President Joe Biden’s family is mourning the loss of their German Shepard, Champ, who has died, the president and first lady said in a statement on Saturday.
The Biden family got Champ as a puppy in 2018 just before they moved into the vice president’s official residence at the Naval Observatory.
“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. Wherever we were, he wanted to be, and everything was instantly better when he was next to us,” the statement said. “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.”
The family said Champ loved chasing golf balls and running after the Bidens’ grandchildren.
“In our most joyful moments and in our most grief-stricken days, he was there with us, sensitive to our every unspoken feeling and emotion,” the Bidens said. “We love our sweet, good boy and will miss him always.”
The president and first lady have another German Shepard named Major, a dog they they adopted in 2018.
Both dogs moved into the White House once Biden took office but were sent back to Delaware after Major nicked the hand of a Secret Service agent.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Major “was surprised by an unfamiliar person and reacted in a way that resulted in a minor injury to the individual.”
“You turn a corner, and there are two people you don’t know at all,” Biden said to ABC’s Good Morning America after the incident. “And he moves to protect. But he’s a sweet dog. Eighty-five percent of the people there love him. He just — all he does is lick them and wag his tail.”