INDIANAPOLIS - One of the best-known ambassadors for Butler University is stepping down, all four legs of him, at the end of the current academic year.

The university says its furry mascot, Butler Blue III, is ready to retire after nearly eight years of greeting visitors, students and staff.

Butler Blue III, who is also known as Trip, joined the Butler family at seven weeks old back in 2012. The university says he’s put in years and he’s ready to hang-up his mascot duties.

“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,” says Trip’s caretaker and Butler’s Director of External Relations Michael Kaltenmark. “While he loves to work and enjoys being the Butler Bulldog, it's time,” 

Kaltenmark and his colleagues will be working closely with Butler graduate and local veterinarian Dr. Kurt Phillips to identify Trip’s successor, Butler Blue IV. 

Kaltenmark is also hanging up his leash, at least when it comes to caring for the mascot. The university says Kaltenmark devoted the last 16 years to the care of Butler Blue II and III. But he's passing on the responsibility.

The school says he’ll now focus on his external relations work.

Trip will remain on the job until next spring.