A golden Labrador began his final mission as a service dog to former President George H.W. Bush on Sunday, sleeping next to the 41st president’s casket in a heartwarming tribute.
Bush’s spokesperson, Jim McGrath, tweeted the photo of the dog named Sully on Sunday evening with the caption “Mission complete. #Remembering41”:
— Jim McGrath (@jgm41) December 3, 2018
The photo has since gone viral on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms. The original photo gained more than 120,000 likes and had been shared at least 32,000 times as of Monday morning.
Sully, a Labrador retriever trained through the nonprofit America’s VetDogs, began serving Bush on June 25 and kept the 41st president company in the months after his wife, former first lady Barbara Bush, passed away.
Bush sent out a tweet in June thanking the organization for the dog and praising its commitment to helping veterans:
A great joy to welcome home the newest member of our family, "Sully," a beautiful — and beautifully trained — lab from @AmericasVetDogs. Could not be more grateful, especially for their commitment to our veterans. pic.twitter.com/Fx4ZCZAJT8
— George Bush (@GeorgeHWBush) June 25, 2018
Sully will complete his service to the former president after traveling aboard Air Force 747— which is usually Air Force One when the current president is aboard the flight— with Bush’s casket:
Sully will travel tomorrow on the Air Force 747 (usually Air Force One) with President Bush's casket.
Jamie Gangel tells us he'll go on to help other veterans, likely at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
A very good boy, with a very good man https://t.co/bHufv4oQ5Z
— Steve Brusk (@stevebruskCNN) December 3, 2018
Once Sully’s service to the former president is complete, he will continue as a service dog, assisting veterans at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.