President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden have announced the death of their “cherished” German Shepherd Champ.
“Our hearts are heavy today as we let you all know that our beloved German Shepherd, Champ, passed away peacefully at home. He was our constant, cherished companion during the last 13 years and was adored by the entire Biden family,” President Biden said in a statement Saturday.
“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,” he continued. “Wherever we were, he wanted to be, and everything was instantly better when he was next to us.”
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The family welcomed Champ as a puppy after the 2008 presidential elections, according to the New York Times. The Bidens later adopted younger rescue pooch Major in 2018.
The arrival of Champ and Major marked the return of four-legged companions to the White House after the pet-free years of the Trump administration.
Major made headlines earlier this year, for reportedly biting people in the White House. The older Champ preferred to relax around his new home.
“He loved nothing more than curling up at our feet in front of a fire at the end of the day, joining us as a comforting presence in meetings, or sunning himself in the White House garden,” Biden said. “In his younger days, he was happiest chasing golf balls on the front lawn of the Naval Observatory or racing to catch our grandchildren as they ran around our backyard in Delaware. In our most joyful moments and in our most grief-stricken days, he was there with us, sensitive to our every unspoken feeling and emotion. We love our sweet, good boy and will miss him always.”