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George H.W. Bush's former service dog, Sully, shares sweet tribute on Memorial Day

Sully is now part of a team of rehabilitation dogs helping veterans at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Sully honors George H.W. Bush on Memorial Day

Sully, the gentle Labrador retriever who comforted former President George H.W. Bush and stayed by his side until he died last year, posed for a touching photo honoring his best late friend on Memorial Day.

The canine stood next to a stone at the National World War II Memorial in Washington D.C., honoring the former president, who was a U.S. Navy pilot during World War II. In 1944, Bush famously ejected from his plane after it was hit and the engine caught fire. He later earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service.

The sweet photo was shared on Sully's Instagram account, along with a quote about Memorial Day from the former president.

“Each of the patriots whom we remember on this day was first a beloved son or daughter, a brother or sister, or a spouse, friend, and neighbor," it said.

Sully, who now works as a rehabilitation dog with veterans at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, added that he's "always thinking of my best friend & the bravest military in the world who made the ultimate sacrifice while defending our country for our freedoms."

The memorial in the photo bears the name of Bush's son, former President George W. Bush, who was commander-in-chief when it was dedicated in 2004.

Sully was a faithful sidekick to the former president and comforted him in the aftermath of the death of former first lady Barbara Bush in April 2018. He stayed by the former president's side until the very end and was photographed laying in front of Bush’s casket last November.

Sully was named for hero pilot Chesley Sullenberger, who successfully landed a US Airways flight on New York City's Hudson River after the engines were damaged by a bird strike. Sully's quick actions saved the lives of all 155 on board. Sully the dog got a chance to meet Sully the pilot on TODAY in February, where the hero pilot remarked on the incredible bond his namesake had with the former president, particularly laying watch next to his casket.

"What a vigil he was holding,'' Sullenberger said. "It was quite a moving image. That was the iconic image for me of the whole service."