Blue’s Blog

Tales from The Trip

Butler Blue II: What I’ve Learned – Retirement Edition

As I celebrate my ninth birthday and approach retirement (May 20, 2013) after nine years of service as official mascot of Butler University, I’m offering up yet more introspection derived from my existence.

Inspired by Esquire Magazine’s “The Meaning of Life” issue and standing “What I’ve Learned” column, I’ve previously published such features of my own on two occasions. Being that they are original thoughts derived from the fabric of my life’s experiences, these words and ideas are still valid and thus, worth your consumption. You can access both of the entries listed below on this blog post. 

Butler Blue II: What I’ve Learned (March 24, 2010)

Butler Blue II: What I’ve Learned – Second Installment (December 23, 2011)

Of course, similar prose exists as a result of interviews that I’ve done over the years as well. That said, you may remember the Proust Questionnaire that I completed for local marketing agency,Silver Square; and you may also remember that I added my two cents for Indianapolis Monthly some years ago.

Without further adieu, my third installment of “What I’ve Learned…”

Butler Blue II: What I’ve Learned (March 27, 2013)

Mascot, 9, Indianapolis

Butler’s mascot, America’s dog, shares a dog’s eye view on the eve of retirement after nine years of honorable service.

I knew retirement and transition were all a part of the gig, but I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t severely underestimate it.

Dragging me off the Hinkle Fieldhouse floor may have been necessary after the Changing of the Collar Ceremony if I wasn’t so obedient  I love that place. Those basketball games are the best part of the job.

“It’s a long road to wisdom, but a short one to being ignored.” Pops listens to a lot of music and that lyric by The Lumineers has been echoing in my furry head for some time now. So simple, but so true.

Speaking as a being that is completely reliant upon the hand of humans, The story of the “Good Samaritan” needs to become required reading, for all of humanity. After all, what have you done to help a complete stranger lately?

If doing a good deed requires praise or notice from someone other than your own conscious, you’re doing it wrong.

Butler Blue III is proof that that youth is wasted on the young.

As much as I hate to say it, sometimes people just need to cut Butler Blue III some slack. He’s a pup. He’s a seven-year-old version of a you, and you went looking for trouble when you were seven.

It’s both nice and annoying to be so adored by your little brother. I didn’t ask for it, but at the same time, the kid could be a lot worse. It’s all peaches and cream for Blue III until the day Blue IV shows up. Then he’ll see.

My veterinarian recently noted that I’ve aged more in the last year than I had the previous seven combined.  I can’t argue with that observation.

If my body would allow it, I’d never give up this gig, but then ignoring my body would contradict the wisdom I’ve gained over the years. From a quality of life standpoint and longevity’s sake, it’s time to hang it up.

I don’t get around as well as I used to, but I still make a point to get up and greet those special to me.

Who I am, the mascot I’ve become, is nine years in the making. People forget that. In some respects, Butler Blue III is further along at his age than I was. He’ll be just fine. Only time will tell if he’ll pass my wins, accolades, and decorations, but that has nothing to do with being a serviceable mascot.

I don’t know who originally said it, but “avoid biting when a simple growl will do” are some excellent words to live by.

I’m low to the ground. I see things from a different perspective, and what I’ve found over the years is that success lies in the details. I’m not saying you need to sweat the small stuff, but I am suggesting that you mind the little things. In an over-the-top world, it is the details that make all the difference.

Follow your instincts.

Do you ever notice how dogs never pretend to be someone or something that they’re not? It seems to work for us. Be genuine.

Another old dog proverb says, “If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.” As a stubborn bulldog, I can especially relate.  And after all, “Bulldogs ever do or die!”

Loyalty. It’s not just for dogs.

Generally speaking, I have no regrets, but I still wish we could’ve captured one of those men’s basketball NCAA titles. While I wouldn’t trade those experiences for the world, that’s still sometimes a hard pill to swallow.

Butler University will move on without me, but I’ve cemented my spot in it’s history. Go Dawgs!


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