Meet Minnesota’s first puppy, Scout

Gov. Tim Walz's dog, Scout
Gov. Tim Walz holds his new dog, Scout, at the governor's residence in St. Paul on Thursday.
Briana Bierschbach | MPR News

After getting hounded for nearly a year, Gov. Tim Walz has relented. He got his family a puppy.

The Walz family debuted their new 3-month-old rescue puppy Scout at a press conference at the governor’s residence in St. Paul on Thursday. Scout fulfils a campaign promise the DFLer made to his son Gus last year. He said the family could get a dog if he won the governor’s race.

Gus said he named the black labrador mix Scout because: “He just looks like a Scout.” Walz said he lobbied for the name Kato, short for Mankato, the southern Minnesota city where the family lived before moving to St. Paul this year.

“We were in the room on election night, and it came on TV that they called the race, and Gus immediately screamed, ‘Oh, now I get a puppy!’” Walz said.

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Gov. Tim Walz's dog, Scout
Gov. Tim Walz's middle school son Gus looks at his family's new dog Scout in Walz's arms at the governor's residence on Thursday.
Briana Bierschbach | MPR News

The family adopted Scout from Midwest Animal Rescue, a nonprofit that places pets with foster families and in permanent homes. Gus said Scout was one of ten dogs found in a box outside of a kill shelter in Oklahoma.

He said the family has never had a dog before, although they do have a cat, also a rescue, named Afton.

“The cat was found in a bag and the dog was found in a box, and it kind of feels like to me like they hit the jackpot,” the governor said. “They’ve got a big yard and things are pretty good.”

The rescue broke the news of the first pet last week, posting a picture of Walz, Gus and the puppy to its Facebook page.

Walz isn’t the first governor to get a new puppy while in office. His predecessor, Mark Dayton, debuted his black German Shepherd puppy Wanamingo, or “Mingo,” at a press conference at the residence three months into his first term. Dayton had two German Shepherds who lived with him at the residence.