Controversial Puppy Tale Shadows Governor Noem’s Potential VP Candidacy


South Dakota’s Governor Kristi Noem has recently been in the headlines for an uncouth incident involving a canine companionship gone awry, as shared in a story from her latest book. The governor penned down a tale that focused on a tragic incident from twenty years ago involving a spirited puppy, a tale that has since ignited harsh criticism on social media. The incident is now reshaping assumptions about Noem’s potential candidacy as the presumptive vice-presidential running mate for none other than Donald Trump.

Noem intended her tale to demonstrate her strength and resolve in making uncomfortable decisions, recounting how she had to put down a 14-month-old wirehaired pointer puppy named Cricket that had demonstrated aggressive behavior, including biting. She positioned the story as one about choosing the right path, rarely the easiest one, but her narrative has elicited more scorn than sympathy.

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The criticism came not just from Democrats but also from her conservative compatriots and distinguished hunting dog experts. Notably, conservative commentator Tomi Lahrenco categorically denied the governor’s actions as being a necessary part of rural life or ranching. The incident was colored by many as unnecessarily brutal. Comparisons between Noem and the infamous Disney villain, Cruella de Vil were frequent, and digital satire reached a peak with memes showcasing stunned canine expressions of horror.

However, Reynold Nesiba, South Dakota Democratic Senate Minority Leader, speculated on a different aspect of the situation. He presented it as a part of methodical PR damage control, anticipating a political vulnerability that could arise due to circulating whispers about Noem’s fit of anger leading to the dog’s death.

Governor Noem’s upcoming book, titled “No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward,” offers a detailed account of the incident. She took the energetic young “Cricket” for a bird-hunting trip, aiming to calm it down. However, the puppy chased pheasants and even provoked a family’s chickens, before acting aggressively towards Noem herself.

After the biting incident, Noem confessed she led the excitable dog to a gravel pit and ended its life, alongside putting down a family goat, which she perceived as mean and a danger to her children.

As the story unraveled, it unleashed a wave of responses from critics. Notably, Democratic Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz invited citizens to post photos of a more congenial relationship with their pets in contrast to Noem’s grim narrative. His post cheekily featured him feeding ice cream to his Labrador mix, Scout. Continuing the trend, President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign uploaded a photo of the president enjoyably strolling across the White House lawn with his German Shepherd.

Conservative political commentator Michael Knowles, in spite of accepting that Noem possibly could have handled the situation better, labeled the focus on the story as a symbol of changing American politics rather than morality. While expressing skepticism about Noem being selected as Trump’s running mate, he effectively labeled the discussion around the incident as insignificant.

Among the dog experts criticizing Noem was Joan Payton, a member of American Kennel Club and a representative from the German Wirehaired Pointer Club of America who argued that Noem’s decision was a lapse in wisdom, both in action and in publishing the ordeal. The club described the breed as high energy and criticized Noem’s lack of training and rushed usage of shock collars on the unseasoned puppy.

The National German Wirehaired Pointer Rescue club also chimed in, urging Noem to acknowledge her flawed decision and her responsibility to promote more humane options to her political and social following. They stressed upon the need for training adolescent sporting breeds to discipline their inherent hunting instincts.

No doubt, this episode has embroiled Governor Noem in controversy, causing some, like Payton, to reconsider their political allegiance. The repercussions of this tale will undoubtedly continue to echo in the political sphere and pet-loving homes across America.