While this may be Butler’s first year in the Atlantic 10 Conference, Blue II and Trip have already made a name for themselves on the East Coast with their Big Dawgs Tour.
Over the weekend, the Butler bulldogs headed to Washington D.C. with Michael Kaltenmark, director of web marketing communications and the dogs’ caregiver, to see the sights, cheer on their team, and meet with their mascot counterparts.
On Friday morning, Blue II and Trip were introduced to Georgetown’s bulldogs, Jack and Jack Jr.—also known as JJ.
The dogs hung out for about three and a half hours, and though Blue II and Trip were initially apprehensive of the Georgetown duo, they were able to get along, Kaltenmark said.
“There were a couple tense moments,” Kaltenmark said. “Jack and JJ were protecting their turf, but once we got them outside, they were fine.”
As the Butler dogs roamed around campus, they were continuously acknowledged and welcomed by the Georgetown community.
Continuing their journey through Washington D.C., the dogs visited the national mall to see the monuments and attended Butler’s game against George Washington University. While seeing the sights, the dogs were repeatedly recognized by the locals.
“When we would be out and about on the street, the D.C. residents knew who the dogs were. You expect to get that type of respect in Indianapolis,” Kaltenmark said. “In D.C., they knew that they were the Butler dogs, and this wasn’t just one time.”
Blue II and Trip also had the chance to visit the National Public Radio headquarters to be a part of its new campaign, “I Heart NPR.”
Along with famous musicians and actors also involved with the campaign, the dogs had a glamorous photo to show their support for NPR.
“These handsome devils were itching to show their NPR love,” wrote Caitlin Sanders in her campaign blog. “So excited, in fact, that they could barely sit still!”
At the game, as Blue II strutted around the court, George Washington fans were enthralled with Butler’s live mascots.
Many fans wanted to meet Blue II and get a picture. Blue II even had a famous fan eager to meet him.
Luke Russert, son of Tim Russert and an NBC news correspondent, jumped at the chance to get a picture with Blue II and even tweeted the picture.
This trip showed the national recognition that Blue II and Trip are beginning to gain.
“On one circumstance, yes, I am little bit surprised,” Kaltenmark said. “But once I see the pictures of the Butler bulldogs and the Georgetown bulldogs together, then it doesn’t surprise me that the outlets want it and the fans want to see them.”
The Big Dawgs Tour has taken Butler’s bulldog mascots to Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Louisville, Nashville, Dayton and Columbus, according to the tour’s webpage on www.butlerblue.com.
With the D.C. attention the dogs received, Kaltenmark is looking forward to taking Blue II and Trip to visit the Big Apple this weekend. Although it is a busy city, Blue II and Trip will likely be noticed.