In photo, Bush’s service dog honors the late president

Hannah Rogers
December 4, 2018

Sully H.W. Bush, a yellow Labrador service dog who worked with the late former President George H.W. Bush, will be traveling with Bush's casket on his flight to Washington, DC, according to a source familiar with the plans.

"A handsome day In Texas - 'ceiling and visibility unlimited, ' Mr. President", he wrote, in reference to the aviation code phrase for a desirable situation, one used by Bush's family and friends to spread the news of his death.

Captioned, "Mission complete" by Bush's former spokesman Jim McGrath, the photograph served as a heartbreaking farewell between Bush and Sully, who the former president began working with after his wife Barbara Bush died earlier this year. He will be honored during several public and private events in Houston and Washington before his burial Thursday in Texas.

Bush's body will be transported by a motorcade Monday morning from a Houston funeral home to Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, a Texas Air National Guard base.

Relatives accompanying the casket will include his sons, former President George W. Bush and Neil Bush, with members of their immediate families.

Trump has not always uttered kind words about the Bush family.

His passing ushers in almost a week of remembrances and tributes in Washington, where Bush will lie in state at the US Capitol following a ceremony there Monday evening (Tuesday NZT).

Not all USA presidents have been fond of dogs though: John F Kennedy was allergic to dogs, and Donald Trump does not have one. The first national day of mourning was believed to be held in 1791 with the death of Benjamin Franklin, a founding father.

Image All Stock
Image All Stock

Family and friends will then gather at the National Cathedral in Washington for an 11 a.m. funeral service on Wednesday.

After the service, the body will be returned to Houston to lie in repose at St. Martin's Episcopal Church.

A funeral mass will be held at the church at 10 a.m. local time on December 6 for invited guests.

Sully will now work as a service dog assisting with therapy for wounded soldiers.

A ceremony will be held at the train station as Bush's casket is loaded onto a Union Pacific train. On Thursday, it will be buried on the grounds of Bush's presidential library at Texas A&M University.

By tradition, the plane is only known as Air Force One when the sitting president is on board.

Surrounded by loved ones Friday night as he lay in bed at home in Houston, he was approached by the wife of his longtime friend, James A. Baker III, who was in the room with her husband. The Facebook page for the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum also shared the image.

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