Sully, the service dog who gained nationwide fame for his loyalty to former President George H.W. Bush, even after his death, was once again at his owner’s side as the 41st President’s casket lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday.
The two-year-old lab became Bush’s companion last June, two months after the passing of former First Lady Barbara Bush, the President’s wife of 73 years. Sully will reportedly stay at the Bush family’s side until after the state funeral Wednesday.
A photo of the pup lying beside the former President’s casket went viral after the former president’s spokesperson, Jim McGrath, tweeted it on Sunday.
“Mission complete,” McGrath wrote in the caption.
After accompanying Bush’s casket to the U.S. Capitol, the dog was led by America’s VetDogs manager Valerie Cramer to pay his respects while wearing an American flag vest emblazoned with his name.
Sully was trained by America’s VetDogs to help the former president — who had Parkinson’s disease and used a wheelchair since 2012 — to assist with basic tasks like picking items up and opening doors. However, aide Evan Sisley told the AP last June that “more than anything else the dog will be a wonderful companion.”
After funeral services conclude, Sully will join the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland to assist other veterans, George W. Bush announced on Instagram on Monday. Sully will help wounded soldiers and active duty personnel during physical and occupational therapy, according to America’s VetDogs.
“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,” George W. Bush wrote on Instagram.