Champ, the Bidens’ “beloved” German Shepherd who had been with them since 2008, died on Saturday, according to the Bidens.
According to a White House spokesman, Champ died at the Biden family home in Wilmington, Delaware.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden said, “Our hearts are heavy tonight as we notify you that Champ, our beloved German Shepherd, died quietly at home.” “For the previous 13 years, he was our constant, beloved companion and the entire Biden family adored him.”
“He liked nothing more at the end of the day than curling up at our feet in front of a fire, joining us as a soothing presence in meetings, or sunbathing himself in the White House garden,” the Bidens said.
“He was most content chasing golf balls on the Naval Observatory’s front lawn or attempting to capture our grandchildren as they played through our Delaware backyard.”
Champ joined the Biden family during the presidential transition in December 2008, only weeks after Biden was appointed Vice President-elect. Champ has been with the Bidens during their “most joyful times” and “most bereaved days,” the Bidens said on Saturday.
Champ’s health had deteriorated in recent months owing to his advanced age.
When he was a month old, Biden chose the German Shepherd from a litter at a Spring City, Pennsylvania breeder.
Champ’s purchase honored Jill Biden’s promise that he could buy a puppy if he and Barack Obama won the presidential election.
During the holidays in 2008, the Biden grandchildren helped name the new puppy Champ, a tribute to the moniker Joe Biden’s father gave his son, according to Biden’s press secretary at the time.
“I’ve had German Shepherds since I was a kid,” Biden said shortly after adopting Champ.
Major, the Bidens’ other German Shepherd, is a 3-year-old pup they adopted from the Delaware Humane Association in November 2018. Earlier this year, Biden told reporters that he partially adopted Major to keep Champ entertained and active.
The two dogs appeared in Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign advertisements. By relocating Champ and Major less than a week after taking office, Biden restored the presidential tradition of bringing dogs to the White House.
“Our hearts are heavy tonight as we inform you that Champ, our beloved German Shepherd, died quietly at home.” He was our constant, cherished friend for the last 13 years, and the entire Biden family adored him.
Even as Champ’s power faded in his final months, he would promptly pull himself up, tail wagging, and nuzzle us for an ear scratch or a belly rub.
He wanted to be wherever we were, and everything felt better when he was nearby. Nothing made him happier than cuddling up at our feet in front of a fire at the end of the day, joining us in meetings as a calming presence, or sunbathing himself in the White House garden.
He was most happy chasing golf balls on the front lawn of the Naval Observatory or rushing to catch our grandchildren as they ran through our Delaware backyard.
He was with us in our happiest and worst times, attentive to every unspoken sensation and emotion. We adore our cute, lovely boy and will never forget him.”