Friendship
ESPN anchor fails to hold his tears back while paying his loyal dog an emotional tribute on air
Get your tissues ready for this one.
Michael Dabu
05.22.22

ESPN SportsCenter’s reputable sportscaster Scott Van Pelt was known for his upfront takes and opinions on his show, “One Big Thing.”

However, in this particular episode, you will witness his soft side.

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Just recently, on April 28th, Van Pelt announced on his Twitter account that their beloved dog, Otis, has passed away.

He wrote, “Crushed to share that we had to say goodbye to Otis The Dog,” he wrote on Twitter. “Truly the most special friendship and bond of my entire lifetime. He was an absolute King. Love on your good boys and good girls with all your might – every day that you can. There aren’t ever enough of them.”

11 years and gone, the heartbroken anchor thanked his furry bud.

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During the show’s April 28th episode, Van Pelt was in tears while paying tribute to his dog, “Otis the King”. Away from his usual casting, Van Pelt shared to the entire world how important Otis was not just for him but also to his family.

He said that he had Otis just a few weeks after he got married to Stephanie. To him, his sweet paw-partner taught him how to take care of something and “keep it alive.”

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Soon, they’re blessed with three children who eventually became Otis’ human siblings, and protected them with all his might. Simply put, he was the perfect dog and was truly the “king” of their home.

Down to his senior years, like any other dog, he started losing to aging.

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According to him, Otis was such a brave dog. Battled surgeries over surgeries, but as much as the dog wanted to stay strong, his body couldn’t bear the pain any longer.

Despite his experience and undoubted talent in casting, explaining it to his children, however, came in as a challenge.

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“The simplest explanation I suppose, for any of this, is the truest. That the best part of this life is loving anything and you do it even knowing the hardest part which is that, somewhere in the equation, inevitably there will be loss, and the weight of this one is immense. Because he was the corner puzzle piece so much of what mattered to our family,” he said.

He didn’t know how to deliver the bad news to them because he, too, was also lost for words.

He was unsure of how painful it truly was to lose a dog until it happened to him.

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Even a man such as him wasn’t able to hold those tears back as they fell down running his cheeks. It simply proved how he’s struggling within, fighting his own feelings, fighting the pain.

“I’ve read countless moving tributes through the years about what your bonds meant and what made your dogs unique,” Van Pelt said.” I always felt badly for you but I had no idea honestly and I wish I didn’t know now.”

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Losing a dog is like losing a loved one, it launches the same level of pain. Knowing the lifespan of a dog, seeing them become weak, and witnessing their passing are just a few of the many painful parts of owning one.

Loyal and loving, that’s how Van Pelt described his best friend, “Otis the King.” To him, nobody has ever loved him the way Otis did.

Watch Van Pelt’s emotional tribute to “Otis the King” in the video below.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Michael Dabu
hi@sbly.com
Michael Dabu is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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