Yesterday, Butler University announced on Twitter that its mascot Blue II passed away at the age of 9 from congestive heart failure.
There are plenty colleges and universities across the country that have a living bulldog as their mascot — University of Georgia, Yale, Mississippi St., Georgetown and Yale to name a few — but few have meant as much to their respective schools as Butler's Blue II. Other than coach Brad Stevens, Blue II was the most recognizable member of Butler's incredibly unlikely back-to-back Final Four teams — always there waiting near the bench in a blue and white Butler sweater.
Blue II also maintained a blog and happened to be exceptionally adept at social media, especially Twitter — all of which is pretty unusual for a canine. His most recent blog entry was a heartfelt good-bye and thank-you to his fans and the university.
True to the prognosis I've recently been given, my health is now in serious decline. I sense the end is near as my heart rate is increasing in an effort to capture more precious oxygen. Frankly, it's hard work and quite exhausting. I wish I felt better, but I've known for a while that my best days were behind me.
So while I still have a little stamina left, I thought I would pen one last blog post for Pops to post after I'm gone. I know it's morbid and sad, but given my hospitalization and near death experience just a few weeks ago, I'm lucky to still be around to do this.
So with that, I say thank you. Over the last nine years, the Butler faithful have not only accepted me as their official mascot, but your pride in me has also made me America's Dog. I've said it before and I'll say it again, no dog has lived such a charmed life.
As the news of Blue II's passing spread, the outpouring of love came from all over the internet. Even mascots at Georgetown, Ohio State, and Illinois State sent their love and support.
At the end of his touching farewell blog entry, Blue II passed along the keys to the Butler sideline to Blue III.
So with that, I'm signing off for good. I'm handing the reigns of this blog over to my successor, partner-in-crime, and adopted brother, Blue III (Trip). He has great character, is really holding his own as mascot, and is gracefully following in my footsteps. Show him the same love that you've shown to me and the kid is going to be just fine.
Then Blue II passed away — like dogs do — but not without one final good-bye.