By Helen Murphy
February 21, 2019
Zach Pagano/NBC News’ TODAY

Jenna Bush Hager‘s young children shared a sweet goodbye with former President George H. W. Bush‘s service dog, Sully, on the Today show Thursday morning.

Hager’s daughters, Mila, 5, and 3-year-old Poppy, appeared alongside their mom to shower Sully with love before he leaves for his new assignment: working with wounded veterans at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s Facility Dog Program. Sully begins his new mission next week, according to Today

“Sully will go on to spread his love at Walter Reed Hospital,” Hager, 37, later wrote on Twitter. “He was a loving companion when my Gampy needed him most. My girls adored him—and wanted a final goodbye…”

In a reply to a Today viewer, Hager wrote, “We love Sully!”

Sully was on Today Thursday for another special reason: He was meeting with his namesake, Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who famously landed a passenger jet on the Hudson River in New York City in 2009 after it collided with a flock of geese, knocking out both engines.

“It’s quite an honor,” Sullenberger said of meeting Sully. 

RELATED: Service Dog Sully Shares Special Moment By George H. W. Bush’s Side at Capitol Casket Viewing

President Bush, who died in November at 94 following deteriorating health, was matched with Sully in June 2018. Over the six months of their relationship, Sully and the 41st president formed a friendship based on loyalty, love and trust — a bond that extended beyond Bush’s death, only months after the passing of his wife, Barbara.

WATCH: The Emotional Moment Jeb and George Bush Shared After 43's Heartfelt Eulogy

Sully stuck by Bush throughout the funeral proceedings, resting by his owner’s casket and attending the Capitol Rotunda viewing.

“As my family mourned and the world paid tribute, Sully never left my grandfather’s side,” Hager said on Today on Thursday. “He was a fiercely loyal companion to the end.”

Bill Clark/Congressional Quarterly/Newscom/Zuma

She added: “We’re comforted to know Sully will soon bring the same service and joy to many, helping wounded soldiers and hospital patients on their road to recovery.”

Sully was joined by his trainer, Valerie Cramer, on Today.

“It was very important to President Bush that Sully carry on serving veterans,” Cramer said. “So he chose that Sully wouldn’t work for one individual person but that he would serve many veterans, and the hospital setting is the perfect environment for that.”