Tyrone The Basset Tribute
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Tyrone The Basset Tribute

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Last Thursday evening, November 9th, I made the painful decision to say my final goodbye to my best friend Tyrone. It’s a profound loss.

When I first saw Tyrone on the Tristate Basset Rescue website back in 2006, they described him as having a “joyful spirit.” And there wasn’t a day he didn’t live up to that billing.

He’d been found wandering the streets of Philadelphia. They were calling him Stanley. I wasn’t sure if I was ready for a new dog, having just lost my first Basset, Luther only three months earlier. But “Stanley” needed a Daddy and a better name. And when I walked up to him, he jumped up on me and said “I’m coming home with you whether you like it or not.”

At first, I referred to him as my “rebound Basset.” In some ways, he was living in Luther’s shadow. But over time, we found our own thing. Tyrone had a passion for jazz, classic rock, Chicago Bulls basketball, carrots watermelon, cantaloupe, potatoes and playing indoor fetch. He was a people dog, who would shamelessly roll over on his back and ask for a tummy rub from anyone who came to my apartment or sat nearby in the park. He was there for me through job changes, breakups and the passing of my mom.

As T got older and developed arthritis, his joyful spirit remained intact. In fact, he got even more loveable. And this past summer, when we started getting him around the city in his wagon, he became a neighborhood icon adored by strangers on the streets of New York. But despite his relentless spirit, his body was giving out. And last week, the doctors advised that it was time.

I did my best to give him the send-off he deserved. He was in his bed resting on his favorite pillow with his favorite toys by his side and eucalyptus candles burning. He enjoyed some hamburger and potatoes, gave me one last smile and then went to sleep with my arms around him as we watched a video montage celebrating his life and all those who loved him.

He was truly a First Ballot Hall of Fame Dog.