President Joe Biden is mourning the death of his “beloved” dog Champ.
The president and First Lady Jill Biden‘s German Shepherd died peacefully at their home. He was 13. The couple shared the heartbreaking news on their social media on Saturday, paying tribute to their “sweet, good boy.”
“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,” the family’s statement begins. “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.”
They add that wherever they were, “he wanted to be, and everything was instantly better when he was next to us.”
“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,” they continue. “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.”
The family expresses that Champ was with them through their “most joyful moments and in our most grief-stricken days” and was “sensitive to our every unspoken feeling and emotion.”
“We love our sweet, good boy and will miss him always,” they conclude.
Champ was born in 2008. The politician had promised his wife that he would get her a dog if he and former President Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election. He was named Champ by Biden’s granddaughters.
The name also came from a quote that Biden’s father would tell him, “Any time you get knocked down, champ, get up!” per the New York Times.
The Bidens also have a 3-year-old rescue German Shepherd named Major. Both Champ and Major starred in a PSA for Puppy XVII earlier this year.
Major, who was adopted by the Bidens in 2018 from the Delaware Humane Association in Wilmington, is a history-making pet. He marks the first rescue dog to live in the White House. Major did have a couple incidents while at the White House and had to be taken to training.
Meanwhile, the Bidens would regularly post about their pups, also making a fun Christmas video, showcasing the dogs’ different personalities.
Champ’s death comes a little over a month after the Obama family’s dog, Bo, died of cancer. Bo, who was born in October 2008, was 12 years old. He came into the Obama’s lives after Barack and Michelle Obama promised their daughters they would get a puppy after the election.
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