Bidens Announce Death of ‘First Dog’ Champ

Andrew Cummings
June 20, 2021

Champ, a German shepherd belonging to the Biden family, has passed away at the age of 12, the USA president announced via Twitter on Saturday.

The Bidens got Champ as a puppy in 2008, shortly before they moved into the vice president's official residence at the Naval Observatory.

The Bidens' other pooch, Major, also a German shepherd, has had some trouble adapting to life in the White House.

"Our hearts our heavy today as we let you all know that our beloved German Shepard, Champ, passed away peacefully at home".

The arrival of both Champ and Major marked the return of pets to the White House after former President Donald Trump became the first since the 1860s to not have either a dog or a cat during his presidential term.

Champ, they said, had been with the family during their "most joyful moments" and "most grief-stricken days". The same statement commemorated the dog's love for chasing golf balls at the Naval Observatory and spending time with the Biden grandchildren. Biden later drew upon the phrase when selecting a name for Champ.

The Bidens could occasionally be seen walking their two dogs on the White House South Lawn, and the dogs sometimes would join the president on trips to Camp David or visits home to Delaware. Major had to be briefly removed from the premises after two incidents of nipping staff on White House grounds. Jill Biden had promised the family could get a dog post-election, according to Politico. Even as Champ's strength waned in his last months, when we came into a room, he would immediately pull himself up, his tail always wagging, and nuzzle us for an ear scratch or a belly rub. "We love our sweet, good boy and will miss him always". My vet said, 'your shepherd's 12 -years-old. They adopted their second dog, Major, in 2018. "So I wanted a German shepherd", Biden said on ABC's "This Week" in December 2008.

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