MOUNT VERNON — Jeanett Reight was helping her daughter, Amalia, practice for a spelling test when her son, Julian, gave her a look through their backyard window — and she knew something was wrong.

One of the Reight family’s two dogs had fallen through the ice on Belgrade Stream.

Among Julian’s after-school chores is to let the dogs outside, but that night an otter was nearby. Anani, an 8-year-old German shepherd, went after the otter and fell through the ice Thursday.

Jeanett Reight rushed outside while Amalia called for rescue and Julian rushed their other Shepherd, Luna, into the house. Knowing something was going on outside, Luna, whined and felt the distress of what was outside.

Down by the stream, Reight tried to get the Anani to swim to her.

“She was bogged down by mud,” she said. “She couldn’t get purchase to hop back up on the ice.”

The Mount Vernon Fire Department, with members of Lakes Region Mutual Aid, responded to the call, which came in around 4:30 p.m. — and just that day, the Readfield Fire Department, a Lakes Region member, had received ice-water rescue suits, Readfield Fire Chief Lee Mank said.

Tethered by other crew members, fireman Josh Black went into the water, where he shoved the dog to safety, Mank said.

Back on shore, Anani ran around. She did not need medical attention.

“I’m glad they got those suits,” said Dr. Ian Reight, who had just arrived home during the rescue.

The department bought the suits with grant money from the Kennebec Emergency Management Agency.

The Reights were grateful that the dog was OK.

“They mean a lot to us,” Jeanett Reight said.

“They’re watchful over the kids,” Ian Reight said.


Abigail Austin — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @AbigailAustinKJ

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