Blue’s injury was diagnosed a month ago with a successful surgery on Oct. 20. Photo courtesy of @thebutlerblue on Instagram.
MAXWELL COLLINS | STAFF REPORTER | email@example.com
One key player from the Butler community has been missing from daily campus events. Local celebrity and Butler’s live mascot, Blue IV, spent Homecoming weekend resting at home after suffering from a Canine Cruciate Ligament (CCL) tear — equivalent to a human’s Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL). Blue took a trip to the veterinary office at the beginning of October but had to push back his surgery to Oct. 20 due to a minimal case of allergy-inspired bronchitis.
Blue’s handler Evan Krauss shared that Blue will be benched from future campus events for about a month. Krauss, also the assistant director of digital content, is a 2019 Butler alumnus, who attended the university for both his undergraduate and graduate degrees. He graduated with a master’s in strategic communication at the end of the 2022-23 academic year.
“When an alumni comes for Homecoming they [might] remember Blue I when she was here,” Krauss said. “They can see Blue IV carrying on the same torch, and they can be reminded of the time they had here.”
Blue is a valued member of the Butler community to past and present students alike, bringing the Butler bubble together. Emma Podvorec, a sophomore criminology-psychology major, runs an Instagram fan page for Blue.
“I’ve really enjoyed [running the page],” Podvorec said. “It makes [me] feel more connected to campus. It’s fun getting to interact with other student-run accounts; it’s like a community.”
Julia Fryrear, a senior sociology-criminology major, shared how Blue has been a part of her life.
“I grew up being a Butler fan, and I remember always being excited whenever [former mascot] Trip would be at games,” Fryrear said. “One of my favorite Blue memories is the day Blue IV was announced to the students. I was on my Butler tour and happened to walk past as it was happening. Honestly, that may have been one of the reasons I actually chose to come to Butler.”
While Blue is beloved, his attendance at Homecoming is more a perk than a requirement. Podvorec highlighted that the show went on as normal.
“A lot [of the younger kids] go to see Blue,” Podvorec said. “But in terms of alumni, students and faculty, I feel like it [was] pretty normal.”
It is widely known that Blue is popular across campus, but luckily he has a great support system at home too. Even though Blue was not showing signs of severe pain and pushing through, Krauss took Blue to the veterinary office expecting to find a simple hangnail or nick on the paw.
“What I was expecting to be a paper cut ended up being a [CCL] tear, which is very vital to movement,” Krauss said. “The good news is that we were able to get him on pain medicine right away, but he did not slow down.”
The procedure that Blue underwent just over a week ago is called a tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) surgery. A CCL tear can become dangerous if left untreated because the CCL is a primary component to a dog’s ability to walk. The TPLO surgery realigns the bones and ligaments in the knee to remove the need for the CCL altogether.
“The key part after [Blue’s] surgery is physical therapy and rest,” Krauss said. “He starts physical therapy two weeks from the surgery date.”
Blue will get his sutures removed later this week and is scheduled to have 10 physical therapy sessions during the next few weeks.
“Underwater treadmill therapy, stretching, massaging … it’s a whole thing,” Krauss said. “[Blue’s] a very fit bulldog with everything he does, but any extra weight that we can take off his back leg is helpful. That means restricting treats … which is tough, but it’s good in the long run.”
While festivities continue around campus, Blue remains at home — without treats — in a specially modified area to better suit his recovery needs.
“We’ve sectioned off a portion of the house, Blue’s lair is what we’re calling it,” Krauss said. “We took off all the couch cushions and put them on the floor so he has ‘his’ couch. We don’t have a couch anymore … but he’s comfortable.”
Blue will continue resting at home for at least the next couple of weeks, and will not be at any campus events for a minimum of a month.