Sully, a service dog, assisted former president George H.W. Bush during the final months of his life by offering steadfast companionship and comfort. The Labrador retriever entered the president’s life in June and stayed by his side until his death on November 30, capturing the hearts of many around the world when he was pictured stationed at Bush’s casket at his funeral. Although his mission to serve is now complete, Sully’s work is far from over. He will begin a new position helping other military veterans at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center next year, according to Today.
Sully was brought into Bush’s life through an organization called America’s VetDog. The group works to train dogs to assist military veterans and first responders with day to day activities. The dogs are provided free of charge and work to help those coping with PTSD, vision loss, seizures, and other ailments brought on by active service. Sully was the ideal candidate to serve as one of the president’s final companions.
“Sully had the right personality and temperament for the important job,” his trainer, Valerie Cramer, said at a news conference. “He is loyal, calm, kind with children – exactly what the president’s team asked for. In addition, he’s a willing worker, he’s smart, and he’s adaptable to all environments.”
Remember the sweet picture of the pup beside 41’s casket? Well, Sully is back and ready to serve again ????❤️ News 12 Long Island https://t.co/kyMAzEYGq0— Tara Joyce (@tarajoycetv) December 20, 2018
George H.W. Bush bonded quickly with Sully, expressing his gratitude for America’s VetDog on social media.
“A great joy to welcome home the newest member of our family, “Sully,” a beautiful — and beautifully trained — lab from @AmericasVetDogs. Could not be more grateful, especially for their commitment to our veterans.”
The dog’s name was chosen with purpose. He was named after Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, an American pilot who saved the lives of hundreds of passengers when he safely landed a malfunctioning plane in the Hudson River in 2009. Like the pilot, Sully’s trainers say the dog is equipped to handle any situation.
Sully’s next assignment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland will allow him to assist wounded soldiers on their journey to recovery. Starting in February, he will work with other service dogs also trained through the VetDog program.
“He will be working alongside fellow VetDogs facility dogs SGT Dillon and SGT Truman who are there to assist with physical and occupational therapy to wounded soldiers and active duty personnel during their journey to recovery at Walter Reed Bethesda,” the organization posted on Facebook.