SAINT PAUL, Minn. -- Gov. Mark Dayton welcomed his new puppy "Mingo" to the Governor's Residence on Sunday afternoon.
Dayton, who lost one of his dogs to cancer his first week in office, recently found a new puppy. As he promised in January, the black German shepherd has been named Wanamingo, or "Mingo" for short.
Dayton's dog Dakota died January 4th. The Black German Shepherd and her brother Mesabi had been with Dayton since 2001 when he began his term in the US Senate.
"At 5:30 that morning, I went downstairs, got coffee and the papers. I could tell she was laboring a bit," he recalled, "I patted her a bit, gave her some water and asked her if she wanted to come up stairs with me. She didn't. She stayed down there. I came back an hour later and she was gone."
Dayton received an outpouring of support from fellow pet owners all over the state.
"I had eight and a half years of pure joy with her. Her brother is quite forlorn now and mystified. He was there. I don't know what a dog comprehends, but it's hard for him to be without his friend."
He spotted the name Wanamingo on a road map during his "87 Counties in 87 Days" campaign blitz in 2009 and 2010. It's a village in Goodhue County in southeast Minnesota. According to the local historical society's website, the name is derived from a Native American character in a popular novel from the 1850's.
(Copyright KARE 2011. All rights reserved.)