Sunday, June 29, 2008

R.I.P. Uga VI

Popular mascot Uga VI dies of heart failure
By Jeffrey Scott
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 06/28/08

The University of Georgia's beloved and Churchillian English bulldog mascot Uga VI died peacefully Friday night in Savannah of congestive heart failure after serving nine seasons on the sidelines as the Bulldogs' winningest mascot.

Uga VI, owned by Savannah attorney Frank W. "Sonny" Seiler, was the heaviest in the line of six solid-white English bulldogs to serve as UGA's mascot since Uga I became a Georgia football game fixture in 1956.

"He was a good one," Seiler said in a prepared statement. "What can I say? He had a marvelous record. He was a very strong and healthy dog. He was the biggest of all the dogs, and he had the biggest heart. It just played out."

Damon Evans, UGA athletics director, bestowed the highest praise on the beast that he could Saturday, in a statement:

"Uga VI was a damn good mascot and a damn good dog," said Evans.

With the passing of one Uga there's always speculation regarding which bulldog will be heir to the throne, which comes with a few perks, including an air-conditioned doghouse, travel by Delta Airlines to away games, celebrityhood (Uga V was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1997 as the nation's best mascot) and a fanbase that's paparazzi-like in its obsession.

"People pet him so much his head gets sore," Seiler once said of his line of Ugas. "He's like a politician who shakes too many hands."

Seiler said Saturday that the "lineage is secure" and a successor will be announced by the Seilers and the UGA athletic association later.

Uga VI will be buried in a marble vault in the Southwest corner of Sanford Stadium with his ancestors in private ceremonies expected to be held early next week.

There had been speculation earlier this year that the 2007 season might have been Uga VI's last as a mascot because of his age. He would have turned 10 on July 22.

Seiler said in a statement Saturday he noticed Uga VI was breathing heavily shortly after Seiler arrived home from work Friday evening. He was taken to Dr. Stanley Lester, the family's veterinarian, who consulted with Dr. Bruce Hollett at UGA's College of Veterinary Medicine.

"I noticed a little congestion in his throat, which usually is not cause for alarm," said Seiler in the release. "I gave him a bath, which he always loved, to cool him off. After that, I called Dr. Lester, whose office is about a four-minute drive from our house.

"His heart just played out. He suffered no pain and died peacefully."

UGA president Michael F. Adams said in a statement that Uga VI will be "missed and remembered by UGA alumni and friends everywhere."

During his reign as mascot, the UGA football team compiled a record of 87 wins and 27 losses, captured the 2002 and 2005 SEC championships, and won seven of nine bowl games, surpassing Uga IV's record of 77-24-4.

— Staff writer Chip Towers contributed to this article.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bulldogs Win College World Series and Dressing for Success

Bulldogs Win, Bulldogs Win, Bulldogs Win! ...the Bulldogs of the Fresno State variety that is.

Fresno State beat the University of George Bulldogs last night in the best of a three game series in the NCAA College World Series at Omaha, Nebraska. Granted, I wish it were the Butler Bulldogs that were being crowned champs, but as a representative of the breed, I’m still proud that that it was Bulldogs V. Bulldogs in the World Series championship.

Earlier in the year the Bulldog made the top-10 list of most popular dogs for the first time since 1935 and now we have Bulldogs battling Bulldogs for titles and championships. It’s a dog eat dog world out there and the Bulldogs are ready for dinner. In other words, we’re on the rise people, so get on the bandwagon!

Well since last week I haven’t been up to much…just work, pleasure and more camp pictures. Only this time it was with students attending percussion and piano camp. Below are some pictures.

Outside of that, I’m just trying to beat the heat. Remember, us Bulldogs are heat-sensitive so little to no time at all in this hot and humid weather is more than enough for me. Air conditioning, water and shade are all my good friends this time of year.

As I posted last week with that video of Gus the Bulldog devouring that watermelon, I think I’d like to try that for myself. I hear that watermelon is a refreshing summer treat and rumor has it that my parents are hitting the grocery store this weekend, so I just might get lucky!

Finally, as promised, I said that I would respond to the comments left for me on the blog. As it turns out, there have only been two in recent weeks. Nonetheless, they are…

“What tricks can you do? It would be great to see a video of some of your best tricks.” – Anonymous

My repertoire of tricks includes the “high-five,” “rollover,” “dead dog,” “speak,” and “pout.” I’m also re-mastering commands like “stay” and I have a feeling that with this AKC Canine Good Citizen training business, I am going to have to learn all kinds of fun stuff.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any video of my trick routine so I’ll have my dad work on that and get something posted in the near future.

Our second and last post reads…

“In any of your official duties as Butler Mascot, have you ever been asked to dress up in something completely embarrassing? I know you get to wear shirts a lot and the occasional bow tie. Take a look at your fellow bulldog (pictured below) dressed like an idiot for his parents' wedding ceremony. And that is getting published nationally!” – Jackie P.

Good question, Jackie! Hemingway the Bulldog looks ridiculous in that picture. Granted, in my debut on the cover of Sports Illustrated I was sporting a Dawg Pound t-shirt, but that is in no way the same as Hemingway’s jester get-up or whatever he’s donning.

It’s true; I’ve worn everything from jerseys, to sweaters, to t-shirts, dew rags, bow ties, neck ties, arm bands, coats, special collars and Halloween costumes. What can I say, it goes with the job.
Most of the stuff I wear is within reason and in fact, I actually get excited when I see things like my jersey or when I get to put on t-shirts…it means that I’m going to get to do something fun.

But I also know when what I’m wearing is just wrong, like our friend Hemingway. Typically that would be the Halloween costumes. One year I went as a pirate and another as a pumpkin. Captain Jack Sparrow and a Jack-O-Lantern I am not.

Anyway, I’m still looking for Nike to suit me up with a tailor-made jersey that I can wear to football games and other events. You’ll notice in the picture below that UGA, Georgia’s mascot found a way to make that happen.

I figure now that the Butler Athletic Dept. signed an exclusive Nike deal, I might actually be able to get something in the works.

But for now, the only thing I'll be wearing in this heat is my fur coat.

Have a great weekend!

Blue II

Friday, June 20, 2008

An Eventful Close to Spring 2008

Well, when I last posted I was getting ready to head off with my mom to Wabash, Ind. for a little R&R in the country. It was just about everything I hoped it would be and more. Not only did I get to enjoy a one-dog pool party in my wading pool, but I also got to sample a little bit of cheeseburger and steak during a couple of grill outs that my grandma and grandpa Richards had. It was delicious!

The only thing I didn’t get to do was go boating when they went to Salamonie Reservoir one afternoon. Mom didn’t have my life jacket and besides, I probably would have been too hot anyway.

After that, my dad returned from Texas and we had ourselves a pretty interesting week. Of course, there was the usual dreaded thunderstorms that continued to roll through the Indianapolis area, but I also visited the girls basketball camp and took pictures with campers, went to the vet for x-rays on what was thought to be a broken toe, attended an event called Bullyfest, helped my parents celebrate their fifth anniversary and traveled back to Wabash for Father’s Day. Needless to say, last week was quite eventful!

Wednesday the 11th was when I stopped by the Women’s basketball team’s camp for pictures. I’ve been doing that camp every year since I was just a puppy so it’s just routine now. Here are a couple pictures from that appearance.

Also on Wednesday, I made some new friends with Hugo (4-month English Bulldog) and Frankie (1-year Daschund). They stopped by the office at the end of the work day so we went out on the campus mall and had a good time. Hugo and Frankie each have parents from the Butler class of 2008. I hope they come back to play again soon as we sure had a great time!

The next day, my dad and I were at home working in the yard, which is one of my favorite activities. I was helping him, and by helping I mean just running back and forth and around the yard at home like I own the place, because I do. Anyway, I must have done something to myself when I was getting all cocky out there because after I laid down to rest for a while, I got back up and found that I had a profound limp and was favoring my front right paw pretty significantly.

By the time my mom got home from work, I was in some serious pain and even fell while trying to walk. My dad just thought I had aggravated an old injury with one of my joints, but my mom (the physical therapist) noticed some swelling in my paw and quickly loaded me in the car and took me to Woodland Animal Hospital in Carmel, Ind.

Dr. Glore was able to see me and while my x-rays were negative, or virtually inconclusive, there was still a theory that I may have incurred a hairline fracture in my right front pinky paw. So I was sent home with pain meds and instructions to lay low and hit the ice pack every 40 minutes.

Below is a pathetic looking me, doped from pain pills with ice on my paw. Believe it or not, I was in so much pain that I left it alone.


All were worried because I typically not one to show much pain, let alone yelp or cry out, but I most certainly did when Dr. Glore was examining my paw. But, per usual, I made a quick recovery and by the next day, I was off of the pain pills and putting weight on all fours.

Nobody knows for sure what was actually going on, but there’s speculation that I might have stepped on a sharp rock or something and just suffered a deep bruise. Who knows?

By Saturday, my parents’ fifth wedding anniversary, I was back to my normal self, so my parents decided to take me to an event called Bullyfest which is held by the Bulldog Club of Indiana.

Basically it’s an excuse for local bulldog owners to get their bullies together in a warehouse, swap stories and learn various things from the demonstrations on how to show your bulldog in competition, obedience training, etc. But I enjoyed getting to see my first owners and breeders, Frank and Jeane King of Kong King Kennel. I couldn't help myself but to get excited when I saw them.

Since I am unable to compete in a professional dog show for reasons related to medical procedures (we’ll leave it at that), my parents are all hot on me becoming a “Canine Good Citizen” through the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program, which they learned about at Bullyfest. As if my role as mascot of a NCAA Division I institution isn’t good enough.

The AKC Canine Good Citizen program was created in 1989 to reward dogs who are well-behaved companions at home and in the community. Sounds simple enough, but there are 10 steps to completing the test and earning the accreditation. You can view them here. I know I can do it, so whatever, bring it on. I guess the cool part is, I get a sweet AKC dog tag that signifies my new status as a good citizen and I can add it to my resume.

I’ll let you know how the training goes and when and if this canine good citizen thing ever comes to fruition. Until then, I’ll be getting as much bad behavior in as possible. Just kidding, that’s not my style.

video

Sunday was Father's Day so we migrated back north to Wabash to visit both the Kaltenmark and Richards residences. I rather enjoyed it as the weather was warm, but not hot and I could be outside with all of the kids (my cousins). Here are a couple of videos from the day and there are more at BlueTube as well.

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In case you didn’t know, today (June 20) is national “Take Your Dog to Work Day.” (Check out http://www.takeyourdog.com/) Of course, this doesn’t really apply to me as I go to work everyday (note the picture in the top right corner), but the irony is, my dad didn’t bring me to work today, Uncle Kyle did. My pops is at the Iowa Speedway preparing for the Iowa Corn Indy 250…the next IndyCar Series race which can be viewed on Sunday at 1 p.m. on ABC.

So if you didn’t take your dog to work today, make it up to them and spend some quality time with the old pooch this weekend…maybe take them on a long walk, slip them some people food or let them lift a leg on the flowers just one time.

I think that’s about all blogging that I have in me for today. I know I said I would get around to answering those great comments and questions that people leave me and I will do so soon. With everything going on, I just haven’t had a chance to get to it yet.

In the meantime, I want to leave you with a video that my Kaltenmark grandparents emailed me (yes, you can email me too at blue2@butler.edu). It’s video of an English Bulldog named Gus who likes to eat watermelon. Here's a link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBIuHJHlUzU

You can bet that I added watermelon to my parents’ grocery list! I’ve got to try it for myself!

Blue II

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Sneak Preview, Weather and Flatulence

If you’re in the Butler database, meaning you get the Butler Magazine and other great materials, then chances are a very handsomely packaged DVD will be hitting your mailbox soon, if it hasn’t already. The Office of University Advancement is sending out this DVD to nearly all Butler constituents. It was produced and created by CMC Media Group in Indianapolis and contains three chapters.

The main chapter is a great piece that highlights the past, present and future of Butler and is the key feature of the piece, but in my biased opinion, the best chapter is the one about me!

And you’re in luck as I’ve got the clip about me to show as a special sneak preview; exclusive to my blog and BlueTube. So now you don’t even have to wait for the DVD to show up to your home. (But when it does, crack it open anyway and after admiring my great photos on the packaging, do watch the main feature.)

So, without further adieu, “Meet The Butler Bulldog.”

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Well, what did you think? Pretty good huh? I'm thinking we should pitch this to A&E to see if they'll profile me for their A&E Biography show.

Anyway, what is the deal with all of these thunderstorms lately? Not a fan. Between the lightning, the loud cracks of thunder, the tornado sirens and the drenching rain, it’s not a good time to be a dog in Indiana. It's also not allowing me to get the 10-14 hours of sleep I need each day.

Then all of that is followed up with 90 degree temperatures and high humidity so now I can’t put a paw out the door without panting and overheating. Oh well, I guess that just means less play time outside and more time spent in the air conditions and under a sturdy roof. I hope it means a little more time in my pool too!



My mom and I are heading to Grandma and Grandpa Richards' house in Wabash, Ind. this weekend (my dad is off racing again...this weekend in Texas - Saturday, 10 p.m., ESPN2) so I'm hoping we can get my pool out there and I can go for a dip. Maybe we can squeeze in a four-wheeler ride too!

Weather aside and recreation, I was recently informed of Dogster’s Dog Blog and their research suggesting that the bulldog is the most flatulent breed of dogs. I just want to know what the research process involved to come up with this accusation.

I cannot deny that I may have a little flatulence problem, but that’s only because my dad is typing this for me and he keeps me honest. If I could type this blog myself, I would deny, deny, deny. Pretty much like all you dog owners do who have been known to break their own wind and then blame it on the dog. We’re on to your little game!

Well, I guess that's about it for now. A few of you have been leaving me comments lately, and I appreciate that. I will try and take some time this next week to dig through the "mail bag" and respond with some answers and comments.


Stay cool,



Blue II