Sunday, April 28, 2024

The US is living through its own version of the Jeremy Thorpe Affair

Readers of a certain age will remember Rinka. She was the dog shot to persuade her owner, Norman Scott, not to talk about his affair with the Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe.

Now it's the US's turn to live through a political scandal about a shot dog.

Kristi Noem, the governor of South Dakota, was one of the favourites to be Donald Trump's running mate this November. But she appears to have ruined her chances of becoming Vice President by publishing a book.

The Guardian takes up the story:

"Cricket was a wirehair pointer, about 14 months old," the South Dakota governor writes in a new book, adding that the dog, a female, had an "aggressive personality" and needed to be trained to be used for hunting pheasant.

What unfolds over the next few pages shows how that effort went very wrong indeed – and, remarkably, how Cricket was not the only domestic animal Noem chose to kill one day in hunting season.

By taking Cricket on a pheasant hunt with older dogs, Noem says, she hoped to calm the young dog down and begin to teach her how to behave. Unfortunately, Cricket ruined the hunt, going "out of her mind with excitement, chasing all those birds and having the time of her life".

That's a picture of Cricket above.

The Guardian report goes on to say: 

"I hated that dog," Noem writes, adding that Cricket had proved herself "untrainable", "dangerous to anyone she came in contact with" and "less than worthless ... as a hunting dog".

"At that moment," Noem says, "I realised I had to put her down."

Noem, who also represented her state in Congress for eight years, got her gun, then led Cricket to a gravel pit.

"was not a pleasant job," she writes, "but it had to be done. And after it was over, I realised another unpleasant job needed to be done."

Yes, she also shot a goat the family owned.

According to Noem, it was "nasty and mean", because it had not been castrated. Furthermore, the goat smelled "disgusting, musky, rancid".

Donald Trump is 77.


Anonymous said...

The deadpan last line is superb

Jonathan Calder said...

Thank you!