George H.W. Bush's former service dog takes on new role

PHOTO: Sully, a yellow Labrador service dog for former President George H. W. Bush, sits near the casket of the late President at the U.S. Capitol, Dec. 4, 2018.PlayDrew Angerer/Getty Images, FILE
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Late President George H. W. Bush’s former service dog, Sully, is taking on his next mission.

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Following a ceremony Wednesday, Sully joined the therapeutic dog team at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

In a Twitter post on Feb. 21, Bush’s granddaughter, Jenna Bush Hager, wrote of Sully: "He was a loving companion when my Gampy needed him most."

Sully was originally trained through a program in which inmates raise dogs to become service animals.

He was matched with the former president in June of last year by the non-profit America’s VetDogs. At the time, Sully was just two years old. Bush suffered from vascular parkinsonism, according to the Associated Press. He used a wheelchair in his later years.

PHOTO: Former President George H. W. Bushs service dog, Sully, participates in an enlistment ceremony, joining the therapeutic dogs at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Feb. 27, 2019. WJLA
Former President George H. W. Bush's service dog, Sully, participates in an enlistment ceremony, joining the therapeutic dogs at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Feb. 27, 2019.

After the death of former first lady Barbara Bush, Sully provided comfort to the family.

Following the death of the former president on Nov. 30, a photo of Sully laying down beside the former president’s casket went viral. Jim McGrath, spokesman for the former president, included the photo in a Tweet on Dec. 2, writing "Mission complete."

The yellow Labrador retriever was named after the former commercial airline pilot Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III, who became famous in 2009 when he safely landed a passenger jet on the Hudson River.