Did you know there’s a whole industry devoted to pet travel? There are even pet travel agencies. So if your dog wants to take a break in the country there is a company who will organise that for him. I only found this out because I was trying to find a company that would transport some snails for me. That’s when I met the dreaded lists of prohibited items. I wasn’t surprised by the explosives and I guess taking a lion or giraffe for a ride would require an expert. But why on earth live animals of all kinds are excluded I just don’t understand. All I wanted was a van to bring me 5 big cardboard boxes. If I hadn’t told them what was inside they would never have known. The snails will be peacefully slumbering so they won’t be able to watch the world go by.

When I buy beautiful snails from France to lay eggs for me, I’ve often wondered if they get homesick. Now that Ruth Brooks has shown they have a homing instinct (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/sywtbas/2010/ruth/) I wonder how long it is before they get used to being transplanted. Do they gaze wistfully south and sniff the wind when the weather’s cold? When they climb the sides of their pen are they heading for the A2 hoping to hitch a lift across the channel? After a while do they come to feel attached to our particular corner of East Kent?

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