The image is destined to become iconic.

My heartstrings were pulled as I saw the photo of Sully, former President George H.W. Bush's service dog, lie down on the floor next to his master's casket.

Paying final respects to the man he served since June, Sully was captured in the moment by Bush family spokesman Jim McGrath.

McGrath tweeted the image to the world simply saying "Mission Accomplished."

Sully, an ambassador for America's VetDogs, was trained to help Bush - wheelchair bound with Parkinson's Disease - to pick up items dropped and to open doors, among other tasks.

He came into Bush's life after Barbara died earlier this year, bringing with him a bit of love for the grieving widower in the form of a canine companion.

The photo of Sully beside Bush's casket reminds me of a similar image from Barbara's funeral. 

Bush is shown, sitting in front of the casket in his wheelchair, keeping watch with his daughter Dorothy by his side.

Love. No one can dispute that George and Barbara Bush not only lived lives well spent, but did so very much in love.

Every marriage has its ups and downs. I'm sure their marriage, which included the death of their 3-year-old daughter Robin, was filled with both. 

But throughout their lives, the pair exhibited a love that was not only sweet, but satisfying to watch - especially as it changed with age during the course of their 73 years of marriage.

The couple reportedly had at least one ritual each day - always telling each other 'I Love You' before retiring for bed.

Love is a four-letter word packed with a plethora of meaning. One which takes a lot of pondering as we near the Sunday of Love, the second Sunday in Advent.

Love means everything from a strong affection for another, arising out of kinship or personal ties; or an affection based on admiration, benevolence or common interests.

It's also a assurance of affection, as well as an attraction based on sexual desires.

But I think my favorite definition of love is one that involves a warm attachment, enthusiasm or devotion.

Love. It's an easy word to say. But in all honesty, let's face it, to truly love someone takes a lot of work.

The way love is expressed may not look the same for everyone. We each display love in our own unique ways. 

It takes a large investment of time and energy to not only fall in love, but to remain in love. Some of my friends joke sometimes they are "in love" with their significant other, but not very "in like."

Love transcends feelings. It's easy to say "I love you," but it's hard to say "I will love you no matter what."

Love changes us. It helps us look beyond another's faults, and instead keeps us centered upon what truly matters.

Micah 6:8 calls on us to live our lives not only humbly, but to fill our lives with love, justice and mercy. 

For me, that helps provide a road map for how we can love, in the face of injustice and strife. Which, ultimately, means more than any trinket or gift. 

This Advent season, may you and yours find ways to love fiercely, with a dose of mercy and justice. 

Oh, and by the way, officials announced Sully will now move on to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland, to share his canine love with other veterans in need. 

Kaylea M. Hutson-Miller is the managing editor of The Grove Sun and Delaware County Journal. Have an idea for a column or story? She can be reached at or 918-786-2228.