Ow, Captain! Staffers say Cuomo’s dog has as much bite as former governor

0

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s pooch, Captain, apparently behaves like a junkyard dog, too.

People who worked for disgraced Cuomo traded horror stories about the ex-governor’s dog as The Post spotted maintenance workers Tuesday moving Captain’s dog house out from the backyard of the executive mansion.

Interactions with the dog, a northern Inuit breed, even became a source of controversy in Cuomo’s COVID-19 pandemic memoir, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

Larry Schwartz, a top Cuomo confidante and enforcer, was upset at being portrayed in the book as a scaredy cat in dealing with Captain.

“Captain adopted a somewhat hostile posture toward Larry,” Cuomo said.

“I would set up blockades to allow Larry free passage without encountering Captain, but never with much success.”

Schwartz, known for his tough-guy persona, sent a nasty note to current SUNY Chancellor James Malatras and Gareth Rhodes — both Cuomo advisers who were helping on the book — to protest the negative depiction.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s staffers had horror stories about his dog, Captain
REUTERS/Cindy Schultz

“I thought the two of you were my friends. Friends watch each others’ backs,” Schwartz told Malatras and Rhodes, sources familiar with the exchange said.

He also expressed his displeasure to Cuomo secretary Melissa DeRosa and executive secretary Stephanie Benton, sources said.

At the time, Schwartz was the head of the state’s coronavirus contract tracing program and later oversaw vaccine distribution. But his only mention in the book was mostly about his frosty relationship to Captain.

Andrew Cuomo shoots down rumors that he's leaving his dog Captain behind in Albany
Andrew Cuomo had to shoot down rumors that he was leaving his dog Captain behind in Albany.
Twitter

DeRosa sought to smooth things over, by putting Malatras and Rhodes “in charge of fixing Larry.”

A former administration official source said Schwartz was “upset” but added, “I’m not sure if he was joking or for real.”

Schwartz declined comment.

The Cuomo insider said the dog was too aggressive to be around guests at the mansion, including the governor’s staffers.

Former secretary  to the Governor Larry Schwartz
Larry Schwartz was portrayed as a scaredy cat in dealing with Captain in Andrew Cuomo’s COVID memoir.
John Lamparski/NurPhoto via Getty Images

“Captain was terrible. He bit me,” the source said.

“He nipped and bit at a lot of people. You couldn’t even walk by him.”

Meanwhile, the mansion staff “was always putting him in the cage or had to hold it back. I’m a public servant buying my suits at Macy’s, I can’t have a dog attacking me, ripping my clothes,” the official said.

And the former Cuomo staffer added, “The dog was kind of emblematic — he looks cool in a tweet but has a ton of problems.”

Melissa DeRosa
Schwartz, a top Cuomo confidante and enforcer, reached out to the governor’s top aide Melissa DeRosa about how he was portrayed in the book.
Lev Radin/Sipa USA

The source even recalled Captain having a massive rash problem, which required that hair on his back be shaved off.

“It could never be around people — guests at the mansion or people in general. It would nip at your clothing or hands. It was aggressive. When walking up from the parking lot you had to make sure it wasn’t loose.”

Captain’s dog house was in the backyard just outside the kitchen exit in a “separate area for him to run around.”

“The problem was if you wanted to run to your car, he would come after you and you had to run back in the house for someone to grab him,” the source said.

Captain’s chippiness comes as the whereabouts of the governor’s best and perhaps only friend remained a mystery.

Cuomo, in a tweet Monday night, said, Captain “is part of our family and that’s the way it will always be.”

Andrew Cuomo posts this image to his Twitter account with his dog
Captain, seen here soon after Gov. Cuomo adopted him, was allegedly aggressive and had skin problems.
Twitter

But the ex-governor posted an old picture of him with his three daughters and Captain and the Cuomo camp declined to answer questions Tuesday on the dog’s whereabouts.

The former governor took issue with published reports that suggested he was getting rid of the dog.

Cuomo resigned as governor effective Tuesday after a damning investigative report released by state Attorney General Letitia James found he sexually harassed 11 women, including current and former staffers. He has denied the accusations.

View original post