ESPN anchor perfectly explains a dog's love in moving on-air tribute to his good boy Otis

He did a wonderful job of putting his family's loss into words.

scott van pelt, svp dog, grief

Scott Van Pelt at a University of Maryland basketball game in 2018.

It’s hard to fully explain what it feels like to lose a dog. It can be harder than the passing of a close family member. But because a dog is a different species, those who don’t understand often underestimate the pain because it’s “just a dog.”

How wrong they are.

ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt did an incredible job at explaining this indescribable feeling in a moving tribute to his beloved dog Otis on “Sports Center.” Van Pelt admits he didn’t understand the pain that others went through after losing a dog until he got Otis.

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

Now he feels it's his turn to explain the pain to those who don’t understand and to comfort those who do. In the segment, Van Pelt did a wonderful job at expressing the purity of a dog’s love.

“Simply by his presence,” Van Pelt said, “he has been a joyous and loving constant every single day of our lives.” He explained that the pain that comes after the loss is the natural “cost of the transaction for being on the receiving end of a mighty love.”

Van Pelt had an understandably hard time explaining the loss to his children, but he did so with honesty.

"The simplest explanation I suppose, for any of this, is the truest,” he said. “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."

At the end of the segment, he shared the final promise he made to Otis as he took his final breaths. "I stared into the eyes of Otis the dog and into his soul and I promised him again and again, 'Yours is going to forever live in mine,’” Van Pelt said.

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