People were already incensed over Sen. Ted Cruz’s jaunt to Cancun while Texans battled catastrophically cold weather that caused massive power and water outages. But a photo of his dog, alone, staring out the door of the Republican senator’s house might be the icing on the cake.
“Just drove by Ted Cruz’s house in Houston,” Houston journalist Michael Hardy tweeted on Thursday afternoon, alongside the image. “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.”
The dog, a small white canine named Snowflake, was not totally abandoned, Hardy clarified in later tweets, as well as in a report for New York magazine. A security guard parked outside the home in an SUV told Hardy that he was looking after the dog.
However, a Cruz spokesperson told HuffPost that Snowflake — a male rescue dog whose breed is unknown — was actually left in the care of a dogsitter, not the security guard. The spokesperson added that the dogsitter was caring for Snowflake inside the house, and Snowflake was not left alone until power returned.
Group texts obtained by The New York Times showed Heidi Cruz, the senator’s wife, stating the house was “FREEZING” before they left, and Ted Cruz said in an earlier statement about the trip that his home had lost heat and power.
Of course, no one is expected to bring their pet with them whenever they go on vacation. Depending on the animal and the type of trip, in many cases it’s preferable to leave pets behind with a trusted caretaker rather than have them undergo the stress of travel. But in this case, the optics of Snowflake stuck in a dark, cold house while the rest of the family jetted off on an ill-conceived, last-minute vacation struck a chord with many people on social media.
In particular, many fantasized about Snowflake getting revenge and drew comparisons between Snowflake and the plight of Texans in general:
This piece has been updated with information from a Cruz spokesperson.