On his way to the UK with Pipi, Boomer, Hector and Dylan, courier M dropped courier J at Milan airport to board a flight to Greece, ready to help with the airlift from Greece of nine dogs going to the UK.
The other six went to the Central Bark Beach Dog Café in Manchester. Four are from Lesvos, and two are from Lemnos. The Starlight Barking Trust has pledged to help as many Lemnos strays as possible to find new homes. If you’d like to make a donation to support the trust’s work, you can use the PayPal donation button on their Facebook page.
And if you’re interested in adopting any of the dogs currently in Manchester, do get in touch with the Starlight Barking Trust — contact details are on their Facebook page.
Sightseeing on Lesvos
Before gathering up the dogs for their flights, courier J had time to indulge in a spot of sightseeing.
Wonderful rocky outcrops, abounding with wild flowers…
…and bright pink shelters, which we assume are for stray dogs
A closer look at the wild flowers
At the community olive oil mill — these steam-powered machines turn cogs to move belts and pulleys and provide power to the olive presses
Pressing the pulp after the olives have been crushed
Olive oil storage
If that’s the goat minder in the background, he’s asleep on the job!
Mytilene Castle has seen many residents since it was built in the 14th century. Most recently, migrants camped out here last year.
An abandoned worksheet for learning English
We nearly trod on this glamorous insect! Can anyone identify it?
Starlight Barking Trust
Benny, Bruno, Sissy, Lulu, Lola and Teddy had their journeys sponsored by the Starlight Barking Trust.
Mates Benny and Bruno
Five-month-old Sissy, a small Collie-type dog, is well socialised with people and other dogs
Lulu (here) and Lola are the sisters of two other young pups we brought back from Greece on a previous trip, and who are now happily settled in their new homes in Scotland.
Lola, Lulu’s sister. These two girls, along with their brothers, were hand reared by Rebecca of Lesvos Stray Cat and Dog Adoptions. They lived in her home and are well socialised with people, their siblings and other dogs. They’re travelling together on this trip.
Teddy, a real smiler
Wild at Heart Foundation
Meg, Benji and another Teddy were sponsored by the Wild at Heart Foundation.
Soft little Meg was a bit confused by all the moving about. Don’t worry Meg, it will soon all be over!
Pointer Benji from Lesvos
Teddy gets a goodbye hug at the airport
At Mytilene airport
It was an early start (4.00am!) for couriers J and Richard, and Rebecca. By 6.30am we were at the airport with the nine dogs safely tucked up in their travel boxes.
We were then faced with the unexpected palaver of unloading the dogs, dismantling the boxes for X-raying, having each box and dog weighed separately, putting the boxes back together, and settling the dogs back down inside them.
By some miracle, we still managed to be ready to check in on time for our plane to Athens!
Courier Richard with Rebecca at the airport
Courier Richard chatting with the dogs to reassure them
Rebecca gives Sissy a big goodbye hug. She really is a very small dog!
Starlight Barking Teddy knows that to get a head or tummy rub, he just has to lie down. Here’s Rebecca, obliging!
Rebecca has a final cuddle with Lulu and Lola
Benny from Lemnos gets a chin chuck
Rebecca says goodbye to Bruno
The check-in area at Mytilene airport is quite small, so the handlers were keen to take our passengers off for loading as soon as possible
A change at Athens, then by road from Paris to the UK
Dogs and couriers had a quick change of planes at Athens airport, then flew on to Paris Charles de Gaulle, where Courier M was waiting to meet us. We popped all the dogs into bedrooms in the van, packed away the travel boxes, and headed for the Eurotunnel.
Changing planes at Athens
Lola and Lulu in their bedroom in our van, wagging their tails and curious about everything
Meg was relieved to lie down in a comfy bed and snooze her way across the Channel!
Safe arrival of the Manchester contingent, on a beautiful sunny day — happy waggy-tailed dogs!
Teddy (Starlight Barking) has already found his forever home — courier Richard fell in love with him during the trip, and promptly adopted him!