Thursday, July 17, 2008

My First Trip to Tennessee

For maybe just the third or fourth time in my life, I got to leave the state of Indiana last weekend! I’ve been to Ohio a couple of times to visit family and friends, but that’s it, until this past weekend when my parents took me down to Tennessee!

Unfortunately, we didn’t get over to Knoxville, Tenn. so that I could call on Smokey, but we did make it all the way down to Nashville/Nolensville, Tenn. to stay with my good friend, Reese (Peanut Butter Cup) the miniature daschund and her parents Jason and Betsy Weatherly.

It was also the first time that I got to go along with my parents for a race weekend as my dad was going there with Vision Racing to work the Firestone Indy 200 at Nashville Superspeedway.
I didn’t end up getting to go to the track with him, but I probably could have. I had my credential (Its true. See picture below) and Ed Carpenter (2003 Butler grad) had his motor coach there with the A/C running. It could have worked!

Instead I stayed back at the Weatherly residence and tired myself out playing with Reese. Her and I are like a regular “Milo and Otis,” so to speak. I enjoy stealing her toys, she enjoys stealing my food and we both like to chase each other around the furniture as displayed in the video below. Ahh, good times.

It was a good weekend and fun for me to get away with my parents for once. I had such a good time and wore myself out so much that I slept the entire way home.

Yep, for the 5+ hour ride home, instead of sleeping on the back seat, I laid down on the floorboard in the back and sawed logs all the way home. I only got up once when we stopped for a quick potty break.

Other than that the past couple of weeks have been fairly uneventful. I’ve just passed the time by taking naps and tearing up my toys around the office. Below is a picture and evidence of the destruction. The victim in those pictures was an alligator of mine, which has actually been in my stash of office toys for probably two years. I finally decided it was time to cause havoc on the poor gator. I was particularly proud of myself that day.

On Wednesday morning I had to go visit the vet b/c my mom found a chipped tooth underneath all my defining flabs and wrinkles. My parents are kind of sensitive about my teeth because well, I don’t have that many, and because one time I broke a molar in half and had to have it removed before it caused infection. What can I say, I’m a British bulldog…I naturally have bad teeth.

Anyway, a tip of one of my fangs has been chipped and the tooth is starting to die (don’t worry, you can’t see it…my flab covers it). Dr. Kurt Phillips (a Butler grad) at Woodland Animal Hospital in Carmel, Ind. said that it looked fine and as long as it wasn’t causing me any pain, then my health was not in jeopardy. He said a doggy dentist would want to do a root canal and cap it, which he said at this stage was excessive.

I was happy to oblige with the no-treatment route and be on my merry way. (In the picture it might be hard to tell that my fang is chipped, but you can start to see the discoloration caused by the slow death of the tooth.)

Speaking of the vet, I think I may have failed to mention that I was there a while back for my annual check-up…shots/vaccinations, ears, eyes, etc. I weighed 62 lbs. and received a clean bill of health. I also got a new jangle to my jingle with my updated rabies vacc. tag (pictured).

This weekend my parents are headed off to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for another race and a bit of camping. I love to camp and you’d think that this would be one of the races that I’d get to go to as it’s probably the most conducive venue on the circuit to having dogs around. But, the owners of the place must not like dogs or something because pets aren’t allowed at Mid-Ohio.

So, that means I’ll be headed north again (read: Wabash, Ind.) to spend some time with both the Kaltenmark and Richards grandparents. I’m so lucky to have such a loving place to go. I’m looking forward to the attention, sleeping-in and special treats!

To get ready I spent a lot of quality time with my parents last night. I got a bath and was thoroughly furminated. Then we went outside on the back deck where we all got on the swing and enjoyed listening to the locusts and just hanging out.

Today I have another piano camp photo-op and that’s about it. So I’ll probably just nap, eat, bark at inanimate objects, shred some toys or boxes, sleep some more and just hang out. It’s hard being me. Luckily I’m up for the task.

I hope your summer is going as well as mine is. The weatherman says that it’s only supposed to warm up over the next few days so crank up that A/C, keep cool and apply sunscreen liberally.

Blue II

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Birthday America!

Happy 232nd birthday America! Granted, you gained your independence from my ancestors (remember, I’m an English Bulldog), but I was born and raised in the States so I’m celebrating too!

At least during the day that is, as I got to spend the day at my grandma and grandpa Richards’ house in Wabash, Ind. I got to take several tractor rides and even help Grandpa Gregg take down some trees with a back hoe. I might have got a little carried away when I got excited and bit into a tree, got my teeth stuck and had to have my mom pry my jaw loose. Hey, it happens!

Unfortunately, come nightfall, I won’t be doing much celebrating…I’m not a very big fan of the whole fireworks thing. I’m just starting to get a little better at ignoring the thunderstorms, but fireworks are still a little much for me. All of that whistling, popping, cracking and booming just makes me want to hide. So that’s pretty much what I’ll do.

Unfortunately back home, the neighbors behind my house think its fun to light fireworks off year-round and especially all summer long. What’s the big deal? Light a wick, watch it go into the air, explode, make smoke and annoy your neighbors. That’s some high-brow leisure activity right there. At any rate, I’m sure there won’t be too many evenings I’ll be able to enjoy at home over the next week.

I also want to give a warm congratulations to my grandma and grandpa Kaltenmark today as July 4, 2008 marks their 43rd wedding anniversary!

As I take a look back at the week I am still mourning the death of Uga VI, official mascot of the University of Georgia. It sounds like not only was he Georgia’s winningest mascot, but a very likable fella as well. I’m sure he’ll be missed. My condolences to the university and the Seiler family.

Speaking of dogs in the news, did you hear about Trouble Helmsley? I’m trying to get a date with her as her owner, the late Leona Helmsley left Trouble a reported $12 million in her will! You read that correctly…she left her dog $12 million.

That’s not all, per the New York Times, “Her instructions, specified in a two-page ‘mission statement,’ are that the entire trust, valued at $5 billion to $8 billion and amounting to virtually all her estate, be used for the care and welfare of dogs, according to two people who have seen the document and who described it on condition of anonymity.”

I’m not too proud. I’ll take some of that cash. Throw some toward BU and the ButlerRising Campaign, as well as add my own touches, such as a new bulldog sculpture or statue outside of the renovated Butler Bowl, to welcome people to the bowl.

The piece would not just be a symbol of the university mascot, but also a tribute to those of us who have served as mascot. Additionally, it would be a place where we could store the remains (read: ashes) of Butler’s previous mascots. (I know, it’s morbid, but you gotta plan ahead.)

The rest of the cash I would use for a new “Blue Mobile” to transport me around town and to work, as well as a buy golf cart to haul me around campus, and the rest I would pocket for future use. I’d say all of that counts toward the “welfare of dogs.” Call me, Trouble! Hit me up!

Moving on, I am excited to report that I am featured on a new, larger-than-life, cut-out in the HRC. Pictured below, the HRC staff uses it to post information and news regarding the HRC and it’s programming. It’s definitely eye-catching so I think it serves the purpose.

On Wednesday I again got to pose for pictures with one of the music camps on campus. That was fun. I always enjoy meeting the kids and making their visit to Butler a memorable one.

Finally, I did get to try that watermelon. Mom and dad picked up a mini-watermelon at the store and cut it in half for me to enjoy. I found it to be just okay. I didn’t really get after it like they hoped I would. In the end I think it just gave me really bad gas for two days.

Well, that’s about it for me. I hope you all have a great 4th of July and before you go and light off fireworks for two solid hours listening to Neil Diamond’s “Coming to America” on repeat, think about your neighborhood dogs and maybe limit the fireworks to just 60 minutes and the Neil Diamond to just once every 45 minutes or so.

Blue II