By Adrianna Rodriguez for USA Today
A life-size bronze statue of George H.W. Bush’s loyal service dog, Sully, was unveiled at the late president’s library Monday.
Sculptor Susan Bahary was commissioned by the national service dog school America’s VetDogs to solidify the image of the beloved yellow Labrador retriever.
The statue will be installed in the east wing of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
“I fell in love with Sully and wanted to capture in life-size bronze the beautiful loyalty and bond that our beloved president inspired in him and that was forever seared in our memories,” Bahary said in a statement released by the library.
Bush regarded Sully as a “beautiful” and obedient companion since he joined his family in June 2018, appointed by VetDogs. From then on, the dog accompanied Bush nearly everywhere, even the voting booth during the November midterm election in 2018.
The 41st president of the United States died Nov. 30, 2018, at 94 years old. His wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush, died the previous April.
Sully’s image first went viral when family spokesperson Jim McGrath shared a photo of the animal lying in front the president’s casket with the caption, “Mission complete.”
He then joined Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s Facility Dog Program to help wounded soldiers and active duty personnel in Bethesda, Maryland.
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According to the VetDogs, service dogs can be trained to do dozens of tasks, from retrieving something as small as a credit card to picking up a large cane. They can also open and close doors, wake up their handler and get help when there’s an emergency.
“Sully is an outstanding ambassador for the life-changing work our specially-trained dogs provide to our nation’s veterans and first responders with disabilities,” said John Miller, the non-profit’s president & CEO. “It was our honor to provide President Bush with Sully, and we are forever thankful for his service to our country and to those with disabilities.”
Contributing: Ashley May, USA TODAY. Follow Adrianna Rodriguez on Twitter: @AdriannaUSAT