George Bush Senior Gets A New Service Dog
And the cuddly canine even has his own Instagram.
The Bush family welcomed its newest -- and cuddliest -- member to the famous clan on Monday -- and no it wasn't a baby, but rather a two-year-old yellow Labrador service dog named Sully. Awww.
Sully H.W. Bush, as he is officially known, will from now on lend a helping hand -- or paw, to be precise -- to former President George H.W. Bush, who is currently wheelchair bound after developing a form of Parkinson's disease.
According to The Associated Press, the former president -- who celebrated his 94th birthday in June -- has needed to be hospitalised several times as a result of his condition, so the clever canine will be a welcomed addition to the Bush household.
Trained by the Guide Dog Foundation and America's VetDogs -- a nonprofit organisation that provides service dogs for free to veterans and active-duty service members -- Sully went through some pretty rigorous training just so he could be by George Bush Senior's side.
What's more, the clever canine was escorted to his new home by none other than former president, and friend to George Bush Senior, Bill Clinton.
And if you're thinking the name sounds familiar, you're right. Sully is actually named after Chelsey "Sully" Sullenberger III, the airline pilot who was called a hero after he successfully made an emergency landing in New York's Hudson River in 2009, saving everyone on board. An event that was later dubbed "The Miracle on the Hudson".
It's been a bit of an interesting journey for the loyal canine, however. Before being trained as a service companion, the pooch was actually raised in a prison until he was 15 months old, according to People.
Yep, that's right. Sully was indeed part of a prison puppy program coordinated by VetDogs, in which prison inmates raise future service dogs -- focusing on skills such as basic commands, obedience, housebreaking and other foundation skills of service training.
After doing his time -- as it were -- Sully was then transferred back to his original home in New York , where he completed his training program at the America's VetDogs facility in Smithtown before finally arriving at the Bush's residence.
In a press release about Sully's placement, John Miller, president and CEO of America’s VetDogs said the trainers and staff worked closely with the president’s team to find the best match.
“We are excited to work with President Bush and utilise this opportunity to shine a light on the services America’s VetDogs provides veterans and first responders to live a life without boundaries,” Miller said.
Taking to social media on Monday, the former president -- or perhaps one of his nearest and dearest -- tweeted out the news that he was now the proud owner of Sully.
“A great joy to welcome home the newest member of our family, “Sully,” a beautiful -- and beautifully trained -- lab from @AmericasVetDogs. Could not be more grateful, especially for their commitment to our veterans,” the caption said.
Another tweet, which showed Mr. Bush and Bill Clinton, said, "Special visit today with a great friend -- and now, a best-selling author. Luckily I had a freshly laundered pair of @BillClinton socks to mark the occasion."
Even more delightful, Sully has his own Instagram account -- which has already garnered more than 20K followers. But according to CNN, while being cute, the Insta account serves a significant purpose -- and that is to raise awareness about the importance of service dogs for people living with disabilities.
While it's not the first time the Bush household has welcomed a canine companion -- Barbara famously raised English Springer Spaniel, Millie -- Sully's gentle and comforting presence will no doubt be a welcomed presence for the ailing former president.
Feature image: Instagram/@sullyhwbush.