May 25, 2018
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Stuffed dog makes roundtrip across the Atlantic

By Brian Swartz, Of the Weekly Staff

HERMON — A Webkinz stuffed dog belonging to 6-year-old Kristany Raymond recently crossed the Atlantic Ocean, twice, and brought home a box of Dutch goodies with it.

On Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, the Raymond family of Hermon visited Seawall on Mount Desert Island. Kristany has owned the Webkinz dog — officially named “Cream Soda Pup” and dubbed “Creamy” by her — since she was a toddler. Creamy “goes to school with Kris every day and sleeps with her every night,” said Kendra Raymond, Kristany’s mother.

At Seawall, Kristany “put Creamy down” and went exploring among the rocks with her siblings. Later the family headed to Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse; somewhere en route, Kristany realized that Creamy was missing.

Amidst the tears, the Raymonds sped to Seawall and searched frantically for about two hours. “We gave up,” Kendra said. “It was dark. The tide was coming in. It was just too dangerous.”

She spoke with a National Park Service ranger at Seawall Campground; he placed a notice about Creamy in the campground’s office, according to Kendra. The Raymonds returned home; a short time later, “we decided to put an ad on the free ‘lost’ section of Craig’s List,” Kendra recalled.

The ad described Creamy as “wearing a doll’s outfit, a purple collar with nametag ‘Creamy,’ and red leash.’” Citing when and where Creamy vanished, Kendra wrote that “this little dog is my daughter’s whole world … She is devastated!”

In late September, Kendra started receiving emails that people were seeing a Craig’s List “found” ad for a “white webkinz dog.” She checked — and discovered that the photos depicted Creamy.

But the stuffed dog had crossed the Atlantic to the Netherlands, courtesy of Edel Harteveld and Kees Mudde of Rotterdam.

Driving a rental car, they had arrived on MDI to visit Acadia National Park on Sept. 11. After a few foggy days, Sept. 14 dawned sunny. Harteveld and Mudde drove to Cadillac Mountain and then Seawall before heading to Schoodic Point. They found Creamy at Seawall and decided to find its owner.

Being the “grandparents of an almost 5 years old grandson … we know how important stuffed animals can be” to young children, Harteveld later explained to Kendra Raymond.

Harteveld and Mudde brought Creamy home to Rotterdam, where the Webkinz met and bonded with the family’s two dogs, Lola and Olive. Then Harteveld placed an ad on Craig’s List, and within a few days she and Kendra reached each other by email. Kendra provided Harteveld with the Raymonds’ address; in October a box arrived from the Netherlands.

Inside were Creamy and several gifts: Dutch cookies, Gouda cheese, cinnamon sticks, Klene licorice, a Dutch jewelry-making set, and a lovely card that Harteveld sent to Kristany.

“I was really happy” to receive the none-the-worse-for-wear Creamy, Kristany said.

“She was so happy,” Kendra commented. “She said, ‘It is the best day of my life!’

“We never thought we would see Creamy again,” Kendra said.

Today, sporting an ID tag with her owner’s name and phone number, Creamy travels everywhere with Kristany. She received an “I love Creamy” shirt for Christmas, and the Webkinz wears a Dutch-shoe charm that Harteveld attached to its collar.

And Edel and Kendra are planning to collaborate on a children’s book, “Creamy’s Dutch Adventure,” that will hopefully come out later this year.

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