Posts Tagged ‘Mr. Blue

10
Jul
14

houston, we have a puppy

Roscoe Jones, Chief Barketing Officer at Tremendous Life Books.

Roscoe Jones, Chief Barketing Officer at Tremendous Life Books.

On June 14th, I lost my constant canine companion of thirteen years after a ten-month battle with lymphoma. I have been through a great deal of heartache and loss in my life, but this experience literally took me to my knees.

These last four weeks I experienced an outpouring of prayer that bathed, comforted, and protected me in a way only possible by the power of our loving Father. I read each of the notes, cards, posts, and tributes with an overwhelming sense of gratitude, enabling the “loss” to be turned into a tremendous time of thankfulness. All that kept going through my heart and head is that I was given such a special companion to get me through the greatest triumphs and tribulations of my life.

In honor of Mr. Blue, I began looking for a pup in his similar situation to rescue. While I completely respect those that do not want to go through a repeated loss of the love of a dog, I also had the intense awareness that my grief does not diminish the population of homeless animals and that hesitating for even one day can mean life or death.

Mr. Blue was from a large litter, born out in the country in Texas and with a glorious Basset Hound stature and soul mixed with his Australian Shepherd side. I needed another low-rider mutt in my life. The search led me to a rescue in Santa Fe, Texas: Southern Comforts Animal Rescue.

A Springer/Basset mix stray had been caught outside of Houston and had delivered eight pups on March 8th, 2014. There were four remaining males when I got to choose my “pick of the litter”. The one I was drawn to was described as the biggest, the smartest, and the most laid-back. That sounded just like my Blue boy.

Arrangements were made and two weeks later my new fourteen-week-old soul pup made the direct flight from Houston to Dulles. When I laid eyes on him I immediately burst into tears. He peered out of his transport crate and calmly looked at me with the same old wise-soul look of his predecessor. I knew at that moment the next leg of the legacy was about to begin.

I have the blessing of caring for another one of God’s creatures. I also have the blessing of continuing the legacy Mr. Blue started. Just because a physical presence is no longer with us means absolutely nothing to a child of God. I work in the world of books and many of them contain the achievements and sacrifices of those who have gone on before us, including the legacy of my father who started this company fifty years ago.

If we live in view of the eternal, the grief we suffer now is just one small iota of the glories to come. Letting that sidetrack us on our life’s journey is the only true loss in life.

19
Jun
14

Carpe Dogum

Mr. Blue gives his last speech June 12, 2014.

Mr. Blue gives his last speech June 12, 2014.

Last week was a week filled with unbelievable highs and lows. I had three very important speeches. One was just me, one with our Chief Excitement Officer (CEO) Ruby Red, and one with our Chief Motivational Hound, Mr. Blue. In the middle of the week Mr. Blue had an oncology appointment to get another chemo treatment. Unfortunately the doctor determined that his blood count was too low and postponed the treatment to the following Monday. Mr. Blue never made it to that appointment.

Determined to fill his prior speaking engagement, Mr. Blue mustered up the strength the very next day to go and share with a group of tremendous seniors at the Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries’ Cumberland Crossings Senior Living Community, sharing pawsome hound wisdom such as Stop Playing Dead and Old Dogs Must Learn New Tricks.

As the senior citizen in the group, in his 90s by human years, Mr. Blue was received with great respect and warmth by this group of seasoned humans. They understood exactly where he was coming from. They were excited about continuing to hear, learn, and think new things, just like Mr. Blue! They spent time petting and talking with my soul dog despite the fact that he was not feeling his best and couldn’t dispense his world-famous kisses.

Growing up, my father, the late, great Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, told me upon crossing each milestone birthday that the current decade was far better than the previous one. And he didn’t just say it, he lived it. This is one of the main reasons that I embrace growing bolder, not older, and wiser with each passing day. After all, the more seasoning you have, the more you can flavor the earth.

Whenever someone would tell my father they had retired he would tell them “Don’t talk so stupid!” His reasoning was that if we are still on this earth, there’s a purpose we are meant to fulfill that goes way above and beyond a life lived solely for leisure.  I watched him on his hospice death bed, so frail from the ravages of cancer, yet scribbling notes for me to send to people and calling for friends to come and read to him. You see, we are all terminal, and if that doesn’t amp up your urgency to live life to the fullest, your spirit is already dead. We ought to go to our graves like prunes: spent, wrinkled, and shriveled.

So as I came down from the high of three amazing speeches, I ended the week with Mr. Blue taking a very pronounced and rapid turn for the worse. Friday night his legs gave out and by Saturday morning his breathing was labored and his awareness gone. And just like my father had done over five years ago, Mr. Blue finished the race strong, right up to the last minute. I held him in my arms for one last kiss, and he dispensed four of his powerful licks as if to say, “Thank you for finishing this with me!” before slipping away.

My father always told me he wanted to pass to Heaven while he was on the stage speaking. While the setting was different—a hospice bed and a cancer-ravaged shell of a body instead of a stage with a physical presence larger than life—what he was doing was not. He shared and enriched the lives of others right up to his last breath. And I am humbled and thankful, and not in the least bit surprised, that his granddog would triumphantly bound onto the other side just as victorious!

Carpe Diem; Carpe Dogum. Drink deeply from the water bowl of life right up until your last pant!

16
Jun
14

heavenly hound goes home

In memory of a once in a lifetime companion  Mr. Blue April 1st, 2001 - June 14th, 2014

In memory of a once in a lifetime companion
Mr. Blue April 1st, 2001 – June 14th, 2014

Mr. Blue triumphantly crossed the Rainbow Bridge after a ten month fight with lymphoma. Mr. Blue was born in a field somewhere in Austin, Texas in April 2001. A dog about the world, Mr. Blue also claimed Saint Louis, MO and Boiling Springs, PA as his homes. He was one of 11 puppies and found his soul mom when he was just five weeks old.


A self blue merle, Mr. Blue was an Australian Shepherd Basset mix who exhibited the best of both breeds. He was active and alert, yet soulful and reflective. Mr. Blue had a distinctive swagger and many people commented that they didn’t know if he was cuter coming or going.

Mr. Blue honed his social skills by running the fields of Dogs Boys Dog Ranch in Austin, TX. He never met a stranger, except for that one dog that bit him on the nose his first day of doggie daycare. Always the kind heart, Mr. Blue immediately forgave him and did not let this influence his outlook on life.


Full of hound wisdom and eager to share Mr. Blue went on to paw two literary masterpieces, True Blue Leadership: Top 10 Tricks From the Chief Motivational Hound and From Underdog to Wonderdog: Top Ten Ways to Lead Your Pack. 

Not only a best smelling pawthor, he spoke to thousands of kids in elementary schools encouraging them to always be kind, respectful , thankful and continuous learners. It is estimated that the number of licks he freely dispensed was in the hundreds of thousands, and by some estimates, in the millions.

Mr. Blue also spoke to hundreds of adults in various settings encouraging them to be True Blue Leader he knew they could. He was awarded an honorary dogtorate of canine letters from Central Penn College in September of 2012.

A tireless supporter of rescues and fosters, Mr. Blue worked hard to raise awareness and funds for many tremendous groups in hopes other animals could find their furever homes and have a pawsitive life. Mr. Blue also had a soft spot for cats and other dogs and freely opened up his home to numerous other rescues after being an only child for ten years.

As the Chief Motivational Hound at Tremendous Life Books, Mr. Blue led the way in changing the world one book, and one bark at a time. We are honored and humbled to carry on the legacy he started.

Mr. Blue is survived by his mother, Tracey Jones, dog siblings, Ruby Red and Indigo, and cat siblings, Prince William of Orange, Willow, Rain and Maxwell Maltz.


His gentle, velvet paw, leadership and unconditional love have left a mark on many lives and will be remembered in the years to come. He ran this race with a giving heart and finished strong. May we all be the True Blue Leaders and Wonderdogs he inspired us to be! We love and miss you Mr. Blue and thank God for giving you to us!

02
Nov
12

How I finally became the most popular kid in school

I confess I wasn’t very hip when I was in school. Part nerd, part band geek, and part quasi-athlete, I mixed with a wide range of kids and never made it to the top of any particular group. But that all changed when my dog wrote a book: at 49 years old, I catapulted beyond Justin Bieber status, all because of my dog, Mr. Blue.

I had no idea that a dog in a tie walking onto an elementary school campus could cause such mayhem. He’s made so many appearances that his reputation precedes him. At every event, at least one youngster has already seen him and anxiously stokes the flames of what’s to come. And when we walk through the halls, its pandemonium.

I hear growing squeals and packs of footsteps behind me as we move to the auditorium. Kids stream out of their classrooms, unable to be restrained any longer. It’s reminiscent of Beatlemania, where hoards of screaming fans just can’t contain their enthusiasm. Yes, my dog truly is a rock star minus the ego and self-destructive tendencies.

I didn’t realize that dogs are verboten on school property in today’s world. There are signs everywhere. Hence, seeing a creature of the canine persuasion enter your facility is a little like seeing a unicorn. You think you’re seeing what you’re seeing, but you can’t actually believe it.

Mr. Blue met with 1,200 of the most pawsome K through 5th graders on the planet over the last two weeks. He gave an average of 10 kisses per student which puts him well into the six-figure range. He shared his leadership principles in the way that only a dog can do, with sweetness, unconditional acceptance, and hound wisdom.

I never know who’s more excited about the whole affair; the dog, the students, or me. It’s seems to be the trifecta of learning and sharing together. But then again, with a dog at the center of the universe for the day, how could it be anything else? When I see the group photos of us all posing together I laugh. When I read the letters they send to me and Mr. Blue about what they learned I cry. When I realize how blessed I am to be sharing with this age group the timeless principles that make life tremendous with my best friend by my side, I think I’ve died and gone to heaven.

It feels great to be the most popular kid in school but I’m glad it took me this long to achieve it. Now I know that being popular amongst the youngsters is all about making them feel valued and inspired. And I’ve got just the sidekick to help me out.

If you would like to schedule an appearance by Mr. Blue, but you live outside of the Central Pennsylvania area, please be sure to send your private jet to pick him up. Rock stars don’t fly in the cargo hold!

13
Mar
12

sticks and stones may break my bones and words can always hurt me

I’ve spent the last two months teaching leadership principles to elementary school students with my dog, Mr. Blue. It’s the closest thing to being a rock star I’ll ever experience. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, try walking the halls of an elementary school with a dog at your side. The seas part, everyone falls down for a hug, and your “coolness” status as an adult is off the charts.

I have spent my life learning and sharing leadership principles with adults. The harsh reality is most don’t have the desire to discover these for themselves, so I decided to focus on a more accepting group: children. Children are so open-minded, impressionable, and creative. The sooner these principles are imprinted upon them, the more productive and successful they will be throughout their entire lives and in the lives of others.

One of the discussions we have is called “Herding isn’t leading.” It’s about being kind and respectful to others and that bullies who bark and bite are not to be tolerated. It’s a very important point that the teachers often ask me to emphasize. The sad reality is that this point was inspired by something that happened to me as an adult. I had a boss that actually got in my face, yelling and frothing at the mouth and snapped his teeth one inch away from my nose.

Unfortuately there is a plethora of adult bullies out in the world ready to bark at anyone any chance they get. Look at the trash that’s on TV with the reality shows. Is this really how we want our youth to behave? We tell them not to post mean comments on Facebook yet look at the hateful language strewn all across the Internet in response to articles and blogs. No one even discusses the issues or has a healthy debate; it’s just attack the individual and if their beliefs differ from yours, call them a name, any name, the viler the better.

So why do we keep harping on our children to behave in a civil manner when we don’t and we expose them to it via TV, movies, and the Internet?  Children see it all and are imprinted by everything they take in from zero to ten years old. If we want them to be kind and compassionate, we’ve got to show them what that means. And this means fervently guarding what they watch, with whom they interact, and what they observe from us.

I never saw my father or mother lash out or bully another person. In fact there were times when I thought they were too kind or passive. But I knew if I ever resorted to being disrespectful or a bully I would be in trouble like I had never even imagined. Adults need to stop being hypocrites. If we want children to be respectful, we must set the standard, every time, all the time. Until then, all this talk about anti-bullying crusades aimed at children is just barking up the wrong tree.

06
Dec
11

the dark side

 My dog, Mr. Blue, and I recently delivered annual training to the tremendous faculty at Douglas Education Center in Monessen, Pennsylvania. At the end of the program, someone asked a question about how to deal with negative people. I asked if she meant in their personal or professional life and she said, “Take your choice.” They entire audience laughed. Point well taken, negativity is found in all areas, broadcast on the news 24/7, and for some people becomes their sole means of communication.

All Human Resources manuals have a list of actions that are grounds for termination. I personally would put negativity at the top of the list, although it’s often an activity that is allowed to continue unchecked. I have never been able to understand this. When I was in the military, negativity was labeled as insubordination. In personal relationships, negativity marks the beginning of the end. In work, negativity can manifest itself in gossip, backstabbing, active disengagement, and even sabotage.

The Chief Motivational Hound, Mr. Blue, refers to this as “biting the hand that feeds you”. It is one of mankind’s worst traits. It’s a cancer that spreads and takes over the organism and can only be “cured” by cutting it out in its entirety. Negativity is a form of fraud. If you are negative at work, you are not earning your pay, hence you are stealing. If you are negative in a relationship, you are stealing the other person’s emotions and time. If you are negative in your outlook on life, you are squandering the greatest gift of all.

So my answer to the question was simple—cut it out of your life. Life is too short to not be thankful even for the mistakes we make and the bad things that happen to us and to those we love. If you cannot keep your mouth and emotions in check, you will spread your toxic attitude to everyone with whom you come in contact. My advice is to quarantine yourself until you are thinking positively and stay far away from those who might infect you with their virus.

Make your 2012 resolution now to surround yourself with only positive influences. That may mean changing coworkers or even jobs, separating from existing friends or relationships, or emancipating yourself from family drama. As Mr. Blue quotes, “When you feel dog-tired at night, it may be because you’ve growled all day long.”  So stay away from the dark side and move into the light!

Mr. Blue shares some hound wisdom.

15
Aug
11

working class dog

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Mahatma Gandhi

In Life Is Tremendous, my father and best-selling author, the late Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, recounts a time early in his insurance career when he purchased a boat. He was told this would be a great hobby to help him “get away from it all.” The problem was he was so passionate about trying to get into it all that the boat brought him stress, not relief. The reason was simple. He didn’t need to escape his job because what he did, thought, and said were all in harmony. He was that passionate about what insurance could do for people.

During the summers while my brothers and sisters and I were still living at home, summers were spent in an RV packed to the hilt with books, luggage and kids. We’d park at KOAs all across the country as my father drove us from meeting to meeting. This gypsy lifestyle was cool to me growing up. I saw the country, met lots of kids at the campgrounds, and honed my back-of-room sales skills. I learned how the marriage of work and fun worked at a very early age. Even today, to do one without the other seems very, very wrong to me.

Fast-forward to today. I, too, have a large family; however, my “kids” are felines and canines. I also get the opportunity to speak and travel across the country.  I don’t stay longer than the planned meetings to sightsee and relax because I miss my kids and doing my thing at Tremendous Life Books. I now have a better understanding why my father took advantage of the summer school breaks with these working vacations.

So when my number one canine son published his first book, True Blue Leadership: Top 10 Tricks from the Chief Motivational Hound, I figured why not repeat the same pattern? The basic premise was exactly the same: quality family time whilst spreading the word about how a book can change a life.

So we’re embarking on a six-city pawtograph tour. We’ve selected cities we’ve lived in together over the past ten years to pay tribute to all the amazing humans, hounds, and organizations that have been a part of our life. Talk about combining work and play, but then again it is the dog’s idea so it shouldn’t come as a surprise. His grandpaw would be so proud!

For details on Mr. Blue’s upcoming Stop Playing Dead book tour click here!




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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