Let’s Talk Cricket

 

Kristi Noem is in the dog house (ahem) with people of every political leaning for shooting her 15-month-old dog, Cricket, after he killed her neighbor’s chickens, as documented in her new autobiography. Some on the Right are criticizing her for being out of touch with the electorate and sabotaging her electoral future. Others are defending her for honestly exposing the rural versus urban divide in attitudes among Americans. As a lifelong dog lover, I’m here to explain why I’m in the latter camp and to open the discussion to the cultural implications of the reaction to Noem’s story.

What I’m not going to do is spend much time here on Noem and her political career. I just don’t know enough about her. My overall impression is she’s a typical Republican ladder-climber — talks a good game and ultimately disappoints.

Now to me and my life with dogs. I grew up in the suburbs near Cleveland and the Emerald Necklace park system with a German Shepherd, Grendel, who would wait for me at the bus stop 100 yards from home and walk home ahead of me snarling and baring her teeth to warn off any would-be attackers. To say she was protective would be an understatement. She was also an excellent judge of character as she absolutely hated the paper boy, who grew up to be abusive to his adoptive parents. My parents were not pet-people, but our family of seven kids compensated for their disinterest up until we started to move on with our adult lives. Grendel was sent to a family farm where, despite losing a leg in a fight with raccoons, her life was ended like Cricket’s after she and another farm dog killed six full grown hogs. She was an amazing athlete and became a bloodthirsty predator. She had to go.

My dog in high school was a German Shepherd mix and rescue that my brother brought home one summer break from college. She was a good friend and playmate and lived out her natural life’s end on my sister’s property while I was away at college.

I missed having a dog while in college, and so, shortly after Mr. C and I married, we adopted a puppy mill pet store Samoyed who lived with us and another couple in our first home. I still carry guilt about breeding her (she was NOT breeding material), although she had a gentle and sociable Sammy personality. With everyone working days, she was sadly neglected and paid the price for us learning what it meant to be the opposite of good, responsible dog owners. We had her put down after her mobility diminished.

After two miscarriages, we decided to get serious about having kids and I quit my somewhat stressful engineering job which also required a little travel, and became a stay-at-home wife-soon-to-be-mother. We saw this as an opportunity to fulfill the obligation as pet owners that we had neglected before. I called the Samoyed club of Colorado and was directed to a very responsible breeder, who turned out to be a lifelong advisor regarding dog breeds and training. Grandma J sold us a male puppy as a pet, who turned out to be a champion show dog and runner-up for the Samoyed National Championship just after his 1st birthday (the national champion that year was an older dog who was “next in line”).

Sidebar: How Starstuff became a champion show dog is somewhat amusing. Grandma J came to our home and interviewed us to make sure we were suitable owners for one of her puppies. She also had a policy of grooming all her puppies herself every quarter for the first two years of their lives. So we were in fairly frequent contact with her after we bought our boy. Once when I was on the phone with her I somewhat worriedly described him as being “pigeon-toed” when I walked him. She got quiet for a minute and then asked if she could come see him on the trail with me. It turns out he was single-tracking — a highly desirable quality in conformation show dogs. And, boy, he was magnificent in the ring! A real star. Grandma J became co-owners with us and did all the grooming and handling and introduced us to the world of show dogs. We were proud co-owners of a champion!

Starstuff was still a puppy after our first daughter was born and I was doubly exhausted as a new mom and puppy playmate, so we rescued one of Grandma J’s female Samoyed to keep him company. Her previous owners were distressed about all the dog hair on their clothes. Insert inquisitive Spock eyebrow raised image here. . . who doesn’t know Samoyeds shed – A LOT – before they purchase one??

Our girls got to grow up as youngsters with these two lovable Sammy friends. Starstuff met a tragic end while we were on vacation and the dog sitters didn’t realize he could reach the new, full bottle of prescription Rimadyl chewable tablets on the counter. Mr. C flew home from vacation to be with him until he bled out after five days in the dog hospital. Had I been with him, I would not have allowed the vet to wait. I would have insisted they put him down. I’m like Noem that way. Dogs are animals, not people. While they have an instinct for self-preservation, they do not contemplate the meaning of their lives and their ultimate end. He would not have known the needle they inserted to sedate him before stopping his heart signified his last moments on earth.

My rule concerning killing pets is this: I will not allow my animals to suffer (or cause suffering) in order to spare myself the grief of losing them. Bottom line.

We’ve since downsized our dog breed preferences and have had Pembroke Welsh Corgis (one currently) and a Border Terrier at Grandma J’s recommendation. The Border Terrier is my new favorite breed, and I say that having thought I’d never own a terror-ier. The puppy trainer we worked with said she doesn’t seem to know she’s a terrier. Just so. She is a playful companion and a lapdog snuggler. I love her dearly. Which is precisely why, when the time comes, I will not spare myself.

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  1. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    I’d say the reaction to Cricket’s manner of death is a very bad sign for the state of our society. We live among people who will kill a unique, irreplaceable human child in the womb at nearly any stage of development for any reason while hysterically opposing the killing of a killer animal. We’re in deep, deep trouble.

    • #1
  2. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    I’d say the reaction to Cricket’s manner of death is a very bad sign for the state of our society. We live among people who will kill a unique, irreplaceable human child in the womb at nearly any stage of development for any reason while hysterically opposing the killing of a killer animal. We’re in deep, deep trouble.

    A working animal. Not even a pet (as far as I’ve heard), not that that would materially change things for me.

    • #2
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    I had to shoot a feral dog once. I didn’t care for it at all. Someone* must have abandoned it and it took up residence on the farm. It killed the neighbor’s sheep. It could have had rabies. I didn’t propose to find out. We had dogs and it stayed a long way away from the house, probably for that reason. Calling the animal control officer would just have brought him out to shoot it. I would have ended up showing him where to look, so rather than setting up an appointment with him to do so, I did it myself.


    *  Shooting at thoughtless idiots is Wrong, even the ones so evil as to take their unwanted dogs out to the country and turn them loose.

    • #3
  4. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    It’s not that they value the animal’s life too highly. The problem is they value human life, other than theirs, so little. They identify with Cricket.

    • #4
  5. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    Some cultures eat dogs.   Ours does not.   I am happy this has ended her career.  I am bothered more by her being a RINO and than a dog killer.

    • #5
  6. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    I’d say the reaction to Cricket’s manner of death is a very bad sign for the state of our society. We live among people who will kill a unique, irreplaceable human child in the womb at nearly any stage of development for any reason while hysterically opposing the killing of a killer animal. We’re in deep, deep trouble.

    This is all well and good but it doesn’t alter the fact that Gov. Noem is dumb as a goldfish, demonstrated by her uncanny ability to step on rakes. Whoever advised her to put in the puppy-killing story in her (undoubtedly ghostwritten) autobiography should be hurled into the void but that doesn’t let her off the hook for taking the advice.

    This is politics, not animal husbandry. Killing puppies, however justified, is not something to brag about. For better or worse, many voters are going to have a visceral negative response to it, especially given how disconnected most people are from the land. The fact that PETA probably kills more puppies than anyone else is not something anybody talks about. I have no problem with what Noem did, assuming the incident was truthfully described, but I’m not most voters and a politician who doesn’t understands this is too stupid to run for national office — not to say that such a person cannot attain national office. 

     

    • #6
  7. Lunchbox Gerald Coolidge
    Lunchbox Gerald
    @Jose

    Western Chauvinist: Kristi Noem is in the dog house (ahem) with people of every political leaning for shooting her 15-month old dog, Cricket, after he killed her neighbor’s chickens, as documented in her new autobiography.

    I’ve heard the dog killed the whole flock. Do Chicken Lives Matter? 

    Who speaks for the chickens?

    • #7
  8. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    DonG (CAGW is a Scam) (View Comment):

    Some cultures eat dogs. Ours does not. I am happy this has ended her career. I am bothered more by her being a RINO and than a dog killer.

    Well, there is that. 

    • #8
  9. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Barfly (View Comment):

    It’s not that they value the animal’s life too highly. The problem is they value human life, other than theirs, so little. They identify with Cricket.

    The only thing that Noem has done that annoyed me was when she tried to split the baby on transexuals in womens’ sports. Some woman somewhere is going to get killed by that nonsense. That is too high a price to pay for not “offending” someone.

    • #9
  10. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    I’m generally dubious when someone says something like “It’s a black thing, you wouldn’t understand it”. That applies to Fani Willis and her piles of mysterious cash. Sure, it looks suspicious to anyone with an IQ over room temperature, but…she’s black and I’m not, so supposedly that ends the discussion, right? I’ve heard arguments like this dozens of times. 

    Wrong. I’m entitled to shake my head and reply, “Baloney. You got your Fani caught in the wringer and now you’re making up excuses.” 

    Same deal with “this is a city versus country thing. Why, you just don’t understand the values of goodhearted sons of the soil…” To which I say, “Baloney. Noem has rocks in her head for thinking this makes her look like a leader”. 

    • #10
  11. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    Percival (View Comment):

    Barfly (View Comment):

    It’s not that they value the animal’s life too highly. The problem is they value human life, other than theirs, so little. They identify with Cricket.

    The only thing that Noem has done that annoyed me was when she tried to split the baby on transexuals in womens’ sports. Some woman somewhere is going to get killed by that nonsense. That is too high a price to pay for not “offending” someone.

    She’s bad.   Contrast her with Doug Bergum (Gov ND), who is the clearly the most conservative and intelligent governor in the country.  He’s not so pretty on the outside, but his politics are beautiful.  

    • #11
  12. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    I’d say the reaction to Cricket’s manner of death is a very bad sign for the state of our society. We live among people who will kill a unique, irreplaceable human child in the womb at nearly any stage of development for any reason while hysterically opposing the killing of a killer animal. We’re in deep, deep trouble.

    Yes. I totally agree. 

    And it is a bad sign how many conservatives are upset by it.

    • #12
  13. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    I’m no longer going to play along with the “unforced error thing”. Not when the subject of the two minute hate isn’t actually wrong, and if wrong in some way doesn’t even make the top twenty of seriousness or relevance. Not when all manner of actual deviants, crooks, and immoral monsters get by in relative silence. It’s war, unfortunately.

    I know why the dems play that game – because it works. Why does “our side” play along? Oh I know: no one owes Noem fealty, or something, even though no one is actually demanding that. There’s a whole other group who are loathe to admit (even to themselves) that their own priorities when it comes to politics aren’t exactly defensible or sensible – it takes all kinds I guess.

    • #13
  14. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Ed G. (View Comment):

    I’m no longer going to play along with the “unforced error thing”. Not when the subject of the two minute hate isn’t actually wrong, and if wrong in some way doesn’t even make the top twenty of seriousness or relevance. Not when all manor of actual deviants, crooks, and immoral monsters get by in relative silence. It’s war, unfortunately.

    I know why the dems play that game – because it works. Why does “our side” play along? Oh I know: no one owes Noem fealty, or something, even though no one is actually demanding that. There’s a whole other group who are loathe to admit (even to themselves) that their own priorities when it comes to politics aren’t exactly defensible or sensible – it takes all kinds I guess.

    Well said. Captures much of me feelings 

    • #14
  15. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    I’d say the reaction to Cricket’s manner of death is a very bad sign for the state of our society. We live among people who will kill a unique, irreplaceable human child in the womb at nearly any stage of development for any reason while hysterically opposing the killing of a killer animal. We’re in deep, deep trouble.

    Yes. I totally agree.

    And it is a bad sign how many conservatives are upset by it.

    True, but Gary’s point is valid as well. It’s not going to go over well with a lot of people.

    • #15
  16. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Percival (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    I’d say the reaction to Cricket’s manner of death is a very bad sign for the state of our society. We live among people who will kill a unique, irreplaceable human child in the womb at nearly any stage of development for any reason while hysterically opposing the killing of a killer animal. We’re in deep, deep trouble.

    Yes. I totally agree.

    And it is a bad sign how many conservatives are upset by it.

    True, but Gary’s point is valid as well. It’s not going to go over well with a lot of people.

    Then it’s the same old story: 1) don’t add to the problem, 2) join the fight and help “them” figure out why it’s about #536 on the list of things to be angry about. Joe Biden gropes little girls fer chrissakes – not speculation it’s on camera. Not to mention the long list of actual threats to democracy, corruption, racism, and nihilism on the other side.

    • #16
  17. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    Lookie here, what I found in my spam box:

    Patriot, it’s South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem!

    As an unapologetic Conservative, the Fake News media has said a lot about me these last few years, but now I’m ready to set the record straight and tell my story in my own words.

    And that’s why I’m so excited to offer you an exclusive copy of my new memoir No Going Back. Plus, if claim your copy today, I’ll even sign it!

    But here’s the thing — I am only offering this exclusive opportunity to a very limited number of conservative supporters. So this might be your only chance to claim your very owned signed copy.

    Claim your signed copy now before I have to offer this to another top Conservative supporter!

    From serving in Congress, and now leading my home state as Governor, I’ll share with you the eye opening stories of DC dysfunction and lessons I learned leading South Dakota through unprecedented challenges.

    You go, girl. Double down! Can’t wait to read more of your eye-opening stories.

    Confirmed: dumb as a goldfish.

    • #17
  18. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Ed G. (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    I’d say the reaction to Cricket’s manner of death is a very bad sign for the state of our society. We live among people who will kill a unique, irreplaceable human child in the womb at nearly any stage of development for any reason while hysterically opposing the killing of a killer animal. We’re in deep, deep trouble.

    Yes. I totally agree.

    And it is a bad sign how many conservatives are upset by it.

    True, but Gary’s point is valid as well. It’s not going to go over well with a lot of people.

    Then it’s the same old story: 1) don’t add to the problem, 2) join the fight and help “them” figure out why it’s about #536 on the list of things to be angry about. Joe Biden gropes little girls fer chrissakes – not speculation it’s on camera. Not to mention the long list of actual threats to democracy, corruption, racism, and nihilism on the other side.

     

    • #18
  19. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    This dog story didn’t come out because of brutal questioning by the mainstream media. It wasn’t tricked out of her. For once, the Left has nothing to do with it. Noem did it to herself. Nobody would have known a thing about it if she hadn’t bragged about it in her book. She chose this. Why? She’s an ambitious politician who wanted to be vice president. Noem obviously thought it would make her look good. Her judgment is awful. 

    It’s not left or right, city or country: she said something that most normies are going to find repellent. Now Trump’s going to skip over her. If she ever had a chance, she blew it away. 

    No tears for Kristi. Sometimes somebody screws up in some weird way. 

     

    • #19
  20. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Ed G. (View Comment):

    I’m no longer going to play along with the “unforced error thing”. Not when the subject of the two minute hate isn’t actually wrong, and if wrong in some way doesn’t even make the top twenty of seriousness or relevance. Not when all manner of actual deviants, crooks, and immoral monsters get by in relative silence. It’s war, unfortunately.

    Bears repeating. I’ll take dumb as a goldfish every time over the power mad Left wanting to run every aspect of our lives (aka totalitarianism) from what we eat, to whether we drive our own cars and live in single-family homes, to whether we can keep our jobs if we refuse the jab. I’m willing to defend Noem’s actions in this case and I think we should shame people who would keep a killer dog alive over a unique, irreplaceable human being just because her mother and father don’t want to experience the consequences of their actions.

    Bring back shame and consequences.

     

    • #20
  21. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    This dog story didn’t come out because of brutal questioning by the mainstream media. It wasn’t tricked out of her. For once, the Left has nothing to do with it. Noem did it to herself. Nobody would have known a thing about it if she hadn’t bragged about it in her book. She chose this. Why? She’s an ambitious politician who wanted to be vice president. Noem obviously thought it would make her look good. Her judgment is awful.

    It’s not left or right, city or country: she said something that most normies are going to find repellent. Now Trump’s going to skip over her. If she ever had a chance, she blew it away.

    No tears for Kristi. Sometimes somebody screws up in some weird way.

    Do you think what she did, or that she said she did it, in and of itself, is disqualifying? You, not what you think you know about normies and how they’ll take it. 

    • #21
  22. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    DonG (CAGW is a Scam) (View Comment):

    Some cultures eat dogs. Ours does not. I am happy this has ended her career. I am bothered more by her being a RINO and than a dog killer.

    What are her short comings?  How would you compare her to Tulsi Gabbard? 

    • #22
  23. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Gary McVey (View Comment):.

    No tears for Kristi. Sometimes somebody screws up in some weird way.

     

     

    • #23
  24. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):.

    No tears for Kristi. Sometimes somebody screws up in some weird way.

     

     

    That incident confirmed that he was a pretending, pandering, douchebag. Doesn’t apply to the Noem situation.

    • #24
  25. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):.

    No tears for Kristi. Sometimes somebody screws up in some weird way.

     

     

    • #25
  26. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Follow me around. I don’t care. If anybody wants to put a tail on me, go ahead. They’d be very bored.”

    • #26
  27. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Ed G. (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    This dog story didn’t come out because of brutal questioning by the mainstream media. It wasn’t tricked out of her. For once, the Left has nothing to do with it. Noem did it to herself. Nobody would have known a thing about it if she hadn’t bragged about it in her book. She chose this. Why? She’s an ambitious politician who wanted to be vice president. Noem obviously thought it would make her look good. Her judgment is awful.

    It’s not left or right, city or country: she said something that most normies are going to find repellent. Now Trump’s going to skip over her. If she ever had a chance, she blew it away.

    No tears for Kristi. Sometimes somebody screws up in some weird way.

    Do you think what she did, or that she said she did it, in and of itself, is disqualifying? You, not what you think you know about normies and how they’ll take it.

    Bragging in your memoirs about shooting a dog sounds nuts. To me, not some random person out there. I literally have no dog in this fight. Disqualifying for what? She’s not the only VP candidate that Trump could choose from, so why pick her? The real question is, what qualifies her? 

    • #27
  28. Painter Jean Moderator
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    I have two problems with Noem’s story. The first is that I don’t believe it, or at least I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the story was either made up or highly embellished. It seems like just the sort of story one might concoct when trying to show just how tough-as-nails one is, the better to be picked as Trump’s VP. If so, I think it was a miscalculation, one almost guaranteed to turn off at least some voters. It was stupid. Nor does it seem like the sort of story that one acquainted with the realities of rural life would even tell. So, I’m highly skeptical. Second, if it was a true story, it seems very unkind. I don’t mean the manner of death – a bullet in the head would be a quick death – but that she shot the dog at all. It was a young dog. Young dogs do dumb things. I have known dog trainers who take on problem cases like these and who are nearly always successful. The dog wasn’t old enough to be set in its ways yet. Or, if she didn’t want to bother with training, why not give the dog away to someone who doesn’t have chickens or other livestock around? This shows a cavalier attitude at best to the responsibilities of animal ownership.

    Because of these two problems, I don’t think the “rural vs. urban” framing works. I grew up partly on a farm, where we raised chickens and turkeys for slaughter (“don’t make pets of the meat chickens” was something I learned when I was quite young), as well as beef cattle and pigs. And I’ve been a falconer since I was in my teens – killing things is what falconers do. When my hunting companion of 35 years, my redtail Dakota, was in pain as he was declining due to old age, I euthanized him. Why would I put him through the stress of putting him in his travel box and taking him to a vet to be euthanized, making his last moments miserable and chaotic for him? So I’m not expressing my views from an urban background unconnected to the reality of rural life, or as a shrinking violet unable and unwilling to dispatch animals humanely when necessary.

    If this story is true (a mighty big “if”), it does not show the rural/urban divide, it shows someone with poor judgment and a flippant attitude towards animal ownership.

     

    • #28
  29. David C. Broussard Coolidge
    David C. Broussard
    @Dbroussa

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Ed G. (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    This dog story didn’t come out because of brutal questioning by the mainstream media. It wasn’t tricked out of her. For once, the Left has nothing to do with it. Noem did it to herself. Nobody would have known a thing about it if she hadn’t bragged about it in her book. She chose this. Why? She’s an ambitious politician who wanted to be vice president. Noem obviously thought it would make her look good. Her judgment is awful.

    It’s not left or right, city or country: she said something that most normies are going to find repellent. Now Trump’s going to skip over her. If she ever had a chance, she blew it away.

    No tears for Kristi. Sometimes somebody screws up in some weird way.

    Do you think what she did, or that she said she did it, in and of itself, is disqualifying? You, not what you think you know about normies and how they’ll take it.

    Bragging in your memoirs about shooting a dog sounds nuts. To me, not some random person out there. I literally have no dog in this fight. Disqualifying for what? She’s not the only VP candidate that Trump could choose from, so why pick her? The real question is, what qualifies her?

    What if it was a story about hunting where the animal shot was wounded and she had to then give it a coup de grace? Or what if it had been a young pig that got loose and killed a bunch of other livestock? The idea that a working dog is somehow different goes back to the initial note that people who don’t own working animals don’t understand how they are treated.  Way too many people think meat comes from the grocery store.

    The political  nature of this “gaffe” is really an example of how much people who live and work with animals don’t get how much those that don’t do that regularly have no clue how others live.  We don’t get each other anymore.

    • #29
  30. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    Meanwhile, also out with a book is Tulsi Gabbard. 

    For Love of Country: Leave the Democrat Party Behind

    • #30
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