Bush's final journey: By motorcade, plane and train

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The image shows the former President's service dog lying next to his coffin during a service in Houston. "So he was a terrific guy and he'll be missed".

Former President George H.W. Bush is returning to Washington as a revered political statesman, hailed by leaders across the political spectrum and around the world as a man not only of greatness but also of uncommon decency and kindness. (AAP) President George H.W. Bush receives applause from Vice President Dan Quayle, left, and House Speaker Thomas Foley prior to delivering his first State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington in 1990. His final resting place will be alongside Barbara Bush, his wife of 73 years who died in April at the age of 92, and Robin Bush, the daughter they lost to leukemia in 1953 at age three.

Alexandra Horowitz, a psychologist who heads the canine cognition lab at Barnard College, says that dogs stay with their masters after they've died because they don't know that death is irreversible.

Bush will then be returned to Houston for burial Thursday at his presidential library at Texas A&M University.

After a speech from Vice President Mike Pence, Bush will lie in state in the US Capitol from Monday evening until Wednesday morning, under the watchful gaze of an around-the-clock honor guard.

Captioned, "Mission complete" by Bush's former spokesman Jim McGrath, the photograph served as a heartbreaking farewell between Bush and Sully, who the former president began working with after his wife Barbara Bush died earlier this year.

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A photograph of George H.W. Bush's dog has been shared on social media and it is utterly heartbreaking.

On Dec. 5 at 10 a.m., a departure ceremony will begin, after which Bush's remains will be transported to the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Washington, also known as the Washington National Cathedral, where a funeral service will be held for invited guests at 11 a.m. Bush's presidency - victory in the first Persian Gulf War and success in bringing the Cold War to a peaceful end - came because he resisted popular pressure to take the politically expedient route. "Bush of course was defeated for re-election and most people at the time considered him a failed president" because of a recession during his time in the White House. The couple was married for 73 years, longer than any other United States presidential couple. About two hours later, Bush was gone.

After the war he started an oil business in Texas before entering politics aged 40.

Bush served two terms as vice president under fellow Republican President Ronald Reagan before his own stint in the Oval Office from 1989 to 1993.

The photo touched the hearts of many Twitter users.

In a recent essay, Clinton declared of Bush: "I just loved him".