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How Much Does It Cost To Train a Service Dog?

The heartbreaking image of George H.W. Bush’s service dog, Sully dutifully laying by the casket collectively broke the country’s heart. Bush’s spokesperson tweeted the image with the caption, “Mission complete.”

The two-year-old Labrador Retriever became Bush’s aid in June to assist him with daily life, NPR reports.  Bush suffered from a form of Parkinson’s which left the former president wheelchair bound toward the end of his life. Sully, named after pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III, can open doors, pick up items and get help if needed.

Sully’s special training will continue to be put to good use. He will assist wounded veterans during recovery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.  Service dog training is extensive and expensive. So what does it cost to train a dog like this?

What kind of service dogs exists?

Bush received his dog from America’s VetDogs, which is a nonprofit organization, CBS Miami reports. America’s VetDog dogs are trained to meet the needs of various disabilities. But other organizations train dogs to meet specific needs.

For instance, guide dogs assist the blind, whereas hearing dogs support those who are deaf. General service dogs work with individuals in a variety of disabilities. Therapy dogs help individuals manage emotional issues.