‘Sully’: The loyalty of service dogs

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A viral photograph has captured the hearts of millions showing President George H.W. Bush’s service dog, Sully, next to his owner’s casket.

The two were only together for a few months, but they shared a close bond. Many say service dogs are the true definition of loyalty, providing both emotional and physical support to those in need.

In Iowa, Retrieving Freedom is a non-profit organization that trains service dogs. The process takes two years.

Chad Johnson says, “That bond…it’s hard to explain, they have that nature of wanting to please and help us and we can’t train that.”

Just like President George H.W Bush, local Vietnam veteran Dennis Rigel was paired with his service dog after his wife passed away.

Rigel said, “We are working good together. He’s changing me.”

It’s a similar story for Trent Dirks who’s been with ‘Tracer’ for two years after returning home from Afghanistan.

Dirks said, “There were a lot of days that I didn’t know what I was going to do with myself and the only thing that kept me going was Tracer.” He continued, “To see Sully in front of Bush’s casket, and to know I was really close to that and what he (Tracer) would have done without me…that’s one of the big reasons I’m still here.”

Proving man and his best friend have a bond like no other.

For more information on Retreiving Freedom, visit their website here: https://www.retrievingfreedom.org/

Lauren Moss

Lauren Moss

KWWL News Anchor and Multimedia Journalist
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