In honor of Veteran's Day on Wednesday, the Today co-host and her two daughters, Poppy Louise, 5, and Mila, 7, had a sweet Zoom call with the Labrador retriever, who helped Bush Hager's grandfather, former President George H.W. Bush in the last months of his life. (He died at age 94 on Nov. 30, 2018.)
Sully, 4, was celebrated for his work serving veterans at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, with a statue in Smithtown, New York.
"Hello little doggy, I want to hug you," said Poppy during the virtual reunion, as sister Mila asked the pup, "Do you remember Great Gampy?" The dog nodded his head yes in the super cute clip.
"Do you wanna meet our baby brother? Why don't we get him," insisted Poppy, as Bush Hager's youngest, son Henry Harold “Hal”, 15 months, whom she also shares with husband Henry Hager, came in to meet the dog.
"I love you, Sully," the kids say in unison, bidding goodbye.
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Today Show/ Twitter
Sully the service dog, who was President George H.W. Bush’s companion during his final months, is being thanked for his service to military veterans in a special way. @JennaBushHager shares the story. pic.twitter.com/hfv7bhX8SI
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 11, 2020
Sully —named after former airline pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III, known for his famous emergency landing in New York City’s Hudson River in 2009 — arrived in Bush's life after the former POTUS spent the months leading up to June 2018 in and out of the hospital for low blood pressure and fatigue.
Walter Reed recommended that the Bush family work with America's VetDogs, the same non-profit that trained one of Today's Puppy with a Purpose pups, to find a dog that would be a perfect fit for Bush's medical needs and a loyal companion to the former POTUS.
After being specially trained by America's VetDogs' talented team to meet Bush's particular needs, Sully arrived at Walker's Point (the Bush compound) to meet his new best friend.
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Sully knew how to assist Bush with his day-to-day activities, but, being a dog, the service canine also knew how to put a smile on his owner's face. After the death of Barbara Bush, the former president's wife of 73 years, in April 2018, it was important to have a beacon of joy at Walker's Point.
As with most service dogs, Sully became a permanent fixture in his owner's life. Bush made his last public appearance one month before his death, stopping at his local polling place to vote in the midterm elections, with Sully right by his side.
This 6-month friendship left an impression on Sully: former President George W. Bush shared a photo of his father's coffin days after his death, with the service dog loyally staying by his late owner's side.