Sen. Ted Cruz's Security Guard Cared for His Dog Snowflake During Widely Criticized Cancún Trip

The furriest member of Sen. Ted Cruz's family did not join them on their much-maligned flight to Cancún, Mexico, on Wednesday,

A New York magazine reporter made the discovery on Thursday while visiting Cruz's Houston neighborhood to verify that his street's power went out amid punishing winter weather.

The reporter saw the family's small white dog, named Snowball, still in the residence — which Heidi Cruz, the senator's wife, had told friends was "FREEZING" earlier this week.

A security guard was stationed at the Cruz home, according to New York.

"When asked who was taking care of the dog, the guard volunteered that he was," the reporter wrote. "Reassured of the dog's well-being, I returned to my car."

A neighbor told the reporter the area had gotten power back on Wednesday night, after the Cruzes were in Mexico.

In a 2014 Facebook post, Cruz wrote that Snowflake was a rescue "who has made two little girls unbelievably happy," referring to his two young daughters, whom he said Thursday had convinced him to make the trip even as his wife's texts, leaked by a member of her group chat, suggested the family had been considering it as a retreat from the temperatures.

Critics slammed Cruz, 50, as photos circulated on Wednesday and Thursday of him traveling amid the deadly winter storm that had left millions without power.

Many noted that he had criticized other lawmakers for such leisure during crisis.

In an initial statement on Thursday, Cruz said he had traveled for his daughters: "With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends. Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon."

In a later press conference, however, he revised his explanation.

"Whether the decision to go was tone-deaf — look, it was obviously a mistake," he told reporters after arriving back in Texas to find protesters outside his house chanting calls for him to resign.

"The plan had been to stay through the weekend with the family," he added.

But, he insisted, "I started having second thoughts almost the moment I sat down on the plane." He has said he will focus now on providing for Texans in need.

More than 20 deaths have been linked to the weather that pummeled the state and other parts of the U.S. this week.

The state's Democratic Party called for Cruz's resignation in light of his trip.

"Barring that, we will put all of the resources we have into defeating him and every Texas Republican who abandoned us in this disaster," the chairman, Gilberto Hinojosa, said in a statement. "

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