Where’s Reagan?

Not the dementia-addled former president who deinstitutionalized the mentally ill so they could start new lives under crumbling overpasses and reconstituted Congress as a hub of sociopathy – we know where HE is. I mean Florida Governor Rick Scott’s “rescue dog” / campaign prop, which shared a name with the president who popularized the notion of government-hating government officials in the modern era.

From the Tampa Bay Times:

TALLAHASSEE — Shortly after winning the GOP nomination in 2010, Rick Scott announced to the world through Facebook that his family had rescued a Labrador retriever. And, with help from his Facebook friends, Scott gave it a name: Reagan.

[snip]

Asked last week what had happened to the dog, Scott’s current and former communications directors refused to answer.

After reporters, uh, dogged the Scott administration about the whereabouts of Reagan and got an increasingly bizarre runaround, the paper went directly to the governor:

“He was a rescue dog,” Scott said, “and he couldn’t be around anybody that was carrying anything, and so he wouldn’t get better.”

Scott said Reagan never bit anyone but “scared the living daylights” out of people at the mansion. He said one kitchen employee threatened to quit and photographer Eric Tournay was frightened when the dog “barked like crazy” every time he saw him with a camera.

So the Scotts gave the dog back to his prior owner, Scott said, about a month after the family moved to Tallahassee.

After learning that Times reporters had talked to the governor, a spokeswoman called to say Reagan had been returned about a year ago to All Pets Grooming and Boarding, a business in Naples.

Okay, this sounds fishy. For one thing, is this Naples grooming service actually a dog rescue operation? Doesn’t look like it from the organization’s minimal web presence. Maybe that part is legit.

Still, Scott made enough money bilking Medicare that he was able to purchase the state governorship for $72 million. He couldn’t hire Cesar Millan or Victoria Stilwell to train his dog? Or, failing that, he couldn’t let the dog live with the staff in one of his numerous residences so it wouldn’t scare people in the Governor’s Mansion?

A spokesman for the governor’s wife also declined to respond to questions about Reagan, saying only that they have one dog.

“Her name is Tallee and she is a 7-year-old rescue Lab,” said Jackie Schutz, a spokeswoman for Mrs. Scott.

Where Tallee came from and where Reagan went were still unknown.

I’m guessing poor Tallee is another political prop, perhaps on loan from a GOP donor. Obviously, Scott doesn’t know the beast well:

“This dog is the neediest dog. When I worked out this morning, he wants to be right next to you the whole time. If you do a push-up, he wants to be underneath you as you do a push-up. He’s a sweet dog,” Scott said.

Um, Tallee is a girl, Governor Scott. At least, that’s what Mrs. Scott’s spokeswoman said. WTF? Seamus wept.

[X-posted at Rumproast]

31 replies
  1. 1
    Woodrowfan says:

    I love your posts BC, but this seems like a non-issue. My wife and I have rescue dogs, and our last dog sounds like “Reagan”. He was very, very over-protective and would attack anyone he thought was threatening us (i.e. coming near us). We had a professional trainer work with him and the trainer said that there wasn’t a lot we could do. Basically we kept him away from other people. He went in his cage when guests came over. We passed him to the vet inside of a carrier, then left the room. We didn’t walk him outside of our yard. With us he was loving and obedient and probably the best dog we ever had. But we could not trust him with other people. It can happen. Fortunately we were able to deal with it and our little buddy lived to be 16 years old. I miss him still.

    Scott is a creep, but this doesn’t sound fishy to me…

  2. 2
    Face says:

    “and he couldn’t be around anybody that was carrying anything, and so he wouldn’t get better.”

    That’s a very unusual, and likely very fixible, tic in a dog’s personality.

  3. 3
    c u n d gulag says:

    If you were a dog, would you want to be Gov. Scott’s best friend?

    Me neither.

  4. 4
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    Reagan never bit anyone but “scared the living daylights” out of people at the mansion. He said one kitchen employee threatened to quit and photographer Eric Tournay was frightened

    This is dying to be taken out of context, placed on a billboard, and located in a Jax suburb under the heading “Gubnah Scott hates St. Ronnie”.

  5. 5
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Woodrowfan: My sister has had two problem dogs for years and has spent who knows how much trying to train bad behavior out of them, but like you, she realized she was making a lifelong commitment when she rescued them, so she deals with the situation.

    According to Scott, the dog never actually bit anyone. If you were a gazillionaire with a problem dog, would you dump it? Of course not — you did the right thing with your dogs. You’d keep it away from people — like you did — which would be even easier if you happened to own numerous homes and had a huge staff at your disposal.

    I’m not saying there’s never a situation in which a family has to re-home a dog — it happens. But this sounds weird, especially the runaround Scott’s peeps gave reporters and the fact that he apparently doesn’t know the gender of his present dog. Having observed Scott’s profound lack of humanity in a number of situations, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suspect crappy behavior in this one. YMMV.

  6. 6
    mapaghimagsik says:

    Well, the prop want needed anymore, and dog raisin’ is hard work.

    Good help, blah blah, blah

  7. 7
    Ash Can says:

    I have no problem with anyone, including Rick Scott, re-homing a pet who doesn’t work out, even if it involves problems that can be solved through training. The runaround aspect of this story, however, makes Scott and his staff look incompetent at best. I know, I know — they are. But how tone-deaf are they to not know that this level of confusion makes every one of them look like either a liar or an idiot, or both?

  8. 8

    Too bad you guys down there can’t recall your governor. Oh, well, I guess he’s pretty much done for in 2014, from what I can tell.

  9. 9
  10. 10
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Zapruder F. Mashtots, D.D.S. (Mumphrey, et al.): I sprung ya. The WP moderation logic escapes me.

    RE: 2014 — Scott is the most unpopular governor in the US (perhaps even the Milky Way), so I doubt he’ll be reelected, but I can never assume the state Dems won’t fuck this up somehow.

  11. 11
    Yutsano says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    The WP moderation logic escapes me

    The FYWP mod filter has been quite the champion lately.

  12. 12
    dmsilev says:

    Not the dementia-addled former president who deinstitutionalized the mentally ill so they could start new lives under crumbling overpasses and reconstituted Congress as a hub of sociopathy – we know where HE is.

    Objection! We *think* we know where he is. There’s a pretty good chance that every night, Zombie Reagan rises from the grave and goes in search of BRAIIINS. And, after prowling the House GOP caucus all night, gives up in frustration.

  13. 13
    redshirt says:

    Don’t worry – Reagan is living the good life these days on Bush’s “ranch”.

  14. 14
    JasperL says:

    The story is another great example of the greatness of the awesome CEO class. Sounds like the way he picked out the dog for the Governor’s mansion, a place where the dog would have to interact with a near daily procession of visitors, staff, etc. was by telling a staffer “Go down to the shelter and get a lab.”

    Hiring an expert to help them select an animal suitable for First Dog apparently never occurred to them. Hoocoodanode not all rescue dogs are suited for public life?

  15. 15
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Actually, I was cringing while reading this post. I thought it was going to end with Reagan being put down after he was returned by Skeletor.

    Hope Reagan is with a loving family somewhere playing frisbee in the Florida sunshine.

  16. 16
    Chyron HR says:

    I assume he got thrown in the same hole as “Mitt Reagan”. Remember that guy?

  17. 17
    g says:

    Jesus, just when you think the guy is hateful enough, he surprises you.

  18. 18
    Don says:

    There’s the problem with using kids and dogs as political props. That’s the crux, Woodrowfan – it’s not that some dogs aren’t too difficult for a particular home, or badly suited to certain environments. Sometimes finding a better place for a pooch is the most loving and selfless thing you can do for it. As always, it’s not the act, it’s the coverup.

    I guess we should be glad that it’s not this easy for a politician to re-home a kid who doesn’t play to their political trajectory. Them they have to just suck it up and pay the price to provide proper support to, as another Florida governor learned not that long ago.

  19. 19
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    OK, let’s get serious.

    Lex Luthor disposed of the prop after it was no longer thought needed.

    And by “disposed” I mean, he looked at some flunky and said “take care of this, will you?”

    I’d say the odds are good that Reagan the dog is pushing up daisies pretty much the same way Reagan the shitty grade-Z movie star is.

  20. 20
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @JasperL:

    Hiring an expert to help them select an animal suitable for First Dog apparently never occurred to them.

    Um, that costs money. One thing I’ve learned in dealing with those who have some money is that they’re as stingy as all hell with it. In fact, I recall one who DEMANDED a discount on some telecom services because they were rich. The discount they demanded would have required the telco I worked at to lose money on the deal.

    This asshole is not Obama. Bo may serve as a prop, but he’s also the family dog, and the Obamas didn’t skimp on the selection process. Lex Luthor, on the other hand, is loathe to spend any more money than absolutely necessary on his prop dog, because it’s just a prop, not the actual family dog.

    It’s just part and parcel of the sociopathy of both Lex Luthor and his gun moll.

  21. 21
    Maude says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    Your description of Ronnie Reagan was beautiful.

  22. 22
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    IIRC, the Obamas were able to get Bo because he had been returned to the breeder by the family who originally bought him because he wasn’t working out for them.

    The parallels are irresistible.

  23. 23
    DFH no.6 says:

    The point of the post, Woodrowfan and any others of similar mind, is that fucking fascists lie about every fucking thing, even simple things like their dog-props (remember Dubya and Rove trying to convince us what an inveterate and voracious reader Bush supposedly was, like that even passed the smell test?).

    it’s not about a perhaps difficult but necessary decision made about a problem dog. it’s the fucking hem-hawing, obfuscation, and obvious lying about something there is no earthly reason to lie about.

    But fucking fascists can’t help themselves.

    And by fucking fascists, I mean every and all conservatives.

  24. 24
    DFH no.6 says:

    Stupid italics.

  25. 25
    Jake says:

    Jesus, the bastard had the dog destroyed.

  26. 26
    JustRuss says:

    I’m thinkin I could make a good livin rentin dogs, trucks, and ranches to GOP candidates. Just Plain Folks Inc, here I come!

  27. 27
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Mnemosyne: I thought the Obamas got Bo from the Ted Kennedys. But I could be mistaken.

  28. 28
    JenJen says:

    @DFH no.6: Italics or none, spot fucking on! That’s exactly the point of this story.

  29. 29
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    Rick Scott is going to be Florida’s Corzine. A one term Governor from the state’s majority party, that no one likes, which leads to the other party winning the governor’s race.

  30. 30
    mclaren says:

    Ooohhhh — you win the internet for today! Best description I’ve heard of the senile sociopath and cruel thug with the kindly smile.

    the dementia-addled former president who deinstitutionalized the mentally ill so they could start new lives under crumbling overpasses and reconstituted Congress as a hub of sociopathy…

  31. 31
    Mnemosyne says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):

    Bo was a gift from the Kennedys, who got a dog from the same litter from the breeder, but he was secondhand, so to speak:

    Bo was purchased by a person unknown to the public, but eventually the new owner returned him to the Stern family; when buying the dog, the original purchaser had signed a contract requiring him to return the dog to the breeder if things did not work out. Bo was enrolled on January 5, 2009, with Kennedy’s obedience trainer Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz, in Hume, Virginia.

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