This respected pup continues to offer companionship for veterans across the United States.

By Leah Lopez Cardenas
November 11, 2020
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Credit: President George H.W. Bush's service dog, Sully, stays beside Bush's casket as he lies in state at the U.S. Capitol in December 2018. JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS / ADOBE STOCK

Sully the 4-year-old Labrador retriever will forever go down in history this Veteran’s Day. 

Sully garnered fame as the former service dog for the late President George H.W. Bush and continues to serve veterans across the country. 

On November 10, 2020, a bronze statue in Sully’s likeness was unveiled in Long Island, where puppy Sully was born, raised, and trained prior to joining Bush as his service dog companion.

Susan Bahary, the statue’s sculptor, dedicated her artwork to America’s VetDogs, a New York-based charity organization that provides service dogs to veterans and first responders free-of-charge. Typically, it can cost as much as $50,000 to train and care for a service dog-in-training.

After former President H.W. Bush passed, the nation remembers watching as Sully poignantly sat by his former handler’s casket as he lied in state at the U.S. Capitol in December 2018 during his wake and funeral.

And though Sully loved his previous handler, he still continues to offer his companionship to disabled veterans at Walter Reed Military Medical Center.

Sully’s trainer, Valarie Cramer, told CBS New York in an interview that “The beauty of Sully is that he crosses all barriers. Maybe he misses the job that he did before, but he is very happy to do what he’s doing now because he touches so many lives.”

Sully the Lab was originally named after the heroic Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who is a retired U.S. Air Force pilot known for the “Miracle on the Hudson”, where he safely landed a plane he was piloting in the Hudson River after its engines failed when it struck a flock of geese, saving all the passengers and crew.