So... in the middle of all this, I forgot it was Mid Summer Night on Friday. This is the other day of the year when the entire country shuts down (the other being Christmas). So I couldn't call the Finnish authories to talk to them about the paper work. Will do that first thing tomorrow morning. I did, however, research it all over again on the internet and came to the same conclusion as before: it should be possible to fix Lilo's papers so that they are valid all the way through to Finland.
My German friend called the transporter man and he said it would be alright to do the papers for Germany, instead of France (because this seemed to be a big issue for the vets). He told me to drive into Germany and then take a left and drive into France (the three borders are very close). When you cross over the border from Germany to France, it's no big deal, they won't apparently even look at your horse. And if they do, all they want to see is the passport. Which we have. This because both countries are in the European Union. I believe the guy, since I know people who travel with their horses all the time in Europe, and there is really never any border control.
With that in mind I called the vet office. I decided to brave them myself with my French. I didn't talk to the vet, but someone else who was happy to hear I was going to cross the border into Germany instead of France. I didn't mention a word about France. :-) She kept telling me that they could only put one name down as the "shipper", but then when I really pressed her about the paperwork, she admitted that there were several spaces to write car license plate numbers. Hallelujah! I told her that we could write me as the "shipper" and then just list all the differnt trucks. I promised to confirm this from Finland on Monday. Hope I can find someone there who knows everything about the TRACES papers and how to fill them out.
But then I got to thinking that if they really don't know a thing about this paper work at this vet office, can they really be authorized to do the paperwork? The thing is, not just any vet can do the papers, it has to be a state autorized vet with a special stamp. I tried to find the list of the authorized vets online but couldn't. But I did find the telephone number to the cantonal vet's office. So, I'm calling them on Monday, too, just to check I'm working with people who have the official stamp. Because, without the official stamp, I'm not going over the border with that horse... At this point I am so paranoid I just want to cover my back as much as I can.
Little Love on the other hand is doing fine. She seems content and ready to go. I'm happy to report she has been in heat this week, which is a good thing, because it means she won't be in heat when we leave (separation anxiety is always heightened then). Jean-Claude, the man who will bring his horse to replace Lilo, will be driving me to Germany/France on Thursday morning. He came over today to check that the electricals on the trailer work with his car. They did. So we are set on that front. I'm happy he is taking me. I've only met the guy twice, but he is really calm and very, very intuitive with the horses. Actually, he's the first guy Little Love has ever accepted, no questions asked. When I watch him with the animals, horses and dogs alike, I can see he is talking to them silently and they are listening and talking back. Today he told Little Love he was going to take her up to Germany/France on Thursday. Just the fact that he took the time to tell her that speaks volumes of how this guy operates. I'm sorry I will not get to know him better since I'm moving!