Extremely sad news from the puppy world Tuesday, as Butler's live mascot emeritus, Butler Blue II, died at the age of 9. The bulldog had accompanied the Bulldogs to a pair of NCAA Tournament runner-up appearances, becoming beloved around campus and as big a part of the school's imagery as Brad Stevens or Gordon Hayward.
The dog had an active social media presence, updated by humans who are still very much alive. They said goodbye using the dog's supposedly posthumous voice, and -- again, I'm warning you -- will turn you into an emotional wreck.
He updated his blog for one last time, detailing plans for a memorial, but also writing stuff like this:
True to the prognosis I've recently been given, my health is now in serious decline. I sense the end is near as my heart rate is increasing in an effort to capture more precious oxygen. Frankly, it's hard work and quite exhausting. I wish I felt better, but I've known for a while that my best days were behind me....
I say thank you. Over the last nine years, the Butler faithful have not only accepted me as their official mascot, but your pride in me has also made me America's Dog. I've said it before and I'll say it again, no dog has lived such a charmed life.
There was also a tweet from his successor, Butler Blue III:
And -- no, seriously, SERIOUSLY, I'm warning you -- the school posted a memoriam video following Blue II from his time as a puppy to his send-off at a basketball game in March. (Note it may not load on first try, but keep trying.)
Goodbye, Blue II.