Butler mascot "Blue II" to retire

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Butler Blue II, a Butler University mascot for nearly nine years, is retiring.

Blue II (nickname: Blue) and his understudy, Butler Blue III (nickname: Trip), will participate in the University's first "Changing of the Collar" ceremony on March 9, Senior Day at Hinkle Fieldhouse, during the Butler men's basketball game against Xavier University.

Additionally, the Butler University Student Foundation will host a ninth birthday party and retirement celebration for Blue on campus on March 29.

"Blue II is in good health, but 8 years old is getting up there for an English bulldog," said Michael Kaltenmark, Butler's director of Web Marketing and Communications and handler of the live mascots.

An American Kennel Club-registered dog, Blue II became known as "America's Dog" in 2010 and 2011 when Butler men's basketball team played for the NCAA national championship. Blue II appeared on the floor of every Butler men's home and Final Four basketball games, as well as some away games. Butler players touched him before each game for good luck as they were introduced.