Champ, a German Shepherd who had been a member of the Biden family since 2008, passed away on Saturday, the Bidens said.
Champ passed away at the Biden family residence in Wilmington, Delaware, according to a White House spokesman. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden remarked, “Our hearts are heavy tonight as we notify you that Champ, our beloved German Shepherd, passed away 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,” said the Bidens.
“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 for the presidential transition several weeks after Biden was named Vice President-elect in December 2008. The Bidens noted on Saturday that Champ had been by their side during their “most joyful occasions” as well as their “most bereaved days.”
Champ’s health had recently deteriorated due to his advanced age. When he was a month old, Biden chose the German Shepherd from a litter from a Spring City, Pennsylvania, breeder. Champ made good on Jill Biden’s promise to buy a dog if he and Barack Obama won the election.
During the 2008 holidays, the Biden grandchildren helped name the new puppy Champ as a tribute to the name 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 stated shortly after Champ was adopted.
The Bidens adopted Major, a 3-year-old German Shepherd puppy, from the Delaware Humane Association in November 2018. Biden told reporters earlier this year that he partially adopted Major to keep Champ busy and active.
The two puppies appeared in advertisements for Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. 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.” For the last 13 years, he has been our constant, cherished friend, and the entire Biden family adores him.
Even when Champ’s strength waned in his final months, he would jump up, tail wagging, and nuzzle us for an ear scratch or belly rub.
He wanted to be wherever we were, and everything felt better with him around. Nothing made him happier than curling up at our feet at the end of the day in front of a fire, accompanying us in meetings as a calming presence, or sunning himself on the White House lawn.
He was most content chasing golf balls on the Naval Observatory’s front lawn or racing to catch our grandchildren as they ran through our Delaware backyard.
He was there for us in our best and worst moments, paying attention to every unsaid sense and emotion. We adore our adorable, wonderful son and will never forget him.”