George H.W. Bush Dies at 94, Service Dog Stays By His Casket (Multi-Video)

Former President George H.W. Bush's service dog Sully, lies before his casket in Houston on Sunday. The 41st president died Friday at the age of 94.(Courtesy of Jim McGrath via Twitter)
Former President George H.W. Bush's service dog Sully, lies before his casket in Houston on Sunday. The 41st president died Friday at the age of 94.(Courtesy of Jim McGrath via Twitter)

December 3, 2018 – In Breaking News – NPR

Sully, the service dog of former President George H.W. Bush, spent Sunday night lying before Bush’s flag-draped casket in Houston.

Jim McGrath, spokesman for the Bush family, tweeted out a photo on Sunday night, captioning it “mission complete.”

Jeb Bush retweeted the image, adding “Sully has the watch.”

CNN reported that Sully would travel with the casket to Washington, D.C., where several days of remembrance ceremonies are being held.

Sully, a 2-year-old yellow Labrador retriever, is named after the pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III, who on Jan. 15, 2009, landed a passenger plane in the Hudson River after hitting a flock of geese.

He was portrayed by Tom Hanks in a movie about the incident.

Sully became the late president’s service dog in June, a couple of months after former first lady Barbara Bush died.

(George Herbert Walker Bush led a life of service as a Navy pilot and throughout his decades-long political career. He served as a congressman, CIA director, ambassador, vice president and, of course, president. Courtesy of NBC News and YouTube. Posted on Dec 2, 2018.)

The yellow Lab was trained by America’s VetDogs, which places service dogs and guide dogs with veterans, active-duty service members and first responders.

Bush had a form of Parkinson’s disease that caused slow movements and difficulty balancing, among other symptoms.

He frequently used a wheelchair toward the end of his life, and Sully provided assistance with daily life.

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Sully was placed with George H.W. Bush by America’s VetDogs, a not-for-profit organization that trains and places guide dogs for individuals who are blind or have low vision; hearing dogs for those who have lost their hearing later in life; service dogs for those with other physical disabilities; physical and occupational therapy dogs to aid in the rehabilitation process in military and VA hospitals, and PTSD service dogs to help mitigate the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.

(Sully, a yellow Labrador service dog who worked with the late former President George H.W. Bush, is traveling with Bush’s casket on his flight to Washington, according to a source familiar with the plans. Courtesy of CNN and YouTube. Posted on Dec 3, 2018.)

America’s VetDogs would like to share the following:

America’s VetDogs is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States. We were truly honored to have placed Sully, a specially-trained 2-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever service dog, with the president in June of 2018, who was specifically matched with him to provide support during his daily activities.

Later this week, Sully will return back to America’s VetDogs in Smithtown, New York for a temporary stay throughout the holiday season before joining the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s Facility Dog Program.

Courtesy of YouTube
Courtesy of YouTube

Sully will be working alongside fellow VetDogs facility dogs SGT Dillon and SGT Truman who are there to assist with physical and occupational therapy to wounded soldiers and active duty personnel during their journey to recovery at Walter Reed Bethesda.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Bush family during this difficult time,” said John Miller, President and CEO of America’s VetDogs.

“It was truly an honor to have provided service dog Sully to be by the president’s side for the past several months. As a true patriot and a visionary, President Bush will forever be viewed by people with disabilities and their families as a hero through his efforts to enact the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

“We are forever grateful to his service to the American people.”

(Former President George H.W. Bush received his first ever service dog in June of 2018. Courtesy of TIME and YouTube. Posted on Jun 26, 2018.)

America’s VetDogs service dogs can be trained to do many tasks, which includes retrieving items as small as a credit card to an object as large as a dropped support cane, opening and closing doors, waking their handler from a nightmare, getting help or pushing an emergency button, bracing and supporting their handler when standing or walking up and down stairs, and many more.

It costs more than $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one assistance dog; however, all of VetDogs’ services are provided at no charge to the individual.

Funding comes from the generosity of individuals, corporations, foundations, businesses, and service and fraternal clubs.

To learn make a gift to support the VetDogs mission, please visit

(Melanie Monts De Oca shares her story of life after serving, and how her service dog Liberty helps her in her daily life. Courtesy of America’s VetDogs and YouTube. Posted on Nov 13, 2018.)

Since 2003, America’s VetDogs has trained and placed guide and service dogs to provide independence, enhanced mobility, and companionship to veterans with disabilities from all eras.

In 2015, VetDogs opened its programs to first responders, including fire, police, and emergency medical personnel.

America's VetDogsAmerica’s VetDogs is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded by the Guide Dog Foundation and serves clients from across the United States.

VetDogs relies on contributions from generous individuals, corporations, service clubs, and foundations to fund its mission to help those who have served our country live with dignity and independence.

Editor’s note: Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bush family, and all those who served with President Bush throughout his long and selfless career of public service. You will be missed Sir. Your life most definitely mattered. Godspeed.

To Sully, job well done boy. Thank you for your service.

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