Former President George H.W. Bush’s beloved service dog, a 2 year old yellow Labrador named Sully, arrived at the U.S. Capitol Tuesday morning, was led in and stood by Bush’s casket before laying down a few feet away.
Sully had joined the Bush family in June, weeks after the death of former first lady Barbara Bush. The dog gained international attention over the weekend after a Bush family spokesman tweeted a photo of him lying in front of Bush’s casket with the caption “Mission complete”, which went viral.
“After Mrs. Bush’s death, general companionship was a big part of Sully’s job,” John Miller, the president and CEO of America’s VetDogs, said in a phone interview. “One of the things that I think was important to the president was the rest command, where Sully would rest his head on the president’s lap.” The dogs are provided free of charge for a service that can cost more than $50,000 to breed, train and place.
Sully will join Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s Facility Dog Program after the holidays. Sully was trained by America’s VetDogs, an organization that trains and places service dogs with disabled military veterans.
Sully was named for retired airline pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III, who became famous for landing a damaged passenger jet on the Hudson River in 2009, saving everyone aboard.