MARYLAND -- Sully, the service dog that tugged at heart strings when he accompanied the late President George H.W. Bush at his funeral, will be returning to his Maryland roots to serve at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center now that his service with the former president has ended.
According to the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Sully was trained in Hagerstown, Maryland in the Maryland Correctional Training Center.
For a year, due to a partnership with America’s VetDogs, Sully was trained by inmates, alongside 30 other service dogs. Inmates taught Sully how to turn on lights, open doors and drawers, pick up items, pull wheelchairs and fetch things, the department says.
Sully left the facility in November 2017, having lived there with inmate trainers.
"I was proud to learn that a dog trained in Maryland was able to serve President Bush in his final months," Gov. Larry Hogan said of Sully.
He will now return to America’s VetDogs to spend the holidays in Smithtown, New York before going on to serve veterans back in Maryland at Walter Reed Bethesda. He will support wounded veterans and active service members during their recovery.
According to their website, Sully, who is 2-years-old, was placed with the former president in June.
"It was truly an honor to have provided service dog Sully to be by the president’s side for the past several months," said John Miller, President and CEO of America’s VetDog in a statement.
Sully first captured the public’s heart when he was seen lying in front of H.W.’s casket. “Mission complete,” a Bush family spokesperson wrote on Twitter upon capturing the image.
Later, Sully accompanied the family to D.C., where he quietly waited as members of the family and public paid their respects.