George H.W. Bush's Service Dog Sully Guards His Coffin in Poignant Photo: 'Mission Complete'
In a heartbreaking photo, Sully lies by Bush’s flag-draped coffin in a well-lit room, keeping the 41st commander in chief safe in death as he did in life.
“Mission complete,” Bush’s spokesman Jim McGrath tweeted alongside the picture.
Sully will fly with Bush’s coffin to Washington, D.C., CNN reported. The canine will then relocate to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to assist more veterans like Bush, according to the outlet.
“As much as our family is going to miss this dog, we’re comforted to know he’ll bring the same joy to his new home, Walter Reed, that he brought to 41,” Bush’s son, former President George W. Bush, wrote as he reposted Sully’s picture on Instagram.
“A great joy to welcome home the newest member of our family, ‘Sully,’ a beautiful — and beautifully trained — lab from @AmericasVetDogs,” Bush wrote on Twitter. “Could not be more grateful, especially for their commitment to our veterans.”
Sully was specially trained to accommodate Bush’s needs. He learned the ropes from incarcerated people in VetDogs’ prison puppy program until he was 15 months old. Sully then moved to Smithtown, New York, to finish his preparation.
The pup is named after Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III, the pilot who safely landed a plane on the Hudson River in 2009.
Sully joined Bush on his final public outing. On Nov. 1, Bush, his former White House chief of staff Jim Baker and Sully headed to the polls to vote in the midterm elections.