The most famous dog in America right now is probably Sully Bush, the service dog of the late president G.W. Bush, who made many people shed a tear when the lab arrived to pay his respects at Capitol Hill.
Sully, a service dog, was given to the 94-year-old George H.W. Bush, six months ago from America’s VetDogs, a non-profit which pairs service dogs with veterans and first responders.
Bush was so taken with his new campaign that he even had socks with Sully’s face on them. Sully as a service dog was there to help Bush, who is in a wheelchair, open doors and pick up items.
But not everyone is a fan. An article by Ruth Graham in Slate wrote a piece about how people shouldn’t waste their “emotional energy” on Sully, referred to as a mere employee who had been on the job less than half a year.
There’s nothing wrong with applying sentimentality when it comes to family pets reacting to their owners’ deaths. There’s even some preliminary evidence from the small field of “comparative thanatology” that animals notice death, and that some may even experience an emotion we might compare to grief. But Sully is not a longtime Bush family pet, letting go of the only master he has known. He is an employee who served for less than six months.
That statement from Graham has made some people angry.
@publicroad Ruth, I feel sorry for you & hope you find the help you so desperately need. People like you discourage my faith in humanity and encourage misanthropy. So sick, missing the point and hateful you appear. Happy holidays (if you have any faith remaining.) #RIP41 #Sully
— Boggs (@paypro25) December 4, 2018
Bush’s family has said that Sully will likely return to America’s VetDogs and given to another veteran.
Andrew Rubenstein, director of marketing with America’s VetDogs, said Sully will be allowed to continue to attend the memorials for Bush and even the funeral service next week.