Champ, Joe and Jill Biden's 'beloved' German shepherd, has died after 13 years with the family. According to CNN, Champ passed away at the Biden home in Wilmington, Delaware, confirmed by the Bidens in a statement.
"Our hearts are heavy today as we let you all know that our beloved German Shepherd, Champ, passed away peacefully at home," the statement read. "He was our constant, cherished companion during the last 13 years and was adored by the entire Biden family."
RIP to our sweet, good boy, Champ. We will miss you always. pic.twitter.com/63hXXp8W9P— Jill Biden (@FLOTUS) June 19, 2021
"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 statement continued. "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."
Champ became part of the Biden clan during the transition after the 2008 election victory alongside President Barack Obama. At the time, Champ was a month old and was actually a prize for Joe Biden after winning the election. The name Champ was chosen by Biden's grandchildren and is a reference to Biden's father's nickname for his son.
Champ was joined by Major in November 2018, adopted from the Delaware Humane Association to provide a companion to the older Champ. Both dogs moved into the White House with the Bidens after the inauguration, reviving the tradition that had been dormant since Donald Trump took office.
Getting the dogs acquainted with the White House was a focus of the First Lady after they moved in, something that didn't work without some hiccups with Major. But generally, the dogs were well behaved but not without some work.
"They have to take the elevator, they're not used to that, and they have to go out on the South Lawn with lots of people watching them. So that's what I've been obsessed with, getting everybody settled and calm," Jill Biden told Kelly Clarkson. "They like to be wherever we are. Even if my door's closed, they're sitting right outside the door like, 'Let me in! Let me in!'"
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Major had to be removed from The White House temporarily after reportedly biting a Secret Service agent. Champ had been slowly fading in the past months, with the statement closing out referencing these final days.
"Even as Champ's strength waned in his last months, whenever 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 reads. "We love our sweet, good boy and will miss him always."