The bond between a man and his dog is unbreakable, and as this image of the late George Bush's dog Sully keeping guard over his master's coffin shows, when one goes the sense of loss is unsurmountable.
George H.W. Bush passed away on 30 November at the age of 94, just seven months after his wife Barbara Bush, who died on 17 April.
As reported in People, Sully remained by Bush's side after his passing, taking up his position by his flag-draped coffin to keep the 41st commander in chief safe in death as he did in life.
"Mission complete," Bush's spokesman Jim McGrath tweeted alongside the picture.
Sully was to fly with Bush's coffin to Washington, D.C. From there he would be relocated to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to assist more veterans like Bush, according to CNN.
"As much as our family is going to miss this dog, we're comforted to know he'll bring the same joy to his new home, Walter Reed, that he brought to 41," Bush's son, former President George W. Bush, wrote as he reposted Sully's picture on Instagram.
Sully, who is named after Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III, the pilot who safely landed a plane on the Hudson River in 2009, was paired up with George Bush in June. He came from America's Vet Dogs and was specially trained to accommodate Bush's needs..
"A great joy to welcome home the newest member of our family, 'Sully,' a beautiful — and beautifully trained — lab from @AmericasVetDogs," Bush wrote on Twitter. "Could not be more grateful, especially for their commitment to our veterans."
Anyone who has lost a pet will understand how deeply the sense of grief is felt, and it's a two-way street. Our pets miss us as much as we miss them.
Research has shown that dogs are on a par with young children, in terms of their mental and emotional capacities. So they feel sadness and loss, but don't understand the permanence of death, or that death is irreversible - perhaps making this image posted by Jim McGrath even more poignant.
So this is why a dog who has lost his or her owner will wait faithfully for them to return.
They are heartbreakingly hopeful that they will see their loved one again.
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