After former President George H. W. Bush died on Friday, there was the typical social media squabbling over his legacy. But there is one opinion that nearly everyone shared: Bush’s service dog, Sully, is a very good boy. A photo of the two-year-old yellow lab lying next to Bush’s American flag–draped casket went viral on Sunday, and subsequent investigations into Sully confirmed that he is ridiculously loyal and sweet.
— Jim McGrath (@jgm41) December 3, 2018
According to the Washington Post, Sully was named after airplane pilot Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III, who became famous for his 2009 emergency landing on the Hudson River. The Post writes that Sully “was raised by VetDogs, first through its prison puppy program that gives inmates a chance to teach animals the basic tasks of housebreaking and standardized commands, and then at the program’s campus in Smithtown, N.Y.”
He was assigned to Bush in June—shortly after former first lady Barbara Bush died—arriving at the president’s side on the same day that Bill Clinton paid a visit. Bush had a form of Parkinson’s disease that made him dependent on a wheelchair or motorized scooter to get around, and Sully helped him open and close doors, push an emergency button, scoop up things that Bush had dropped, and support him while standing up. The pup’s Instagram page, which has 126,000 followers, shows Sully displaying a very wide breadth of goodness:
According to the Post, Sully will soon be on his way to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland, where he will help out wounded soldiers and vets and continue to be a very good boy.
The Bushes were both noted dog lovers. Millie, a springer spaniel, was at their sides during their time in the White House, and they were later joined by Ranger, one of her puppies.