Butler Blue IV and his predecessor Butler Blue III (AKA Trip)—along with their handlers Evan Krauss and Michael Kaltenmark—are about to be the stars of the show.
July 7, the story of Butler University’s Live Mascot Program will stream to viewers around the world as the biggest moments of an eventful year are wrapped into an hour-long episode of the Netflix docuseries Dogs.
Part of the show’s second season, the episode follows the transition between two live bulldog mascots, from the announcement of Trip’s retirement through the changing of the collar. But it’s about more than just canines. The series celebrates connections between dogs and humans, so Krauss and Kaltenmark also share the ways their bulldogs changed their lives.
“Michael and I just pour our whole lives into this program, so it’s exciting to have this avenue to tell the story about Butler’s live mascots,” says Krauss, Senior Marketing Manager and handler of current mascot Blue IV. “This is such a great way to not only honor Trip’s legacy, but then to tell the story of what it takes to find a new mascot and introduce him to the world.”
Butler’s Marketing and Communications team first pitched the story to Netflix in June 2019, when Dogs producer Glen Zipper tweeted a callout for Season 2 ideas. After a series of auditions, the Dawgs found out they made the cut.
“For me, it was a dream realized,” says Kaltenmark, Butler’s Director of Community and Government Relations. Kaltenmark served as handler for mascots emeriti Blue II and Blue III—a total of 16 years caring for the Butler bulldog. “Having the dogs all those years, people would tell me, ‘You should have a reality show.’ I did always think that would be cool, but I never felt like we had the platform. So when this opportunity came along and we got it, I was pretty excited. To be included in a Netflix series—this is big time.”
The episode was created by Disarming Films under the leadership of Emmy-winning director Rudy Valdez. The team traveled from New York to Butler six times during the 2019–2020 academic year, chronicling key milestones like the first basketball game of Trip’s final season and the birth of Blue IV. Krauss and Kaltenmark agree it was a momentous time in their lives, and they are excited to watch it all on screen.
“When you have a job like this, it’s a lifestyle,” Krauss says. “It’s so much more than a nine-to-five. You live it, you breathe it, you wake up in the morning and feed it breakfast. It’s going to be a little weird to watch that emotional year play out in a Netflix episode, but I am so thankful and excited to see how someone else chooses to tell the story of the Butler bulldogs.”
Season 2 of Netflix’s “Dogs” will be available on July 7.
Senior Content Manager