SMITHTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Sully the service dog received a special honor Tuesday on Long Island.
The 4-year-old lab became known for his loyalty to former president George H. W. Bush. Now, Sully is being recognized for his service in a monumental way.
A bronze statue was unveiled on Long Island, where Sully was born and raised before the cherished service dog became the constant companion of President George H. W. Bush and then, as the nation watched, stood by the former president at his wake and funeral.
The sculptor, Susan Bahary, said she was so taken with the dog’s loyalty and devotion, she dedicated her art to America’s VetDogs.
“I had the joy of meeting Sully and spending three hours measuring, admiring, getting to know him,” Bahary said.
“Our service is available to all veterans, not just presidents,” said John Miller, president and CEO of America’s VetDogs. “And Sully did a great job, along with the Bush family who is just tremendous to work with, in helping shine a light on our services.”
It costs more than $50,000 to breed, raise, train and place one assistance dog. America’s VetDogs provides its services free of charge.
Sully’s trainer, Valerie Cramer, says the dog’s special bond with disabled veterans won’t be roken.
“The beauty of Sully is that he crosses all barriers,” Cramer told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan. “Maybe he misses the job that he did before, but he is very happy to do what he’s doing now because he touches so many lives.”
Sully now comforts servicemen and women at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where a line of vets awaits Sully each day.
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