The American Kennel Club honored Sully the service dog with a remarkable award for his dedication and loyalty to the late president, George H. W. Bush.
The two-year-old Labrador received the 2019 AKC Paw of Courage Award in recognition of his invaluable work. No doubt, the short time he shared with the president number 41 of the United States was enough to leave an invaluable mark on his career as a service dog.
George H.W. Bush died at the end of last year at the age of 94 at his residence in Houston, shocking the entire country with his departure. But the farewell that became more viral on social media was that of his service dog, Sully.
Bush received Sully in June 2018 from the non-profit organization America's VetDogs. In addition to having lost his wife recently, the president suffered from Parkinson's, and Sully came to assist him in opening doors, collect items and ask for help.
After Bush's death, spokesman Jim McGrath posted a photo of the labrador on Twitter with the description "Mission accomplished. # Remembering41". In the image, you can see the service dog of President George H. W. Bush lying next to his master's coffin covered with the American flag.
That image was the first official photograph of the coffin containing the deceased president. McGrath also posted an image of the past legislative elections, when the former president went to vote with Sully: "The 41st president, accompanied by his two best friends, Jim Baker and Sully, fulfills his civic duty and votes today."
George W. Bush, son of the late president, also posted the photo on Instagram during those days and wrote that "as much as our family will miss this dog, we are comforted to know that it will bring the same joy that led the president to his new home, in Walter Reed."
As part of the late president’s last wishes, Sully returned to America's VetDogs in New York before joining the Dog Program at the Water Reed National Military Medical Center facility, where he will assist injured soldiers and active duty personnel in their recovery.
In his new role, Sully will visit injured veterans, helping to provide comfort during rehabilitation center sessions and visit with families during what can be an emotional and very difficult time. In that way, he will be fulfilling President Bush’s request.
George H.W. Bush's granddaughters got a chance to meet the late president's service dog before he went off on his next mission.
The former-presidential dog Sully made a guest appearance on the "Today Show" where he was joined by none other than the heroic pilot who he was named after.