ESPN host Scott Van Pelt has broken down in tears during a moving, six minute tribute to his beloved late dog, Otis.
Much-loved US sports commentator Scott Van Pelt has left the internet in tears after a moving six-minute tribute to his late dog, Otis.
The ESPN host addressed his SportsCenter audience late Thursday night to talk about the passing of Otis, who viewers would remember sitting behind the star whenever he was on Zoom interviews.
An emotional and teary Van Pelt took nearly six minutes not only talking about his beloved pooch, but the relationship between dog and human.
“A few years ago I wrote about my dad on the anniversary of his passing which wasn’t easy, but this was more difficult,” he began.
“Because anytime I wrote anything for this show sitting behind me in my office on his spot on my leather chair was Otis the dog.
“Ever since Covid when we seemed to do everything on Zoom if you talk to me, well you got him as well right over my right shoulder because he just wanted to be wherever I was.”
However, when Otis was a baby, soon enough the sports host would learn the dog had a long battle ahead of him.
“He had so many surgeries we lost count. We jokingly started to refer to him as ‘Otis the bullet dodger’.
“He fought through so much and just kept on trucking, but no body dodges them all and when yet another tumor arrived it turned out to be the bullet with his name on it.
“And we said goodbye to our good boy.”
As they say, there’s nothing like a bond between a man and his dog, and what Van Pelt and Otis shared was clearly so special, he wanted the world to know about it.
“Nothing we do could earn what our dogs give away to us for free. That level of love and loyalty, and so many of you know what I’m talking about,” he said.
“I’ve read countless moving tributes through the years about what your bonds meant … and I always felt badly for you, but I had no idea honestly — and I wish I didn’t know now.”
Van Pelt said telling his children has been one of the hardest things he’s ever had to do.
“How do you make it make sense to them, hell, how do I make it make sense to me,” he asked.
“He was the corner puzzle piece … so much to what mattered to our family.”
Van Pelt then broke down in tears as he told viewers the heartache of now waiting for Otis when he got home from work.
“When I get home from the show late at night and I’d sit in a chair in a room off of our kitchen in the dark, I’d wait to hear the click of his nails on the floor, “he said, struggling to finish his sentence.
“And then he’d barrel down the stairs, tail going like a helicopter and he’d headbutt my knee again and again like he was saying ‘give me some love papa’.
“Just like sitting behind me in my office, it was the last part of our daily routine to be wherever I was — and now he’s not.”
Van Pelt shared his moving tribute to Twitter where his fans inundated his post with messages of condolences.
“I’m so terribly sorry to hear about your loss. It’s awful that your best friends can’t stay with you as long as you want them too. Sending love. Rest easy, Otis,” one person said.
“I feel your & understand everything you’re going thru immensely. It’s been just a little over 2 months since I lost Doyle & truly life has NEVER been the same without him,” another added.
Fellow CBS sports reporter Seth Davis also commented: “Anyone who has loved and lost a dog understands the deep pain. Happy trails Otis.”
Van Pelt continued that “if this hurt is the cost of the transaction to be on the receiving end of a mighty love, then I pay it with enormous gratitude.
“Because even though I am crying, I’m so happy he was ours and we were his.”