Smokies groundskeeper says goodbye to beloved Hound Dog

Local News

KODAK, Tenn. (WATE) – Eric Taylor the head groundskeeper for the Tennessee Smokies baseball team had to make a decision Sunday every pet owner dreads.

Taylor had to say goodbye to his best friend of eight years, Hound Dog. Taylor says his beloved pet and friend saved him from a life of drugs and alcohol.

“I was drinking pretty heavy at the time and doing some other drugs and so I ended up having to spend more time with him to keep him from tearing my stuff up which lead me to really make a choice of not going out every night,” Taylor said.

Since Hound Dog, a stray he adopted, came into Taylor’s life, he spent nearly every second by his side.

After years of hard labor together, along with life struggles Hound Dog had a stroke, leaving Taylor to have to make a decision to put his best friend to sleep on Sunday.

For the first time in over eight years, Taylor had to come to work alone.

“The hardest thing to do was to walk through the gate but the only way to not — I mean I’ll never get over it — but I got to walk through the gate eventually,” said Taylor.

Even though Hound Dog is gone taylor tells us he is going to honor the promise he made his friend years ago — the promise that he will become the best groundskeeper and stay off drugs.

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