DeSantis Leads: Essentia Got Adopted

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has a new book coming out. The Guardian published some excerpts from her forthcoming biography. 

One excerpt is causing a stir. Jazz wrote about it and if you haven't read his post, I encourage you to do so. It's an eye-opener. 


Noem writes about killing a 14-month-old puppy. And a goat. She justified it by writing about bad behavior from the animals on her farm. The question is why did she include the mentions in her upcoming book? 

An avid hunter, Ms. Noem wrote that she had hoped to train Cricket to hunt pheasant, but that she proved “untrainable,” “dangerous to anyone she came in contact with” and “less than worthless” as a hunting dog. “I hated that dog,” Ms. Noem wrote, according to The Guardian.

It was after Cricket ruined a hunting trip, killed another family’s chickens and bit the governor that Ms. Noem recalled deciding to kill the dog; she shot Cricket in a gravel pit.

That was not the only blood Ms. Noem drew that day: She also shot a male goat that she called “nasty and mean.” Shot him twice, in fact: The goat jumped as she shot him the first time, according to The Guardian’s recounting of the book, so she fetched another shell and shot him again.

The whole ordeal was reportedly witnessed by a construction crew nearby. Ms. Noem wrote that as the workers returned to their jobs, a school bus came by to drop off her children.

Her daughter, Kennedy, Ms. Noem wrote, “looked around confused” and asked, “Hey, where’s Cricket?”


Noem admits if she was a better politician she would not have included the story. However, she said she decided to include Cricket and the unnamed goat in her book because it shows that she is willing to do whatever is necessary in any situation. She is a potential running mate for Donald Trump and she is trying to show she's capable of doing hard things. 


Like Jazz, I like Governor Noem. From all I've seen, she has done a good job in South Dakota. Her personal story is compelling. I just don't understand how it is she thought the Cricket story plays to her advantage. 

I understand she is a hunter and wanted Cricket to be a hunting dog. Not every dog is cut out for that, though. Why didn't she just re-home the dog if she 'hated' her? At only 14 months, she could have been trained as a family pet, maybe not a farm dog that hunts.

Potential readers, other than her loyal supporters, may not deliver the reaction she expects. It's a horrible story for those of us who love animals, especially domestic animals like dogs and cats. 

In contrast, as Noem's story was spreading online, Governor DeSantis (R-FL) was promoting rescue dogs. Essentia, a rescue dog from the southern border, came to visit the Governor's mansion. 

The cuteness factor is off the charts. The DeSantis family adopted a rescue dog in February. Her name is Liberty. DeSantis made good on a promise to his kids that they could have a dog. 


Essentia is "a lab/shepherd mix who was rescued from the southern border" by a Florida organization, Big Dog Ranch Rescue. I wrote about them in March. The rescue operation is doing good work along the southern border with abandoned dogs. Illegal aliens leave their dogs behind when they cross the border. 

Essentia's story is more relatable to regular Americans. Noem's story doesn't just go to character but to judgment. She went overboard as she tried to prove she was strong and not afraid to make tough decisions. I think she may have dropped off the list of potential running mates before this came out. If not, she probably is off the list now. Remember the outrage over the way Mitt Romney transported his dogs during a family road trip? Yeah. 

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