The first couple had the German shepherd for 13 years and were a White House fixture.
U.S. President Joe Biden has announced that Champ, the eldest of the family’s two dogs, has died “peacefully at home.” The German pastor was 13 years old.
“He was our constant and beloved companion for the past 13 years and was adored by the entire Biden family,” Biden and First Lady Jill Biden said in a statement posted on the president’s official Twitter account. The Bidens spend the weekend at their home in Wilmington, Delaware.
The Bidens obtained Champ from a breeder after Biden was elected vice president in 2008. Champ was an apparatus at the vice president’s residence at the Naval Observatory and now at the White House.
RIP to our sweet and good boy, Champ. We will always miss you. pic.twitter.com/63hXXp8W9P
– Jill Biden (@FLOTUS) June 19, 2021
In their statement, the Bidens said that when Champ was young, “he was happier chasing golf balls on the front lawn of the Naval Observatory” and that he most recently enjoyed “accompanying us as a comforting presence at the meetings or sunbathing in the White House Garden ”.
“In our happiest moments and in our saddest days, he was there with us, sensitive to all the feelings and emotions that were not talked about,” the Bidens said.
Champ’s passing leaves the Bidens with their youngest German pastor, Major, who the family adopted from the Delaware Humane Society in 2018.
The bidens could occasionally be seen walking their two dogs across the southern turf of the White House, and sometimes the dogs accompanied the president on trips to Camp David or home visits to Delaware.
Major has made headlines for his poor behavior in the past. Major caused Biden to suffer a foot injury in November, after the then president-elect stumbled upon the youngest dog while playing.
Major and Champ were taken home to Delaware at one point, and Major went on to train after the youngest dog had two biting incidents in the White House and an unknown dog appeared to have pooped in the White House hallway. .
Champ, who showed his age in recent months with his gray coat and slower gait, was often a quieter presence.
The bidens are expected to bring a cat to the White House to join the family soon.