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By Elisha Fieldstadt
Sully, the late George H.W. Bush’s service dog, was welcomed back with applause to his training facility on Long Island, where he will briefly stay before his next assignment.
Sully arrived Wednesday at America’s VetDogs in Smithtown, New York, during an event attended by area politicians and showed off some of his skills in front of the cameras.
The dog will spend the holidays at VetDogs before being sent to provide stress relief and comfort to military service members going through physical and occupational therapy at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
The 2-year-old yellow lab will be joined there by fellow canines Marine Sgt. Dillon, a black Lab, and Army Sgt. Truman, a chocolate English Lab, according to America’s VetDogs, an organization that trains and places service dogs with military veterans.
Sully, who is named for the “miracle on the Hudson” pilot, Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III, was sent to assist Bush, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease, in June.
The dog gained national and international attention last month after Bush died and a photo of Sully lying near his flag-covered casket went viral. The Instagram account dedicated to the dog has 264,000 followers.
George W. Bush, the former president’s son and the 43rd president himself, wrote on Instagram that the family would miss Sully, but “we’re comforted to know he’ll bring the same joy to his new home, Walter Reed, that he brought to 41.”