The bronze statue will be placed in the east wing of the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas

By Kelli Bender
October 29, 2019 04:29 PM

It’s been a busy year for Sully.

George H. W. Bush’s former service dog became a household name last year after a photo of the Labrador guarding the late president’s coffin appeared on the canine’s Instagram account on Dec. 2.

The heartbreaking shot of Sully mourning his owner, who died on Nov. 30, 2018 at the age of 94, put a spotlight on the short but special friendship the former president and the service dog shared. Sully was matched with Bush in June 2018 to serve as a companion to him following several hospitalizations.

The loyalty Sully showed to Bush has made an impression on countless animal lovers, and now it will be immortalized.

Jim McGrath Twitter; Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Sully is getting his own bronze statue in the east wing of the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas. According to America’s VetDogs, the nonprofit that trained and placed Sully with Bush, the statue will feature Sully in a sit position with his leash in his mouth, “depicting the ‘retrieve’ task VetDogs trains” their dogs to perform. The statue of Sully will also show the canine wearing his official America’s VetDogs service dog vest with the Great Seal of the United States of the back.

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“Sully is an outstanding ambassador for the life changing work our service dogs provide to our nations veterans and first responders with disabilities.” John Miller, President & CEO, America’s VetDogs, said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “We are thrilled to commission internationally acclaimed artist Susan Bahary to create a life size bronze of Sully to be dedicated to President George H. W. Bush and stand proudly in the east wing of his Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas. It was our honor to provide President Bush with Sully, and we are forever thankful for his service to our country and to those with disabilities.”

Susan Bahary

Bahary is looking forward to immortalizing Sully and sharing his courage and compassion with others through her work.

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“I fell in love with Sully and wanted to capture in life-size bronze the beautiful loyalty and bond that our beloved president inspired in him and that was forever seared in our memories.” Bahary said. “As a sculptor known worldwide for my service animals monuments, I feel Sully helps honor the President’s legacy, wonderful groups like America’s VetDogs and raises awareness of all types of service animals, as I ‘m also doing through the National Service Animals Monument and the Purple Poppy movement.”

Courtesy America's VetDogs

An exact date for the public debut of this touching honor has not been released.

While his statue is in the works, Sully is continuing to help others by working as a hospital corpsman second class and facility dog at Walter Reed National Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where he comforts injured veterans and their families and also assists with rehabilitation center sessions.

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