

Steve welcoming Tess and Sausage — Sausage grinning with delight

Hatrick and Xaria

Another fine canine pair, Hatrick the Chihuahua and Xaria the Chinese Crested belong to Laura. They’re travelling from Hampshire to Laura’s family in the Bologna area of Italy.

Laura and Darth Vader seeing the dogs away

Laura and Darth Vader seeing the dogs away

Xaria is quite a nervous little girl, who took a bit of time to get settled into the routine of the trip. Chinese Cresteds are mostly hairless, hence Xaria's rather snazzy jumper.

Xaria is quite a nervous little girl, who took a bit of time to get settled into the routine of the trip. Chinese Cresteds are mostly hairless, hence Xaria’s rather snazzy jumper.

Hatrick is a friendly and confident little fellow who's very protective of Xaria

Hatrick is a friendly and confident little fellow who’s very protective of Xaria

Hatrick enjoying a walk by the sea

Hatrick enjoying a walk by the sea

Xaria taking a few tentative steps towards the water

Xaria taking a few tentative steps towards the water

The whole family turned out to welcome the dogs — here's Xaria having a hug with Laura's brother…

The whole family turned out to welcome the dogs — here’s Xaria having a hug with Laura’s brother…

…and Laura's sister Barbra being showered with kisses by Hatrick

…and Laura’s sister Barbra being showered with kisses by Hatrick

Arthur and Issy

Stunning black cat duo Arthur and Issy are travelling with us to Rome, where owner Gaynor and her family are relocating. The family also has a couple of dogs who’ll stay with Gaynor’s sister in the UK for a while longer, as Gaynor will be travelling back and forth quite a bit. It’s not always straightforward with pets, and we always do our best to try and work out a plan to help.

Arthur and Issy, a very bonded pair

Arthur and Issy, a very bonded pair

Issy shows off her perfect white bib

Issy shows off her perfect white bib

Is this my best side? wonders handsome Arthur

Is this my best side? wonders handsome Arthur

Gaynor so pleased to receive Arthur and Issy in Rome — she hadn't seen them for a while and was missing them

Gaynor so pleased to receive Arthur and Issy in Rome — she hadn’t seen them for a while and was missing them

Zoom, Mittens and Tesla

Gentle giant Zoom and his feline chums Mittens and Tesla belong to Paolo and family, who are relocating from Derbyshire to Bari.

Zoom is a gorgeous great fellow, one of our more senior passengers

Zoom is a gorgeous great fellow, one of our more senior passengers

Mittens and Tesla are happy snuggled into their igloos for travelling

Mittens and Tesla are happy snuggled into their igloos for travelling

Zoom adored walking on the beach. As soon as he saw the sea, there was new life in his slightly elderly legs, and great sparkiness to his demeanour. He more or less dragged us down to the water's edge, and we stayed out playing and walking with him for a good half an hour.

Zoom adored walking on the beach. As soon as he saw the sea, there was new life in his slightly elderly legs, and great sparkiness to his demeanour. He more or less dragged us down to the water’s edge, and we stayed out playing and walking with him for a good half an hour.

Zoom was tired out and a bit damp after his extensive romp!

Zoom was tired out and a bit damp after his extensive romp!

five dogs and four cats on board: The beach we all enjoyed was just along the coast from glitzy Rapallo. We found a quiet, modestly priced 3-star hotel right by the sea, offering delicious local food, including a simple but perfectly executed pasta with pesto, and the tastiest fresh fish. The hotel even had its own boatyard!

The beach we all enjoyed was just along the coast from glitzy Rapallo. We found a quiet, modestly priced 3-star hotel right by the sea, offering delicious local food, including a simple but perfectly executed pasta with pesto, and the tastiest fresh fish. The hotel even had its own boatyard!

We love mozzarella, especially when it's made with buffalo milk, but we'd never seen a buffalo. Then we came across a whole herd of these fabulous creatures in Fondi!

We love mozzarella, especially when it’s made with buffalo milk, but we’d never seen a buffalo. Then we came across a whole herd of these fabulous creatures in Fondi!