George H.W. Bush's service dog, Sully, gets ready for next assignment

Sully will continue his service to military veterans with a new assignment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center next year.
Image: Sully
Sully, former President George H.W. Bush's service dog, at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 4. The dog will be assisting other veterans at Walter Reed medical center in Bethesda, Maryland.Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

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/ Source: TODAY
By Scott Stump

Sully the service dog is ready to embark on a new mission after faithfully completing his duty to former President George H.W. Bush.

The beloved dog, who touched people's hearts in moments from Bush's recent memorial, was honored by America's VetDogs in New York on Wednesday as he gets ready to serve at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he'll help other veterans.

Sully became Bush's companion in the final months of the 41st president's life, joining him in June and remaining with the World War II veteran until his death at 94 on Nov. 30 in Houston.

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He was sent to Bush by America's VetDogs, an organization that trains and places service dogs with disabled military veterans and first responders.

America's VetDogs honored Sully at its headquarters in Long Island on Wednesday.

"Sully had the right personality and temperament for the important job,'' his trainer, Valerie Cramer, said at a news conference, according to Reuters. "He is loyal, calm, kind with children - exactly what the president's team asked for.

"In addition, he's a willing worker, he's smart, and he's adaptable to all environments."

Sully will begin his work with Walter Reed's Facility Dog Program in February 2019, Cramer said.

"He 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,'' America's VetDogs wrote on Facebook.

Sully is named after Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, the former pilot who famously landed his disabled plane in New York's Hudson River in 2009, saving the lives of 155 people.

The 2-year-old Labrador and Bush quickly bonded, and Sully even got his own Instagram account.

Bush expressed his wish that Sully help other military veterans after his service to the president was complete.

"From the first minute when the president said, 'Welcome home,' I knew it was an absolutely perfect match,'' Cramer said.