COLLEGE STATION, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A permanent, bronze, life-size monument to Sully the service dog will be unveiled on December 2 and be placed in the east wing of the Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University.
National service dog school America’s VetDogs commissioned renowned sculptor Susan Bahary to create the statue of President George H.W. Bush’s former service dog, Sully, to stand proudly outside the presidential library in College Station.
The statue features Sully in a sit position holding his leash in his mouth, which depicts the ‘retrieve’ task that America’s VetDogs trains its service dogs to perform for their handlers.
Both Bahary and VetDogs sought to highlight Sully’s work as a highly trained service dog while also showcasing his devotion and joy in serving the president.
The piece will also include Sully wearing his official America’s VetDogs service dog vest that features the Great Seal of the United States on the back.
“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,” says sculptor Susan Bahary. “As a sculptor known worldwide for my service animal monuments, I feel Sully helps honor the president’s legacy, wonderful groups like America’s VetDogs, and raises awareness of all types of service animals, as I’m also doing through the National Service Animals Monument and the Purple Poppy movement.”
In June 2018, service dog Sully, a 3-year-old, yellow Labrador Retriever, was specifically matched to provide support and companionship to the president in his daily activities.
As of February 2019, Sully joined Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s Facility Dog Program in Bethesda, Maryland, per the president’s wish, to continue his mission to help active service duty members, veterans and hospital patients through animal assisted therapies. Following his “Welcome Aboard Ceremony,” Sully was given the rank of Hospital Corpsman Second Class (HM2) in honor of President George H.W. Bush’s service in the U.S. Navy.
“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,” says John Miller, president & CEO, America’s VetDogs, “We are thrilled to work with Susan on creating this statue to immortalize the work and loyalty Sully had for the president. 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.”