July 22, 2004
Tyler Hamilton offers probably his longest diary entry ever, on the death of his dog Tugboat during this year's Tour. It's worth reading in full, both for the quick recap of Hamilton's life, and the insight into how close his relationship with Tugboat was. A short excerpt:
He was a truly special dog, who supported me through thick and thin and was by my side all through the 2003 Tour. He knew I was hurting and he comforted and protected me in a way that was nearly human.
My wife and I spoke that night, and decided that Tugs had one last road trip in him. I needed to say good-bye and thank you to my trusty companion face to face. Haven brought Tugboat home Monday night and set out for Limoges, France, the next morning. Tugs made the final journey in good form. He was heavily sedated, so he never walked again, but he was alert enough to know he was with the two people who cherished him the most.
Tugs and I slept side by side that night. Ironically, one year after he had done so for me, I was comforting him at the Tour de France. Before the start of stage 10, I said my good-byes.
At the end, Haven tucked my jersey from stage 9 under one of Tugs's legs and his last Credit Lyonnais Lion under the other. He was a bike racer's dog from start to finish.
Hamilton would abandon during Stage 13 to La Mongie.
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i cried when i read the tribute earlier today. it's so eloquent.
Posted by: kaelen at Jul 23, 2004 12:57:22 AM