Marty’s photo of the day #4735: This photo shows Nellie keeping me company last fall on Vancouver Island. When Nellie joined our family, she was a skinny rescue dog, weighing just 42 pounds. She also had what appeared to be a burn on one of her legs. Yesterday, I wrote about Annie, a rescue dog, my wife, Deb, and I had two dog-generations before Nellie. With Annie, it was easy to piece together that she was abandoned because she was a failed hunting dog. With Nellie, I’m not as sure. All that the animal shelter could tell us was that she was a stray.

Whatever the case, both Nellie and Annie have made me a far richer person than Republican Governor Kristi Noem—who ruthlessly shot her 14-month-old wirehaired pointer for the “crime” of being a poor hunting dog—will ever be. For that matter, Nellie and Annie have also made me far richer than Donald Trump, who famously—and much to the relief of canines everywhere—has never had a dog.

After bragging about her cruelty in her upcoming book, Kristi Noem will now and forever be the classic example of a person who is beautiful on the outside but ugly on the inside.

What people like Kristi Noem miss in their shallow lives is that a dog’s value isn’t measured by the tricks they perform for humans. In Nellie’s case, the only requirements Deb and I have of her is that she obey the commands “stay” and “come,” and those are for her safety only.

Other than those two commands, Nellie is simply a member of our family who gives us immeasurable amounts of pleasure by just being herself. When I go out on college speaking tours, and Deb tells me that Nellie spends the entire day sitting in my writing room chair, watching the road for me to return, that love warms my heart in a way that Kristi Noem will never experience. And when I’m home, even if I’m feeling down, not a day goes by that Nellie doesn’t make me laugh. Poor pathetic Kristi Noem will never know what it feels like to have a dog bring her laughter day after day after day after day.

It must be as awful to be Kristi Noem as it is to be one of Kristi Noem’s dogs. Or any of her other animals, for that matter.