George H.W. Bush‘s beloved service dog Sully has begun a new chapter in his canine life.
On Wednesday, Sully was officially welcomed at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to start his new role in the hospital’s Facility Dog Program. In December, America’s VetDogs explained in a statement that Sully H.W. Bush’s new duties will involve “working alongside fellow VetDogs facility dogs SGT Dillon and SGT Truman who are there to assist with physical and occupational therapy to wounded soldiers and active duty personnel during their journey to recovery at Walter Reed Bethesda.”
He was welcomed as an HM2 Petty Officer, which stands for Hospital Corpsman. Sully’s Instagram captioned a photo of him receiving the honors, “Today I became an official Facility Dog – HM2 Petty Officer. It’s an honor and privilege to join a wonderful group of dogs at @WRNMMC and I look forward to continue my mission to serve veterans as my best friend wanted me to.”
Walter Reed, which is based in Bethesda, Maryland, shared photographs of the yellow Labrador retriever sitting dutifully in his new military vest at the ceremony and afterwards with some fellow service dogs.
The canine’s gig at Walter Reed comes just about three months after the 41st president died on Nov. 30 at the age of 94.
Sully has been capturing the internet’s heart for some time now.
In August, his official Instagram page posted a photo of the pup laying down next to his owner. The only part of Bush in the photo, however, were his feet and socks, which featured none other than Sully. “My best friend has gotten some pretty rad socks, I’m rather a fan,” Sully (well, probably a staffer) captioned the photo.
Sully truly pulled at the heartstrings right after Bush’s death. On Dec. 2, Sully’s Instagram page shared a photo of the dog laying down with his eyes closed in front of Bush’s casket in Houston. “Mission complete,” it said.
Two days later, a similar picture was taken of him, but this time, he was in Washington, D.C. at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda where family, friends and strangers alike visited to pay their respects to the late president.
Despite only living alongside Bush for about six months, the beloved dog became an integral part of the family.
Sully has remained very active in the few months since Bush’s death. On Feb. 21, he spent the day at Today with his namesake, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who became well-known after safely landing US Airways Flight 1549 in New York’s Hudson River after the engines died. His heroic story later became a movie starring Tom Hanks.
On President’s Day, he paid homage to his “best friend” and thanked Bush “for inspiring me, and countless others, through his sacrifice and service to this country.” Like the gentledog he is, he even surprised America’s VetDog employees on Valentine’s Day by showing up at their offices and carrying in his mouth a red bag filled with cards.
Congratulations on the new gig, Sully, and best of luck!