Butler mascot Trip, handler Michael Kaltenmark announce plans to retire

Photo of Butler Blue III with handler Michael Kaltenmark and his son

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – After eight years of greeting potential Butler University students, running down bones at Hinkle Fieldhouse, and serving as Butler’s all-around ambassador, Butler Blue III (aka Trip, short for Triple) and his handler Michael Kaltenmark will retire at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year.

Trip, the American Kennel Club-registered English bulldog, is hanging up his mascot duties because of his older age.

“While he loves to work and enjoys being the Butler Bulldog, it’s time,” Kaltenmark said. “The average lifespan of an English bulldog is 8-to-12 years, and now that Trip is entering that range, we want to make sure he gets to enjoy the simple pleasures of life as just our family dog.”

Kaltenmark is Trip’s caretaker and Butler’s director of external relations. He and his colleagues will work closely with Butler graduate and local veterinarian Dr. Kurt Phillips to identify Trip’s successor, Butler Blue IV.

Upon arrival of Blue IV, Marketing Specialist Evan Krauss (Butler class of 2016) will take over caregiving and training duties.

Kaltenmark, who has devoted the last 16 years to the care of Butler Blue II and III, will still work closely with Krauss, but his external relations work will be his primary focus.

Trip has been part of Kaltenmark’s household since he was adopted in early 2012 at 7 weeks old. He will remain with the family during retirement. Kaltenmark has been on staff at Butler since graduating from the University in 2002, and he cares for Trip along with his wife Tiffany and his sons Everett, 9, and Miles, 5.

Kaltenmark and Trip will embark on a farewell tour before hanging up the leash

“This year is really an opportunity for the Butler community and our fans to celebrate Trip and his service as mascot,” Kaltenmark said.

Some of Trip’s remaining highlights include stops in Chicago, Washington DC, Milwaukee, and New York. But first up is Butler’s Homecoming weekend, including Trip’s role as host of the 19th annual Butler Bulldog Beauty Contest on Saturday, October 26.

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