The American Kennel Club honored Sully the service dog for his dedication and loyalty to George H. W. Bush

By Kelli Bender
March 13, 2019 03:05 PM

George H. W. Bush‘s former service dog Sully is receiving a special honor.

The American Kennel Club has honored the 2-year-old Labrador retriever with their Paw of Courage award for his “loyalty, dedication and distinguished service.”

“The devotion and comfort that dogs provide their owners goes unmatched,” AKC President and CEO Dennis Sprung said in a statement. “Sully served the late President George H. W. Bush honorably; providing him support and assistance, but even more importantly, love and companionship. The 2019 AKC Paw of Courage gives us an opportunity to pay tribute to the devotion that Sully brought to the late president in the final months of his life.”

RELATED: George H.W. Bush and Sully the Service Dog: A Short But Special Friendship in Photos

America’s VetDogs — the national not-for-profit service dog provider based in Smithtown, New York, that trained Sully and match him with Bush — will accept the award on Sully’s behalf.

“It’s an honor for America’s VetDogs to accept the AKC’s Paw of Courage Award on behalf of Sully,” America’s VetDogs’ President and CEO John Miller said. “America’s VetDogs is very proud of Sully and his service to President Bush. Sully is a wonderful example of all of the service dogs that we provide to our nations veterans and we look forward to him continuing his mission at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.”

America’s VetDogs placed the highly-trained Lab with the late president and Navy veteran in June 2018. For several months, Sully assisted Bush in everyday tasks and formed a special friendship with the former president.

RELATED: Sully, George H.W. Bush’s Service Dog, Is Learning to Bowl!

When Bush died in November, Sully was by his owner’s side, watching over his coffin and attending Bush’s casket viewing at the Capitol Rotunda.

At the former president’s request, Sully has continued serving veterans. The service dog recently took on a new role, joining the Facility Dog Program at Walter Reed National Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The Lab now spends his days providing comfort to veterans during rehabilitation center sessions and spreading smiles to the familys of patients at Walter Reed.

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