A famous dog now has not only one but two public statues honoring his work and his unwavering loyalty.
Sully the service dog, who helped the late President George H. W. Bush in his final months, attended an unveiling of his bronze likeness before the recent Veterans Day holiday. The statue sits outside the Smithtown, New York, headquarters of America’s VetDogs, which helped train him and many other service dogs to assist U.S. military veterans.
Check out Sully posing next to his new sculpture below. (You can watch the Nov. 10 ceremony via video too. Sully must have thought the speeches were going a bit long as he eventually lay down on his side until the actual unveiling.)
George H. W. Bush was a Navy pilot before entering public service. When he was offered a service dog, he initially worried about taking away a dog from another veteran, according to a TODAY show interview.
“The thing that we all had arranged prior to Sully even going to your grandfather was that Sully would continue to work with veterans forever and that he would share the experience and the joy that Sully and a service dog can give to a veteran,” said Valerie Cramer, VetDogs’ service dog program manager while speaking with Jenna Bush Hager on TODAY. “And that’s really a gift that your grandfather gave to everyone.”
Sully, a yellow labrador, was trained to help Bush after his wife, Barbara, passed away. He did so for a half year, until the 41st president’s death in November 2018. An image of the faithful lab lying next to Bush’s coffin went viral, making Sully famous.
Once his duties with the Bush family were over, Sully went on to work as a Navy “hospital corpsman second class and facility dog” at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, visiting veterans and their families. Since the pandemic, he hasn’t been able to visit the hospital in person but has been doing video calls with patients and their families.
Another statue of Sully resides at the George H.W. Presidential Library in College Station, Texas. Both the new statue and presidential library statue were created by sculptor Susan Bahary. You can buy a replica of Sully’s statue from Bahary’s website, with partial proceeds benefiting America’s VetDogs.
Here is Sully with Bahary at the recent unveiling, as posted to the America’s VetDogs Facebook page:
Goes to show that good dogs have their day — and especially good ones get their own statues. To keep track of Sully on his adventures, follow the famous dog’s Instagram account.