Regrettably, but expectedly, the time has come. Sunday, May 31, 2020 will be my last day as the official mascot of Butler University. And as the sun rises on Monday, June 1, I will be embarking on my journey in my new role as Mascot Emeritus, while my young protege, Butler Blue IV (Blue), assumes the helm at what has become one of the most prominent positions in college sports.
I knew this day would come. I even announced so much back in October of 2019. However, the sting of retirement has become all the more painful given how things turned out this spring. Like our students, especially the graduating Class of 2020, I’m grieving the loss of this past semester, including the pomp and circumstance, a big finale for my One Last Trip campaign, and of course, a proper farewell.
But I won’t let these disappointments—just a blip on the timeline of my eight-year career—dampen a splendid run as your mascot. From training under the great Butler Blue II, to blazing my own trail as Top Dawg, to showing Blue IV the ropes—plus all of the highs, the lows, the days, and the miles in between—it’s been a dream.
You’ve given me the opportunity to be the hardest working dog in the business, and in the process, you’ve also made me the luckiest dog on the planet.
As I hang up my letter sweater, I now transition to life away from the limelight. Admittedly, it’s not a transition I’m embracing: I’ve never known anything but the working dog life. This recent quarantine has given me a glimpse into what lies ahead, and it’s been an abrupt and jarring adjustment for a dog like me.
Fortunately, I have the Kaltenmark family to tend to my every need as I will remain their loyal and loving family dog, just as I have since they adopted me as a seven-week old puppy. This summer, the Kaltenmarks and I will be moving off campus to a new home (complete with my own custom-built dog house under the stairs) on the northside of Indianapolis in order to make way for Blue and the Krauss family. Don’t worry though, even though I’m retiring and moving a few miles away, I’ll still be around and will loosely maintain my social media accounts so that you can keep up with me.
Meanwhile, my caretaker, Michael Kaltenmark ‘02, will continue his role at Butler as Director of External Relations, but will relinquish the leash after 16 years of dedication and service to the Butler Blue Live Mascot Program. Evan Krauss ’16 will take over mascot-handling duties for Blue, with support from his wife, Kennedy.
Despite the interruptions and adjustments caused by this global pandemic, I can assure you that Blue is more than ready to take over. He’s a capable young fella who has shown the potential for greatness. I’m excited for him and our Butler family. He has a bright future, and I trust you’ll embrace him just as warmly as you have me.
Speaking of which, thank you for everything these past eight years. It’s been an honor and a pleasure. I can only hope that at some point along the way, I’ve lived up to your expectations, made you proud of Butler University, and maybe even brought a smile to your face.
So for now, forever, and as always, Go Dawgs!
P.S. Class of 2020, I’m saving one last curtain call for you! I’m looking forward to seeing all of you at Hinkle Fieldhouse in December for that commencement ceremony.