George H.W. Bush’s former service dog Sully honored by America’s VetDogs

Greg Nash

America’s VetDogs honored Sully, President George H.W. Bush’s service dog, at its Long Island headquarters on Wednesday.

“We all felt such a tremendous sense of pride,” John Miller told ABC7. Miller is president and CEO of the nonprofit America’s VetDogs, which raised Sully and gave him to the president.


President George W. Bush asked Walter Reed Medical Center in April if they knew a group that could provide his father with a service dog as he mourned the death of his wife, Barbara Bush. America’s VetDogs works extensively with Walter Reed, according to ABC7. 

Sully, a two-year-old yellow Labrador who is named after famed pilot and Air Force veteran Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, was initially raised and trained for a year by an incarcerated veteran in a prison in Maryland, which is common for service dog programs, before starting his training at VetDogs.

Sully’s trainer, Valerie Cramer, took the call from Walter Reed and said she knew Sully would be perfect fit for the 41st president.

“In fact, in my excitement I may have even mentioned Sully’s name,” she told ABC7. “He is loyal, calm, kind with children – exactly what the president’s team asked for.”

“From the first moment when the president said, ‘Welcome home,’ I knew it was an absolutely perfect match,” she said. 

Cramer said the Bush family told her that the late president and Sully had developed a close bond and he wanted Sully to serve other veterans after his death.

Sully will enroll as a service dog at Walter Reed in February after working in Long Island to brush up on training.


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