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Sully Enlists.

(This is one of those stories that has us noticing the amount of dust in the air.)

President George H.W. Bush’s service dog ‘enlists’ at Walter Reed

Sully, the celebrated yellow Labrador retriever that was the service dog of former President George H.W. Bush, has joined the ranks of working dogs at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Inducted by way of a paw shake and through an oath of office given Feb. 27, 2019, by Walter Reed’s director, Navy Capt. (Dr.) Mark Kobelja, Sully enlisted in the medical center’s facility dogs program, in which he will work with disabled inpatients and outpatients.

During his enlistment ceremony at the center’s USO building, Sully was cited as “a true patriot” and was enlisted as a Navy hospital corpsman, 2nd class.

Bush received Sully in June from America’s VetDogs nonprofit organization. The president had a form of Parkinson’s disease, and Sully could open doors, pick up items and summon help.

It seems somehow fitting and proper that the dog belonging the the President who was a decorated veteran in World War II will continue the mission of serving and helping other vets.

Sully in front of President Bush’s casket in Texas.

Sully and the other service dogs at Walter Reed typically visit patients on wards and in behavioral health, the brain fitness clinic, and occupational and physical therapy clinics.

The facility dogs at Walter Reed average 2,500 contacts with people and more than 200 working hours per month collectively, according to a Walter Reed press release. Many of the dog handlers are active-duty service members who are trained in a 6-week program. The dogs live with a custodian of the program.

Sully, like his six battle buddies, is trained in situational awareness, sitting politely for petting, accepting a friendly stranger, walking through a crowd, how to react to distractions, entering elevators, how to react to another dog, and various commands.

Sully continues his mission at the Capital Rotunda where the body of President Bush laid in state.

Daggone dust.



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