The Bidens announced Saturday that Champ, their “beloved” German Shepherd who had been with their family since 2008, has died.
Champ passed away at the Biden family home in Wilmington, Delaware, a White House official said. “Our hearts are heavy today as we let you all know that our beloved German Shepherd, Champ, passed away peacefully at home,” President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden said in a statement. “He was our constant, cherished companion during the last 13 years and was adored by the entire Biden family.”
The Bidens continued: “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. 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.”
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Champ had joined the Biden family during the presidential transition in December 2008, weeks after Biden had become vice president-elect. Champ, the Bidens said Saturday, had been with the family during their “most joyful moments” and “most grief-stricken days.” In recent months, Champ’s health had declined, due in large part to his advanced age.
The Bidens also have another German Shepherd named Major, a 3-year-old pup they adopted in November 2018 from the Delaware Humane Association. Biden told reporters earlier this year that he had adopted Major in part as a companion for Champ, to keep the older dog busy and active.
The two dogs were featured in Biden’s 2020 campaign ads for president. Less than a week after he was inaugurated, Biden restored the presidential tradition of bringing pets to the White House by moving Champ and Major in with them. The dogs spent some brief time in Delaware this year following a biting incident involving Major, but returned to Washington in late March [CNN].
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