Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Have a Blue Christmas!

First, I wish everyone a merry week of Christmas and I hope you are like me and are able to spend some quality time with the family this week and weekend. To my Jewish friends who are amidst the Hanukah tradition, may you have a very happy one!

And as promised here’s my picture with the fat man from the North Pole from earlier in the month.

Even though I told old St. Nick what I wanted for Christmas, I’ve been fortunate to have been getting additional gifts all month long. Dean Ena Shelley gave me a rawhide bone on behalf of the College of Education. However, I went ahead and hid that somewhere in the office before my dad could get a picture so you’ll have to take my word for it. Linda Cooley spoiled me yet again showering me with everything from treats, to stuffed animals and a stocking full of goodies like tennis balls, rubber toys, etc. I even had a student, Stephanie Smith, come down and give me a little stuffed bone that’s good for chewing on.

Needless to say, it’s good to be me at Christmas…so good that I even have old Christmas classics being reworded for me. Below is a video that the Office of Admission sent to prospective students for the Holidays. It’s titled, “Jingle Blue.”

This has also been a good month because I’ve finally received a little feedback in the comments section of the blog. I’m happy to see a little reader response so that I can engage in a little blog dialogue instead of just thinking all of this stuff up on my own all of the time. So, without further adieu…

The HRC morning life guards lovingly write, “Blue, I hope you know those pool facilities you mentioned are just as clean as they possibly can be. It’s been pretty slow in the mornings with finals and all, so we've had time to Clorox positively everything! and we think that when your dad and mom come to swim or sit in the sauna that you should come for some swim lessons! Just kidding, but we ARE mighty jealous of the control desk supervisors that get to play with you all the time.”

Dear HRC morning lifeguards, I have complete faith in your cleaning abilities. Your efforts combined with the magical capabilities of Clorox must surely be Norovirus proof. My parents swam in the HRC numerous times during the Norovirus campus attack and never contracted a symptom. Good work!

As for swim lessons, there’s no doubt that I’d love such a thing, but no matter how hard you tried to teach me to swim, I don’t think it’s possible. There’s just no trait given to an English Bulldog that lends itself to swimming. Thanks for the thought though.

As for hanging out during open swim, well, there’s a possibility of that, I suppose. Chances are I’ll just sleep on the pool deck, but in the event I might make myself believe that I can swim, you may need to be on high alert.

My next comment comes from Jamaica who says, “Butler's campus isn't the only place being struck. Check this out:” http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/75741/Killer-virus-grips-Britain

Of course, Jamaica is writing in reference to my report on the Norovirus attacking Butler. In the case that Jamaica shares, we have a deadly winter vomiting bug that’s attacking my ancestors in Great Britton. Yikes! I suppose it could be worse!

There was another bit of mail that caught my attention this month. It came via US Mail and was addressed to my dad. It was an anonymous letter dated Dec. 11 and thanked my dad for taking care of me. Judging by my dad’s reaction, I think it might be the best Christmas gift he gets this year. I’ll let you read it so you’ll understand:

Dear Michael,

I want to thank you for taking such good care of Blue II. Yes, I want to thank you for feeding, walking, and playing catch with your dog. It might seem a little ridiculous for me to share my appreciation for you completing a task that involves your own life, however I want to explain to you why. You dog, our university’s mascot, means so much to so many. Blue is a symbol of unity – something with which all Butler students can belong. But he wouldn’t be so if it were not for you.

You don’t have to take care of him. You don’t have to be around. You don’t need the responsibility. You don’t depend on us in any way except for that we show up when you show up. But you do it anyway. Doing so shares with us an exceptional amount of loyalty to your alma mater, and shows the Butler community leadership through longevity. Not to mention, you’ve cared for a very wonderful dog that all Butler students have grown to love. We appreciate seeing him in passing, in Starbucks, and expecially at basketball games. You steadfast school spirit is truly “the Butler Way.”

So thank you again, Michael, for being such a good owner to that sweet little dog. Take care of yourself this holiday season as well as you would Blue.



My thanks to the anonymous author of this letter and I hope that said author doesn’t mind me sharing it on the blog. I often thank my dad, and my mom for that matter, for their abundant love and guidance and their special care, but sometimes I think its better if they hear it from someone else from time to time. And by thank, I mean that I give them kisses and hugs.

My dad often says that caring for me isn’t something he would trade for anything in the world. I think he’s quite proud of it actually, but I’m totally dependent on my parents so I know it takes some effort and thus, that’s why I think it good they hear a little appreciation some times. Anyway, that letter made my dad cry, so my thanks again, to whom ever wrote it.

This week’s Indianapolis - Marion County Public Library Call-A-Story features freshman guard Ronald Nored reading from Slam Dunk Basketball Poems. Call 317-275-4444 to hear Ronald’s eloquent reading and to watch Ronald and the boys in action, tune in to ESPNU tonight at 7 p.m. (ET) as the Bulldogs take on the No. 12 ranked Musketeers of Xavier University.

I was so excited for this game and the possibility of our underdog Bulldogs to pull off an upset in Cincinnati, Ohio, I took it out on my Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer stuffed animal. Sorry Rudolph!

Oh and don’t forget to log on to ButlerSports.com to vote for a name for my costumed counterpart. That’s right, the final vote for the Name that Dawg! Contest is taking place now. You can vote for the following names: Buster, Barkley, Buddy and Hink. Almost 300 different names were submitted for the new costumed bulldog and the powers that be have got it down to four names. Cast your vote today!

May you have a very Merry Christmas and of course, Go Dawgs!

Blue II

Thursday, December 11, 2008

All I want for Christmas is a Norovirus Cure

If you haven’t experienced it for yourself, then chances are you’ve heard about it or even seen in the news that Butler University is not just the home of the Bulldogs, but the Norovirus (pictured) as well. Just like a cruise ship, we’ve got a pool, exercise facilities, dining areas and yes, the Norovirus.

Fortunately, I haven’t contracted the illness and neither has my dad, but cases continue to pop up each day with over 200 reported in seven days. New cases have drastically slowed down, thankfully, but the risk still exists! So, thus far so we’re just trying to stay clean and out of contact.

Basically, the best way to keep from getting the virus is to wash your hands and paws…early and often. Thus the irony, National Hand Washing Awareness Week is Dec. 7-13. Visit http://www.henrythehand.com/ for details. Too bad this couldn’t happen a couple of weeks ago, but seriously, wash your hands folks!

Per usual, I’ve been keeping myself occupied since my last post. Last Friday I was invited to the PRSSA oath ceremony where journalism/public relations students at Butler joined our Public Relations Student Society of America chapter. Why was I there? I’m not sure, but they gave me and my dad an official member certificate for coming and that’s cool. So yes, I am now a member of the PRSSA. For the right price, I may even let PRSSA use me in their promotional materials. Hey, the economy is down and I’ve got to get paid!

On Saturday we ventured over to 49th Street and College Ave. to drop in on my friends at City Dogs Grocery for their annual Furry Friends Holiday Open House. I got some complimentary treats from the official food provider of me, Eagle Pack Pet Foods, Inc., I got a nifty little tennis ball to chomp on and of course, I got to pay a visit to the fat man from the North Pole, jolly old St. Nick. Check it out…

I asked Santa for a few things for myself, a couple things for my parents, and a few big ticket items for Butler. We’ll see if he can come through. I’m on the “nice” list this year, so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

Again this week Christmas has come early as Linda Cooley from the Political Science Department brought me some more stuffed animals. Linda is pretty much my new favorite person on campus.

Just behind Linda would have to be my new friend Emily Reeser in the Marketing Communications office. She’s my new seamstress of sorts. Emily’s been hard at work putting those years in 4-H to good use by helping me get some proper fitting attire.

Let me explain…thanks to Shelby Roscoe in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and her friend who is a rep for Nike, I have a new football jersey. However, that jersey needed a couple modifications to fit this fine specimen of a bulldog body, insert Emily, who was able to put in an elastic band in the waist area. Now I just have to pin up the sleeves and I’m in business next football season! Sweet!

Thanks to all that made it possible! I’m still working on a truly custom fitted jersey, but this will be a big improvement for the time being. Much appreciated! As you can tell, I like wearing it…makes me feel like a big deal.

On Monday I had another little photo shoot on location at the HRC. The premise of the shoot was me on a treadmill. It’s kind of an oxymoronic pose really, but it works. The photo is going to be used for some HRC promotional items, etc. I had a good time with it, although I’m not too keen on doing anything other than just standing on the treadmill. Fire the thing up and I’m hopping off and barking at it…much like my skateboard routine.

Congratulations again goes out to the Butler men’s basketball team who soundly defeated the Bradley Braves last night to go 8-0 thus far on the season. The Bulldogs head to Columbus, Ohio for Saturday’s battle of the unbeatens as we take on the 5-0 and nationally ranked Ohio State Buckeyes.

Our Lady Bulldogs head to Ohio this weekend for a Saturday match-up with the Redhawks of Miami University. The women are 3-5 and have won 2 of their last 3 games.

Don't forget to call this week's Butler Bulldog, Matt Howard on the Indianapolis/Marion County Public Library Call-A-Story to hear him read a selection from The World According to a Dog. Call 317-275-4444 and have a listen today!

Go Dawgs!

Blue II

Friday, December 5, 2008

ESPN Calls it "Mayhem in December"

If you missed last night's ESPNU airing of the men's basketball match up between the undefeated and young Butler Bulldogs against the No. 1 pre-season Horizon League favorites, the Cleveland State Vikings, then I hope you maybe saw the highlights on ESPN's SportsCenter's Top-10 plays.

And if you missed that then maybe you heard Joe Gentry and Nick Gardner on WXNT 1430 AM, or perhaps you caught the game online at the Horizon League Network. And if none of that happened, then I need you to get out from under that rock in which you are living, change up your priorities and get behind the Dawgs!

Wow! What a game last night. It was brutal and undeniably ugly. There were more fumbles, miscues and missed shots than anyone would care to admit. However, what shown brightly from the Butler squad throughout the entire game was a positive attitude, perseverance, tenacity and a refusal to quit. Those boys just didn't have it in them to roll over and play dead when the going got tough. They just found a way, ugly or not, to get the job done.

That job manifested itself in two big three point baskets by sophomores Shawn Vanzant and Zach Hahn. The latter at the buzzer to win the game. If there was ever grace under pressure, that was it. Check it out...

But it wasn't just Vanzant and Hahn that made it happen. It was a total team effort. From the coaching staff, through the players and all the way to the bus driver, the whole thing just came together and worked. They all stayed positive, knew their job, followed through. Take for instance freshman and "Roly Poly Puppies" reader (317-275-4444) Gordon Hayward...the kid had 8 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks. Solid and darn near unnoticed...just another day at the office.

Now the Bulldogs are 6-0 heading further east across Ohio to take on conference foe, Youngstown State on Saturday. I suggest you get your radio or computer fired up to take in that game. For more info on the Butler Bulldogs, might I suggest you take a look at the Indianapolis Star's David Woods and his great coverage: http://www.indystar.com/section/SPORTS0605

Can you tell I'm pumped up?! This is one happy Butler Bulldog!

Go Dawgs!

Blue II

P.S. On a more somber note, our condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to Shawn Vanzant, who's grandmother recently passed away. Your Butler family is here for you, Shawn.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Already a December to Remember

Thanksgiving 2008 is in the books and we are now officially amidst the Holiday Season. That automatically means things get busy as I’m sure you’ve probably already noticed. For me anyway, there’s been no Thanksgiving hangover. It’s been nothing, but Holiday hustle and bustle for me. But what’s new? I’m always busy, so I’ll just get to the good stuff.

Flash back to Saturday and it was the Butler versus Evansville men’s basketball game at Hinkle Fieldhouse where the Bulldogs looked strong in a convincing victory over the Purple Aces. This game was memorable for me for a couple of reasons.

Here’s the first item: Shelly Rabideau, who works in Butler’s purchasing services department by day and assists with the game day will call on the side, is famous for baking and bringing homemade chocolate chip cookies. For this game she put forth a little extra effort and made me some special peanut butter cookies with dog-safe ingredients in a recipe she got from Three Dog Bakery. I loved them! She even made enough for me to take some home so I’ve been enjoying them every night this week. Thanks Shelly!

The other reason that the Butler/Evansville game is memorable is because the State of Indiana Governor, Mitch Daniels was in the crowd and I was able to get my picture with him Thanks for the pic, Mitch!

Oh yeah, America’s Best Frisbee dogs also performed at halftime of the Butler/Evansville game and while I did enjoy the performance, those dogs only have one trick...catching Frisbees…so I’m not even going to waste my time on them.

After the game, my folks and I headed up to Wabash, Ind. for a second Thanksgiving dinner with my mom’s side of the family. Besides scoring a little more good Thanksgiving grub, I was able to experience the season’s first significant snowfall on Sunday morning. Between 2-4 inches fell in Wabash County on Sunday morning so I went out and enjoyed that just a little bit. I’m alright with the snow, it’s fun to play in, but as you’ll see in the video, when I just want to go out and do my “business” the snow is less than ideal.

Speaking of videos, it’s been drawn to my attention by my esteemed colleague, Brad Ward, that I’ve uploaded 102 videos on YouTube (currently only 97 show up on BlueTube, but five others were added in the favorites from a different account). From those 102 videos that have been uploaded over the last nine months I’ve had 30,348 total views; or about 110 video views a day! Not bad for a Bulldog!

So what does all of that mean? Nothing. However, I’ll do my best to have my dad record anything and everything and throw it up on my YouTube page because clearly some of you out there are enjoying watching that stuff. Fine by me, that’s why I do what I do.

In addition to video, I also do photo shoots, as you may remember from the video and pictures from my post last week. I finally have some of the official pictures from that and they are posted below. Feast your eyes on that!

(Photos by Brent Smith)

Pretty good stuff, huh? How many dogs do you know that could do that? I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t easy…took some serious restraint to not tear open those nicely wrapped boxes and completely devour that cake, but I finally got to enjoy the cake so it was worth the wait and temptation. Not to mention, thanks to my discipline the pictures turned out pretty sweet looking too!

Today I had the privilege of visiting Stone Gate Elementary School in Zionsville, Ind. to read a book to my cousin Lauren’s kindergarten class. Lauren happens to be the student of the week this week and as a result, it was her chance to invite a special guest to come to her class and read a book of her choosing. Naturally, she picked me to join my dad and her mom and the book was If You Gave a Cat a Cupcake. Lauren’s mom did the reading and I did the tricks. We also handed out my READ! bookmarks to the class. Good times! Thanks for inviting me, Lauren!

Speaking of reading, not only can our Butler Bulldogs play a mean brand of basketball, but they read a good book every now and again as well. This week you can dial up starting freshman forward, Gordon Hayward (pictured) and hear him read “Roly Poly Puppies” on the Indianapolis Public Library line at 317-275-4444. It only takes a couple of minutes and its fun to do, so dial it up and have a listen.

As I mentioned to open the blog, we are currently amidst the Holiday Season and that means, gifts, presents, prizes, treats and much more. I love it! The fun has already begun as Linda Cooley, the secretary for the Political Science Dept. has already brought me an early gift…a tin full of little Three Dog Bakery peanut butter snacks. They are delicious! Thanks Linda!

I think I also have a “Secret Santa” as I mysteriously had one of my favorite Build-A-Bear teddy bears show up in my office. Thanks to whomever left that for me. I’ve already claimed it as my own and I’m enjoying it very much! I hope this is just a prelude of much more Holiday cheer to come my way! I must have been a good boy this year and made it on Santa’s “nice list.”

I got a couple of other great items this week thanks to Butler grad and owner of Your Image Works, Mary Shaw, who was able to find some shirts that actually fit me. With such a barreled chest and skinny hips, it’s hard to find clothes that fit, but thankfully, Mary came to my rescue. I now have a custom Dawg Pound shirt to wear to the games and a special Butler recycle shirt for Butler’s Eco Dawgs program. I’ll have more to report later about the Eco Dawgs thing…this shirt is just the beginning, but I can tell you that “Butler Blue is going ‘Green!’” Here are some pics of my new threads…

Tonight I’m headed back to campus and over to Hinkle Fieldhouse for team pictures with the Cheerleading squad and I also got a couple of photos taken with the new mascot costume. You may remember their picture from last year contained a bulldog that was not the author of this blog. That’s all I’m going to say about it, but if you search the blog you can find my opinions on the matter. I’m excited that they invited me back and I’m happy to get my pics with the squad and the new mascot. Here's a few shots from tonight...

And don’t forget, that new mascot costume still needs a name and we’re asking you to help us select that new name. The Name That Dawg! mascot naming contest runs through Dec. 7, so don’t delay…log on to http://www.butlersports.com/ and place your vote today!

Talk of the new mascot costumes has reminded me of a story my dad showed me on FoxSports.com the other day about “Mascots Gone Bad.” You can read all about it here: http://msn.foxsports.com/cfb/pgStory?contentId=8824820&MSNHPHCP&GT1=39002#sport=COLLEGE%20FOOTBALL&photo=8824504

Let’s hope that myself nor my esteemed costumed colleague don’t make this list any time soon!

Finally, I want to invite all of you dog and cat owners to the Furry Friends Holiday Open House this Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008 from 1-4 p.m. at the southwest corner of 49th Street and College Ave. One of my partners and sponsors, City Dogs Grocery, is located there along with building dwellers Claire Corbin Photography and The Paw Patch Veterinarian Hospitals. They’ve all teamed up to offer pet photos with Santa, treats, raffle goodie bags and discounts on their products. I’ll be there to support City Dogs Grocery and you should come on out as well!

Don't forget to tune in to ESPNU at 8 p.m. ET tomorrow evening to watch the men's basketball team take on Cleveland State who was picked first in the pre-season Horizon League poll!

Go Dawgs!

Blue II