George HW Bush's service dog yellow lab Sully mourning goes viral

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A photo of George H.W. Bush's service dog looking sad as it lay on the floor in front of his flag draped coffin has gone viral.

Memorial services began Monday to honor the late President George H.W. Bush.

The dog has also accompanied the family during the ceremonies marking Bush's passing. He said it was going to be a tough week and he looked forward to it being over.

Bush will lie in state until Wednesday morning when his casket will then be transported to the National Cathedral for the first of two funeral services for the former president. He died in Texas, his home state, late Friday at the age of 94 after several years of failing health.

Citing the former president's death, the White House also postponed a planned press conference in Buenos Aires on Saturday, promising to instead hold one in Washington at a later date.

Afterward, Bush's body will be returned to Houston to lie in repose at St. Martin's Episcopal Church before burial Thursday at his family plot on the library grounds.

Later Monday night, President Trump and the first lady paid their respects to Bush at the Capitol Rotunda.

Photo of George HW Bush's service dog mourning at his casket pulls the internet's heartstrings
George H.W. Bush's Service Dog Sully Remains by Casket

He failed to win a second term after breaking a no-new-taxes pledge. An invitation-only funeral service is set for Wednesday at Washington National Cathedral, to be attended by President Donald Trump and other dignitaries. The casket was flown in from Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, a Texas Air National Guard base, aboard an aircraft that often serves as Air Force One.

Bush spokesman Jim McGrath posted a picture Sunday of the yellow Labrador retriever named Sully with the caption, "Mission complete".

Members of the family, including children and grandchildren, will be taking part in each service.

The two-year-old Sully has been at Bush's side since June, just weeks after the death of the president's wife Barbara, to whom he was married for 73 years.

Retired general Colin Powell, who as chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was George H.W. Bush's top military adviser, said Bush was the "perfect American" for serving his country in so many different capacities and should be remembered for "a life of quality, a life of honour, a life of honesty, a life of total concern for the American people".

Sully, a 2-year-old yellow Labrador retriever, is named after the pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III, who on January 15, 2009, landed a passenger plane in the Hudson River after hitting a flock of geese. The train will take about 2½ hours to travel roughly 70 miles to the city of College Station, home to Bush's presidential library at Texas A&M University.

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