Good boys! Champ and Major Biden arrived at the White house on Sunday, Jan. 24, days after President Joe Biden was inaugurated.
"Champ and Major have joined us in the White House!" said the official FLOTUS account. The two German shepherds mark the return of pets to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Donald Trump had no pets during his four-year, twice-impeached term as president.
“Champ is enjoying his new dog bed by the fireplace and Major loved running around on the South Lawn," Michael LaRosa, the first lady's spokesman, told USA Today.
Major is a former shelter dog that the Bidens adopted from the Delaware Humane Association, two years after initially fostering him, according to the Humane Rescue. Big dogs have a harder time finding forever homes compared to smaller dogs.
Two-year-old Major is the first shelter dog to live in the White House. As DOTUS (Dogs of the United States), Major and his brother Champ will have hoomans around them 24/7—to walk them, feed them and most importantly play with them (and boop their noses).
Twelve-year-old Champ has been with the family since he was a puppy and shortly before Biden was elected vice president to Barack Obama in 2008. Getting a German shepherd was a promise Jill Biden made to her husband once the campaign was over.
"I've had German shepherds since I was a kid and I've actually trained them and shown them in the past,” Biden said in an interview with ABC in 2008. It was Biden’s grandchildren who named the puppy “Champ,” when they were visiting at Christmas.
It’s also a nickname Biden’s own father used to call him. "Any time you get knocked down, champ — get up!" his father would tell him.
White House pets develop their own fan base and provide some levity in a town ruled by vicious politics—the Obamas’ Portuguese water dogs; the Bushes’ Scottish terriers (one of them, Barney, bit a reporter just days before George W. was set to leave office); the Clintons’ Labrador retriever Buddy and cat Sox; Bush Sr. and Barbara Bush’s English springer spaniels; and the Reagans’ King Charles spaniel and a huge Bouvier des Flandres.
During the 2020 presidential campaign, Dr. Jill Biden often tweeted about their dogs, saying she missed them. Over the Christmas holidays, the Bidens posted a funny video showing the polar temperaments of the German shepherds—a very laid-back Champ and a boisterous Major.
Very important breaking news: Champ and Major Biden have moved into the White House pic.twitter.com/LiBh8c1qZ9— Alli Hedges Maser (@AllisonLHedges) January 25, 2021