George H.W. Bush's Service Dog Rests Near His Casket in Moving Photo

Among those mourning George H.W. Bush’s death, is the former president’s faithful service dog, Sully. In a moving photo on Sunday night, Sully was captured resting near his handler’s casket, peacefully watching over him.

Bush family spokesman Jim McGrath shared a photo of the yellow Labrador retriever lying forlornly beside Bush’s casket, captioning it, “Mission complete.”

Bush’s second son, former Florida governor and 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush, commented on the photo of Sully, writing, “Sully has the watch.”

According to ABC News, Bush was matched up with Sully after his wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush, passed away. The former president, who had a form of Parkinson’s disease, had used a wheelchair in recent years. The service dog, named after pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III who safely landed a plane full of passengers on the Hudson River in 2009, was trained in a prison puppy program before moving to a special school in New York to learn “refined” skills that would help his handler, according to nonprofit America’s VetDogs.

“America’s VetDogs’ trainers and staff worked closely with the president’s team to find the best match,” John Miller, president and CEO of America’s VetDogs, said when Sully was placed with the 41st president in June.

Bush announced the new “member of the family” in June with a photo, adding that Sully was “a beautiful -- and beautifully trained -- lab.” He also thanked VetDogs for their “commitment to our veterans.”

It didn’t take long for the former president, who was often known for wearing vibrant and cheerful socks, to debut a special pair of socks to mark his new friendship with Sully. In August, Sully, who has his own Instagram page, posted a photo of Bush wearing a pair of light blue socks covered in photos of Sully.

Bush, who passed away on Friday, was flown from Ellington Field in Houston to the Joint Base Andrews military facility in Maryland on Monday, according to USA TODAY. Sully was by the Bush family’s side throughout the ceremonies on Monday, which was very fitting since Bush was the president to sign the Americans With Disabilities Act into law in 1990. Sully could even attend the services inside the Washington National Cathedral later this week.

According to Bush’s son and former president George W. Bush, Sully’s next mission will be as a service dog at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he will assist veterans.

“As much as our family is going to miss this dog, we’re comforted to know he’ll bring the same joy to his new home, Walter Reed, that he brought to 41,” he wrote on social media.

The 41st president will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. from Monday to Wednesday, and members of the public may pay their respects. A state funeral will be held at the Washington National Cathedral on Wednesday, USA TODAY reports.