Sully H.W. Bush
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Sully H.W. Bush is a United States service dog, who previously attended to late-President George H.W. Bush.
On June 25th, 2018, the Instagram  account @sullyhwbush posted its first photograph that indicated that Sully would be moving to George H.W. Bush's home at Walker's Point. They captioned the photograph, "On the road to Walker's Point. Can't wait to meet my new trainer and all the new friends." The post received more than 15,000 likes in six months (shown below).
George H.W. Bush's Death
On December 2nd, 2018, following the death of George H.W. Bush, Bush's spokesman Jim McGrath tweeted  a photograph of Sully lying next to Bush's casket. He captioned the photograph, "Mission complete." The tweet received more than 71,000 retweets and 288,000 likes in two days (shown below).
People responded with remorse to the photograph. Twitter user @RyanAFournier tweeted, "Sully was President George H.W. Bush’s service dog. He still hasn’t left his side." The tweet received more than 17,000 retweets and 140,000 likes in two days (shown below, left).
Over the next few days, people continued to post photographs of Sully at Bush's funeral (examples below, center and right).
On December 3rd, Slate published an article refuting the claims that Sully was a longtime companion of Bush's. In the article "Don’t Spend Your Emotional Energy on Sully H.W. Bush," they wrote:
"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."
Many reacted negatively to the article, insisting that the article provided unnecessary explanations (examples below). Twitter published a Moments page regarding the controversy.
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