Champ joined the Biden family as a little pup and would remind the President of the words his late father would tell him.
For over a decade, the Biden family enjoyed the company of their trusty companion, who was fittingly named Champ by the president's granddaughters. Unfortunately, on June 19, the first couple had to make the painful announcement of Champ's death after the beloved German Shepherd passed away at the age of 13. "Our hearts are heavy today as we let you all know that our beloved German Shepherd, Champ, passed away peacefully at home," said a statement put out by the President and the first lady.
Champ was only a little puppy when the Bidens brought him home from a breeder in Pennsylvania. And over the years, the four-legged friend would remind the president of the words his late father would tell him. "Any time you get knocked down, champ, get up!" Biden's father would tell him, according to HollywoodLife. As the first couple lovingly spoke about Champ, they said in their statement: "He was our constant, cherished companion during the last 13 years and was adored by the entire Biden family."
In the days that led up to Champ's death, the Biden family noted how Champ grew weaker but still loved greeting them with a wagging tail. "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," the statement said. "Wherever we were, he wanted to be, and everything was instantly better when he was next to us."
Over the years, Champ grew accustomed to life in Washington and was right by Biden's side when he became the country's vice-president during Obama's tenure. Years later, the loving companion joined the family in Washington once again when the first couple moved to the White House in 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 went on to say. "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."
When Champ moved into the White House with the Bidens in 2021, he was also joined by the couple's other German Sheperd, a three-year-old pup named Major. In 2018, Major was adopted, and he went on to become the first pet in the White House to directly be rescued from a shelter.
Both Champ and Major were photographed keeping the president company as he sat in the Oval Office of the White House. While paying tribute to Champ's memory, the Bidens said in their statement, "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."
Cover image source: (L) The White House/Flickr | Photo by Adam Schultz and (R) Joe Biden/Instagram