Rex, the injured, stray puppy that we found on the streets of Lavrion last summer has started the first leg of his journey to Stoke Newington. This afternoon, Katherina, who has been looking after him all this time, drove him from her farm in the scruffy hills beyond Athens to the swanky, laminated floored, city apartment of the vet. I can picture him there now; the vet fussing over him and feeding him her dinner, pretending to scold him when he pisses on the rug, then kissing him goodnight before tucking him into bed for the very last night he will ever spend in Greece.
He will be enjoying all the attention, quite unaware that in the morning he will be loaded onto a plane at Athens airport and flown, along with six other rescue dogs, to Brussels.
In the South of England, Mark and Chris from Friends of the Strays of Greece set off for Brussels. They are staying the night in a B & B near the airport, ready to meet the early flight carrying the dogs. In Belgium, after the dogs have stretched their legs they will be back in their cages and onto a van for the drive through France to Calais. Then comes the really scary bit. As they pass through Checkpoint Charlie, the dogs' paperwork is going to be SCRUTINISED before they're let into the UK and if it isn't absolutely PERFECT the consequences could be dire.