EASTPORT, Maine — Schooner, one of Raye’s Mustard’s two canine mascots, drowned Thursday morning after getting stuck in thin ice on Boyden Lake, one of the company’s owners said Saturday.
Karen Raye and husband, Kevin, are the fourth generation to produce the company’s award-winning mustards. Schooner, a 2½-year-old English springer spaniel, and fellow canine mascot Dijon, a golden retriever, got away from the family’s home and made their way into Boyden’s icy waters.
“They went into the lake, and Kevin didn’t see them until they were trapped, surrounded by ice, so they couldn’t get out. Yet another reminder that in Maine how unsafe the ice is at this time of year,” she said.
“Kevin was able to get to Dijon, but he couldn’t find Schooner. Schooner had gone under and never came back,” Raye said. “Poor Kevin. It would be sad no matter what, but I think he just feels helpless that he couldn’t save both of them.
“It was tough. I was at the mustard mill when it happened. Kevin had called me between calling 911. Of course in a small town — that’s the good thing about living in a small town — when I got there, there were all kinds of people there helping him. It was kind of nice,” she said.
“They helped find Schooner’s body. It was under the ice,” Raye said.
Raye said that several of the town’s volunteer firefighters showed up, along with residents who heard about the incident on their police scanners. There were about a dozen people in all.
“They did what they could, but they didn’t get him in time,” she said. Arrangements are being made to cremate the spaniel.
Both dogs were named after varieties of Raye’s mustard: Down East Schooner, a classic yellow mustard, and Dijon after its Old World Gourmet mustard, Raye said.
“People always thought it was funny that we named our dogs after the mustards,” she said.