Jun 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden family dog, Champ, has passed away

Picture of First dogs Major and Champ
Bidens' dogs Major (L) and Champ (R). Photo: MANDEL NGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden announced on Saturday that their oldest dog, Champ, has passed away.

The big picture: The Bidens got Champ as a puppy following the 2008 presidential elections, per the New York Times.

  • Champ's name has special significance for Biden. During some 2008 campaign speeches, Biden would recall how his father used to tell him: "Any time you get knocked down, champ, get up!," BBC reports.

What they're saying: "Our hearts are heavy today as we let you all know that our beloved German Shepherd, Champ, passed away peacefully at home.  He was our constant, cherished companion during the last 13 years and was adored by the entire Biden family," the Bidens said in a 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. Wherever we were, he wanted to be, and everything was instantly better when he was next to us," they added.
  • "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 have a second German Shepherd, Major, who they adopted in 2018.
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