The yellow Labrador who accompanied former US President George H.W. Bush up to his death – and who was famously snapped snoozing near Bush’s casket – has been given a new role in the US Navy.
By, 4 Mar 2019
Sully has been employed to “support, comfort and cure warriors and their families.” Details of the dog’s medical qualifications have not been released.
A Very Pet-ty Officer
The Labrador, who shares a name with the pilot who safely landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in 2009, was sworn in at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre in Bethesda, Maryland on Wednesday. His official rank is Facility Dog - HM2 Petty Officer, U.S. Navy, which means he outranks at least four other classes of sailor.
Trained by non-profit educational organization America's VetDogs, Sully’s skillset includes answering phones, switching lights on and off, and making people feel better about it all. It is not known if he can strip and rebuild an M4 assault rifle while blindfolded.
His main duties will be to reduce stress levels among veterans and to listen to the gripes and worries of hospital staff.
“Your appointment as a petty officer in the United States Navy makes you heir to a long and proud tradition of naval leadership,” a Navy spokesman told Sully during the dog’s enlistment ceremony, reports CNN.
“Do you affirm or pant as a hospital corpsman in the United States Navy that you will support, comfort and cure warriors and their families, active duty and retired?” began his personalized enlistment oath. “That you embrace our staff and bear unconditional love and solace, especially on busy days? That you take this obligation freely, without any promise of treats or tummy rubs and that you will faithfully discharge the duties to provide joy, love and nurturing for our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and sailors and their families?”
Bush, who served in the military himself, and during whose presidency the CIA actively supported right-wing military dictatorships in Latin America, would no doubt be proud to see his former companion doing his bit for the Navy.
But doubts remain as to the full extent of Sully’s previous assignment, after a Bush spokesman tweeted a photo of Sully by the ex-president’s casket with the comment “Mission complete.” If Sully was indeed an undercover agent sent to eliminate Bush Snr., veterans at the Walter Reed Medical Centre should be quaking in the military-issue boots.