President Biden announced Saturday the death of Champ, his family’s pet German shepherd of more than a dozen years.
“Our family lost our loving companion Champ today. I will miss him,” Mr. Biden said on Twitter.
Champ “passed away peacefully at home,” the president and first lady Jill Biden said in a statement the president shared on social media.
“He was our constant, cherished companion during the last 13 years and was adored by the entire Biden family,” they said in the statement.
“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 said.
Champ was just six weeks old when the Bidens acquired him in December 2008. Mr. Biden was sworn in as vice president the following month.
“Wherever we 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,” the Biden said in the statement.
“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. 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. We love our sweet, good boy and will miss him always,” the Bidens said.
Champ was purchased in 2008 from a breeder in Pennsylvania. A decade later, that breeder had dozens of her dogs seized and subsequently pleaded guilty to several counts of animal cruelty.
The Bidens have another German shepherd, Major, they rescued from a shelter in 2018.