Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

George HW Bush's service dog lies beside the former president's coffin

President George HW Bush's service dog lies next to his casket. Photo: Jim McGrath/Twitter

Americans are preparing to say their final goodbyes to George Bush Snr as his body arrives in Washington to lay in state.

The body of the former president will arrive at the US Capitol on Monday where members of the public can pay their respects.

Public viewing will kick off four days of events, including a state funeral at Washington’s National Cathedral on Wednesday and a private service at Mr Bush's longtime church in Houston on Thursday.

Tributes from leaders around the world have been pouring in since his death on Friday night.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell called him "a perfect American" for how "he served the country in so many capacities".

And on Monday, China described the former president as a "statesman of vision".

George Bush Snr in 1989. Credit: AP

Mr Bush, who died at his Houston home at age 94, will be buried on Thursday on the grounds of his presidential library at Texas A&M University.

In Washington DC, he will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda from Monday to Wednesday.

President Donald Trump, who ordered federal offices closed for a national day of mourning on Wednesday, is to attend with first lady Melania Trump and other high-ranking officials.

On Sunday, Mr Bush's spokesman posted a photo of the late president's service dog lying in front of a flag-draped casket.

Jim McGrath posted the picture of the yellow Labrador retriever named Sully on Twitter with the caption, "Mission complete. #Remembering41."

A portrait of George HW Bush – painted by his son, George W Bush. Credit: Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP

Mr Bush received Sully in June from America’s VetDogs non-profit organisation. The president had a form of Parkinson’s disease, and Sully could open doors, pick up items and summon help.

KTRK-TV in Houston reported that Sully will return to America’s VetDogs in New York before joining the Water Reed National Military Medical Centre’s Facility Dog Programme.

James Baker, Bush's former chief of staff and secretary of state, called his boss' tenure in office "a consequential presidency" because of his foreign policy achievements.

"Yes, he's a one-term president but he is going to be and was a very consequential one-term president. And I would argue far and away the best one-term president we’ve ever had," Mr Baker told ABC's This Week.

The president with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990. Credit: AP

Mr Bush’s crowning achievement as president was assembling the international military coalition that liberated the tiny, oil-rich nation of Kuwait from invading Iraq in 1991 in a war that lasted just 100 hours.

He also presided over the end of the Cold War between the United States and the former Soviet Union.

At the G20 summit in Argentina, German chancellor Angela Merkel, who was raised in East Germany, told reporters she likely would never have become her country’s leader had Mr Bush not pressed for the nation’s reunification in 1990.

A humble hero of the Second World War, Mr Bush was just 20 when he survived being shot down during a bombing run over Japan. He enlisted in the Navy on his 18th birthday.

Shortly before leaving the service, he married his 19-year-old sweetheart, Barbara Pierce, in a union that lasted until her death earlier this year.

"He knew what combat was all about," Mr Powell said on This Week.

"He knew that combat meant the death of people, people on your side and people on the other side. And so he wanted to avoid a war."

Wreaths outside the former president's home in Houston, Texas. Credit: AP