ST. PAUL — Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday, Sept. 5, announced a new addition to his family: a three-month-old rescue puppy named Scout.
When the Democratic governor launched his bid for governor in 2017, he told his son Gus, 12, that he could get a dog if Walz succeeded in his effort to become Minnesota's 41st governor. And more than seven months after taking office, Walz made good on the promise, bringing home the lab-Shepherd mix pup on Friday, Aug. 30.
Walz said his son's proposal to get a dog if he could bring home an election win seemed far-fetched at first, but he later leaned into it with a more paw-sitive attitude.
"After eight months of intense negotiations and dealmaking, we have an announcement of an addition to our family," Walz told reporters outside the governor's residence.
"This is Scout," Gus Walz said, proudly holding up his new dog, that he said he named because the puppy fit the name.
The Walz family adopted Scout, their first dog, from Minneapolis-based Midwest Animal Rescue & Services after he was found with his nine siblings near a high-kill shelter in Oklahoma. Walz said it was important to the family to select a rescue animal as hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats each year are killed in shelters.
"You can see a really sweet puppy that started off in really tough conditions. The cat was found in a bag and the dog was found in a box,” Walz said of his family pets. “It kind of feels like to me they hit the jackpot. They got a big yard."
Gus Walz held up his puppy for the TV cameras and he said he was thrilled that his dad made good on his campaign promise.
In his first week at the governor's residence, Scout has taken to sleeping, nibbling plants in the yard as well as First Lady Gwen Walz's shoes and exploring.
But not everyone was so thrilled about the addition. Hope Walz, Gus's sister, joked about the family replacing her after she went off to college and the family's cat, Afton, wasn't thrilled about the new addition.
Walz said he hopes to bring the dog to hunting and sportsmen's shows and eventually get him to fetch.