Champ, a German Shepherd who had been a part of the Biden family since 2008, passed away on Saturday, according to the Bidens.
Champ passed away in Wilmington, Delaware, at the Biden family home, a White House spokeswoman said.
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.”
Several weeks after Biden was named Vice President-elect in December 2008, Champ joined the Biden family for the presidential transition. The Bidens said on Saturday that Champ had been by their side during their “most joyful occasions” and “most bereaved days.”
Champ’s senior age had caused his health to worsen recently.
Biden picked the German Shepherd from a litter at a Spring City, Pennsylvania breeder when he was a month old.
Champ fulfilled Jill Biden’s pledge to buy a dog if he and Barack Obama won the election by making the purchase.
According to Biden’s press secretary at the time, the Biden grandchildren helped name the new puppy Champ during the 2008 holidays as a tribute to the name Joe Biden’s father gave his son.
“I’ve had German Shepherds since I was a kid,” Biden said shortly after adopting Champ.
In November 2018, the Bidens adopted Major, another German Shepherd, a 3-year-old puppy, from the Delaware Humane Association. Biden revealed to reporters earlier this year that he partially adopted Major in order to keep Champ occupied and active.
The two puppies starred in advertising for Biden’s 2020 bid for president. Less than a week after entering office, Biden reinstated the presidential custom of bringing dogs to the White House by moving Champ and Major.
“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.”