Blue’s Blog

Tales from The Trip

A Dog House to Call Home

Serving as “Butler Blue,” the official mascot of Butler University, both the late Blue II and I have amassed an assembly of priceless prized possessions over the years. Such artifacts and heirlooms include:

  • The Built Ford Tough Blue Mobile, provided by Don Hinds Ford
  • The official Butler Blue collar, custom created by Reis Nichols Jewelers
  • The official Nike jersey, hand tailored by the Tom James Company with material provided by Nike
  • The official Butler Blue II portrait, hand painted by artist James Kelly, of Mad Lab Studios
  • The new children’s book, Good Boy, Blue!, published by Mascot Books and available in 2014
  • The official Blue II and Blue III Louisville Slugger bats, presented by the Louisville Slugger Co.
  • The 5 lb. Hershey’s Chocolate Bar with custom wrapper, presented by the Hershey’s Chocolate Co.

That’s quite a list, and I’m proud to say that we’re adding to it again, this time courtesy of Indianapolis-based contractor and construction firm, Shiel Sexton who have built me a custom dog house, inspired by historic Hinkle Fieldhouse. I don’t have it yet and I’ve only seen pictures, but the big reveal and presentation will occur on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013 at Shiel Sexton. Then I get to bring it home, to campus, and have it on display at the Bulldog Beauty Contest presented by Built Ford Tough Trucks and Butler’s homecoming football game against the Campbell Camels.

Take a sneak peek at the new dog house. 

I can’t wait to show it off and tell folks all about it, but for now, the dog house is maybe best described by Butler grad and Shiel Sexton employee, Nick Schellinger, who oversaw the build:

From the moment we were approached by Butler University about building Trip a new dog house, we couldn’t wait to start designing and digging in to the construction of it – we were “all in”. We set out with a few main goals in mind, we wanted the house to be functional, mobile, and the best looking dog house college sports has ever seen.

Luckily for us, the design was a no brainer, Butler already has one of the greatest homes in sports with Hinkle Fieldhouse and we decided it was only fitting for Trip to have his very own Hinkle “dog” house. We built the house to be as much like the real thing as we could, complete with the barrel roof and the iconic rafters. Since this house was going to be home to one of America’s most beloved mascots, we knew that a regular wood floor just wouldn’t do. A hardwood basketball court floor, painted just as the real court in the Fieldhouse, was put in instead.

To bring it all together, we worked with the University staff who created the images for the exterior/interior and we had vinyl wraps of those created and applied. We knew Trip would love being in his new home so much that we put the entire roof on hinges; this way his adoring fans could still get a glimpse of him even when he was inside his Hinkle “dog” house. Lastly, we put wheels on the house and retrofitted a cart so that it can travel anywhere Trip may venture out to in the BIG EAST and beyond.

This was a special project for us at Shiel Sexton and we had a great time working through every aspect of taking this house from a vision to a reality for Trip and Butler University.

Well done, Nick and Shiel Sexton! And gratitude goes to a handful of others that played a part in this awesome build, including:

  • Butler student and art & design major, Amber Mills, who designed and created the exterior and interior images.
  • Stan Charles and his team at Stan’s Sign Design who supplied the exterior and interior vinyl wraps.
  • The Cincinnati Flooring Co. who not only did the original floor inside Hinkle Fieldhouse, but my dog house floor too!
  • AAA Roofing who supplied a well-buit, “retractable” roof.

Pretty cool, huh? I can’t wait to show it off. Speaking of, I hope to see you all on campus for homecoming this weekend. The fall colors are coming on, the weather forecast is perfect, our fall sports teams are on fire, and the school spirit on campus is at a fever pitch.

Join us early this Saturday at 10:00 a.m. for the Bulldog Beauty Contest presented by Built Ford Tough Trucks (looking to have 100 bulldogs participate again), then enjoy the parade, hit the tailgates, and cheer the Dawgs onto victory.  Oh, and check out my new dog house too!

Go Dawgs!

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