Champ, the German shepherd who was the faithful companion to President Joe Biden and his wife Jill, has passed away at age 13 according to an announcement from the White House.
The first dog “passed away peacefully at home,” the president and first lady revealed in a statement this morning.
“He was our constant, cherished companion during the last 13 years and was adored by the entire Biden family,” the statement said.
“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,” the Bidens added.
According to the president and first lady, Champ “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.”
They also noted that “in his younger days,” he would love to chase golf balls on the front lawn of the Washington, D.C. Naval Observatory, where the Bidens lived when Biden was vice president during the Obama administration.
“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 bid their beloved companion goodbye in their statement
Both the president and the first lady shared the official statement in their own posts on Twitter.
Our family lost our loving companion Champ today. I will miss him. pic.twitter.com/sePqXBIAsE
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 19, 2021
RIP to our sweet, good boy, Champ. We will miss you always. pic.twitter.com/63hXXp8W9P
— Jill Biden (@FLOTUS) June 19, 2021
The Bidens reportedly adopted Champ after the 2008 election when Jill Biden told her husband that if he and Barack Obama won the election, he could get a dog. She allegedly taped photos of puppies to the headrest in front of him on the campaign plane in order to keep him motivated while on the campaign trail.
After the Democratic victory that year, Champ soon joined the Biden household as a puppy.
The announcement of Champs’ passing led to an outpouring of condolences on social media for the president and his family and reminded the public of the stark differences between the comfortable domestic environment of the Biden White House that welcomed animal companions like Champ and Major, his surviving member of the Biden canine family, and the pet-free confines of the former occupant’s tenure.
What a great photo. ❤️
— PATTIE (@PattiePmrg13) June 19, 2021
My deepest condolences to Pres and Mrs Biden I know the pain you are feeling I am so sorry on the loss of the much loved Champ
— Deb L (@ALANFAN44) June 19, 2021
How is Major handling it?
— John Sankowski (@Trucker113) June 19, 2021
I’ve loved many men in my life, but only one dog. Irreplaceable!
— Susan Obrant (@ObrantSusan) June 19, 2021
We need to put it in a contract that dogs outlive us.
— Jules (@IAmJulesWard) June 19, 2021
— Charles Selender (@cselender) June 19, 2021
Our family is very sorry for your loss. We know how hard it is to lose a beloved companion. And Champ was, as his name stated, a great dog who many of us saw as emblematic of the change in tone between the previous WH occupants & The Bidens. Thank you for this lovely tribute.
— Victoria Brownworth (@VABVOX) June 19, 2021
It pulls your heart strings .. One can never ever forget their dog ..
— Nanduri shanti (@shanti_nanduri) June 19, 2021
Hopefully, President Biden and the first lady will overcome their sorrow over the loss of Champ in due time despite the difficulty people normally have in dealing with the loss of a close companion and loyal friend.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.