Wow, that is really sad and devastating I'm sure. I'm sorry for your friends loss.Yes, the trip from England seemed a bit much for me. but i also voiced my concerns about it. and when we do decide to bred our bully we will NOT ship AT ALL. i just dont think it's safe. but again, my opinion.
Just recently a fellow bulldogger was traveling 3 hours home from a dog show. She had 4 dogs crated in an RV and while driving home one of the dogs died. i believe it was related to the exhaust and such. i just don't think long term traveling w/o closely monitoring your animal is very safe. one would never think a 3 hour car ride would harm an animal as well, but if it was in the back of an rv near the exhaust, it could very well be a deadly experience.
Oh how i wish our animals would speak WORDS. sometimes barks/meows are just not enough.