President Bush's Faithful Service Dog Remained By His Side 'Til The Very End

"Mission complete" 💙

Former president George H. W. Bush passed away on Friday at age 94, bringing a close to a long life of public service. But though he wore many hats over his decades on the national stage, closer to home he’s being remembered for yet another role — that of friend to a lovable yellow Lab named Sully.

Following the death of wife Barbara earlier this year, and faced with limited mobility due to declining health, Bush was paired with Sully, a service pup trained by the nonprofit America's VetDogs.

Bush welcomed the pup into his life as a member of the family.

As a skilled companion animal, Sully is capable of performing dozens of helpful day-to-day tasks on command — like opening doors, turning on light switches and retrieving out-of-reach objects.

But Sully's most constant contribution to Bush, of course, was love. And he offered it to the end. 

On Sunday, Bush family spokesperson Jim McGrath shared a touching photograph capturing the dog's commitment to the man he knew not as a president, but as a friend.

In it, Sully is seen lying faithfully alongside Bush's flag-draped coffin. The image is captioned, simply and poignantly: "Mission complete."

This week will be marked by remembrances of George H. W. Bush, the 41st president, whose body will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda, accompanied on the journey there by Sully.

But the dog will continue to honor his legacy of service long after.

In a post online, son George W. Bush revealed that Sully is set to carry on with his helpful work for veterans at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Maryland:

"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."