I can’t believe I feel baited into defending Ted Cruz’s actions here, but the Cruz-Cancun-Outrage Industrial Complex has jumped the poodle. (Or maybe the Bichon?)
Pop quiz: When’s the last time you brought your dog or cat or goldfish or guinea pig on vacation? I should note, Paris Hiltons are exempt from this question.
What’s that? Never? Not once? Cool, because Ted Cruz didn’t either, it seems.
But New York magazine felt compelled to note, in a story and a tweet by the writer, that not only had he abandoned “millions of freezing Texans” with his ill-advised decision to travel to Cancun with his family when his state was suffering historic power outages, but he left “his poodle Snowflake” too. And his little dog too!
We get it. The dog’s name is like the weather he/she is stuck in. It’s the most apt combination of name and circumstance since a sexting scandal involving a rep named Weiner. The reporter posted a photo of the pooch gazing longingly out the window of Cruz’s Houston home, noting the Texas senator “appears to have left behind the family poodle.”
Just drove by Ted Cruz’s house in Houston. His lights are off but a neighbor told me the block got its power back last night. Also, Ted appears to have left behind the family poodle. pic.twitter.com/TmLyGQkASy
— Michael Hardy (@mkerrhardy) February 18, 2021
The tweet and a complementary magazine post explained that the block apparently got power back, and a security guard confirmed he was taking care of the dog while Cruz was away:
Had Cruz left his dog behind?
As I approached to knock, a man stepped out of the Suburban parked in Cruz’s driveway. “Is this Senator Cruz’s house?” I asked. He said it was, that Cruz wasn’t home, and identified himself as a security guard. When asked who was taking care of the dog, the guard volunteered that he was. Reassured of the dog’s well-being, I returned to my car.
The reporter seems well aware of the unhinged furor this prompted, noting the social-media storm of people tagging PETA and whatnot while fretting over the poor dog’s welfare. He also clarified it’s possible, given the timing of the photo on Thursday, that Cruz had brought the poodle back from Cancun. Further complicating matters, some “questioned whether the dog is in fact a poodle.”
But again — who brings their pet on vacation, even a vacation to escape the elements?
Personally, I’d be far more worried about the chances of a fatal airline pet mishap than of my dog’s being forgotten in an empty house by a trusted pet-sitter associate. Plus imagine if the political paparazzi had caught Cruz schlepping through Cancun airport with a suitcase and poodle. Oh, the decadence. Oh, the headlines.
The Cruz-Cancun scandal is fair game, don’t get me wrong. National Review has six teams of three reporters working in shifts on the story. (Okay, not really, but we did cover it.) Texts obtained by the New York Times add to the fishiness of the initial claim that he was just accompanying his daughters. It’s a bad look when your state is suffering.
But the poodle is gonna be just fine.