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Saturday, May 25, 2024

PHALON’S FILE: Who’d Want to Hurt a Little Dog?

Popular culture long ago recognized that people like dogs. Even most people who don’t like dogs, like dogs. At the very least they don’t want to shoot them. More on that in a moment. (You probably know where this is going.)

“The dam’s about to burst! Jump, Fido!” But Fido is not making the leap until all his human friends and the parrot are safe!

Lassie runs into a burning building to save Timmy! We are concerned about Timmy, but it’s the dog we’re really worried about! 

Reality is the same way. I was watching a live police pursuit in Los Angeles of a stolen recreational vehicle. The perp crashed into a parked car and tore their front off the RV. Then suddenly a dog appeared in the gaping hole. Save the dog! 

Apparently, the RV rustler had a soft spot for dogs, too. He stopped, released the dog, which it was later learned had been asleep in the back of the RV when it was stolen, and resumed his flight. Just as important, one of the police cars stopped and picked up the dog. 

It’s always about the dog. The humans can take care of themselves. 

I have never, ever heard of anyone rooting for the dog in the movie to be killed, with the possible exception of particularly vicious or deplorable canines like Cujo, or Benji. 

So, what in God’s green dog park did South Dakota Gov. Christie Noem think she was going to gain by telling the world she killed her dog? 

This is the kind of thing that goes beyond “What were they thinking?”

New Coke, for example, falls into that category. Sure, in hindsight it’s easy to call that a stupid decision, but the soda maker’s reasoning leading up to the decision was not entirely unsound. 

But Coke did reach a higher level just a few years ago, the level at which one asks, “Somebody actually thought this was a good idea?” I speak of the promotion in which Coke partnered with Delta Air Lines and passed out in-flight napkins with a line for people to write their name and number to pass to their “Airplane Crush.” 

What could go wrong with that? You’re sealed in a metal tube for five hours with an airline-sponsored stalker. 

That’s the level of spectacularly poor judgment Gov. Noem has achieved. She wanted the world to know she can make hard choices. Kristie did not have a difficult choice. Sophie had a difficult choice. 

The actual execution of 14-month-old dog “Cricket” will have been discussed ad nauseum by the time you are reading this. Although one factor I haven’t seen discussed too much is her continual allusion to Cricket as a “working dog,” not simply as a “dog,” suggesting an inferior station in life.

As if, “We can blow the dam and flood the valley now. Just a couple of ‘working people’ left down there.” I’d hate to think what she’d do if the “working poor” got under her skin.

But I digress. Noem has been jockeying to be Donald Trump’s running mate this year. Somebody who thinks killing a dog was going to highlight her resolve and is going to make her vice president is a bit unnerving. It’s bad judgment bordering on insane. 

Donald Trump has never owned a dog, as far as I know, but I’m sure he likes them. 

Joe Phalon
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.

Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.

Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.

Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.