Sully, meet Sully!
A historic summit of Sullys took place on TODAY Thursday when George H.W. Bush's service dog, Sully, met the hero he was named after, pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, and even shook his hand.
Capt. Sully meets his namesake, Bush's service pup, Sully
"It's quite an honor,'' Sullenberger said of meeting his namesake.
The canine Sully touched hearts as the beloved companion of the 41st president before Bush's death at 94 in November. Sullenberger, 68, is a retired airline captain who saved 155 people aboard US Airways Flight 1549 in 2009 when he safely landed the crippled plane in New York City's Hudson River.
Read also: "(Sully) will be working alongside fellow VetDogs facility dogs SGT Dillon and SGT Truman who are there to assist with physical and occupational therapy to wounded soldiers and active duty personnel during their journey to recovery at Walter Reed Bethesda,'' the organization wrote on Facebook.
Sully was sent to Bush by America's VetDogs , an organization that trains and places service dogs with disabled military veterans and first responders. Bush was a pilot in the Navy who served in World War II.
The dog became such a beloved part of Bush's life that he even had socks with Sully's face on them. The canine also helped comfort Bush in the aftermath of the death of former first lady Barbara Bush at 92 in April.
"I think we sometimes don't think of service dogs as helping those that are in their final months, but the comfort that this dog provided my whole family..." TODAY's Jenna Bush Hager said on Thursday.
Help Them Adapt to New Environments. “The only thing that likes change is a four-week-old baby in a wet diaper.” Though puppies and kittens are easygoing, mature pets often need guidance transitioning into new spaces. Dr. Becker advises introducing them slowly. “Don’t just dump them in a new house and hope for the best.” Pheromone sprays are handy for making strange houses more inviting. “Cats,” notes Dr. Becker, exist as both predator and prey, and in predator mode, they need vertical surfaces like climbing towers to feel safe.”
The dog faithfully served to the end, which was captured in a touching photo of Sully in front of Bush's casket.
"What a vigil he was holding,'' Sullenberger said. "It was quite a moving image. That was the iconic image for me of the whole service."
Sully bonded with the whole Bush family, who called him "Sully H.W. Bush." He was particularly adored by Jenna's daughters, Mila, 5, and Poppy, 3, who made a special appearance on TODAY to give their good buddy a hug before he embarks on his new mission.
Read also: Former President George H.W. Bush's service dog, Sully, arrived at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday morning to pay his respects to the late commander-in-chief, who is lying in state.
Sully will be joining the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center's Facility Dog Program starting next week, where he will work with wounded veterans.
"It was very important to President Bush that Sully carry on serving veterans, so he chose that Sully wouldn't work for one individual person, but that he would serve many veterans, and the hospital setting is the perfect environment for that,'' Sully's trainer, Valerie Cramer, said on TODAY.
INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: Former Michael Vick dogs, Sox and Hector, are certified therapy dogs. They now spend their days cheering up people at hospitals, nursing homes, and schools.
Dogs have also been an important part of Sullenberger's life. His family has been training guide dogs for the blind for more than 20 years, and his oldest daughter is now in school to become a veterinarian after raising guide dog puppies.
Inside George H.W. Bush's special bond with service dog Sully
"It's dear to our heart,'' Sullenberger said.
He can also take pride in the fact that the other Sully will continue their custom of helping others in need.
"I think he's going to uphold the tradition quite well I can see,'' he said.