BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty; POTUS Twitter President Joe Biden and dog Champ
President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden are mourning the death of their dog, Champ.
On Saturday, the President shared a statement on social media announcing that their beloved German Shepard died on Saturday 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. He was our constant, cherished companion during the last 13 years and was adored by the entire Biden family,” they wrote 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,” the statement continued.
The Bidens went on to reflect on some of the happy moments their family shared with Champ.
“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 read. “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,” they added.
Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz President Joe Biden with dogs Champ and Major
Michelle Obama went on to share her condolences with the couple.
“Champ was such a good boy, and we know how much he meant to your family over the years,” wrote the former first lady. “Barack and I are sending all our love to you, @POTUS, and the entire Biden family.”
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Upon moving into the White House, the President and his wife brought along their two dogs, Champ and Major. It marked the first time in four years that a pet had lived there, and Major is the first rescue dog to live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Following a “biting incident” with White House security, Major was spotted back at the White House in March after undergoing additional training.
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In a previous interview with PEOPLE, Dr. Biden said that Champ and Major “don’t have any rules, they’re really good dogs.”
“We trained them from the beginning,” President Biden added in the joint interview, going on to describe each of their personalities.
“Champ is old, he’s 14 years old and he was extremely well-trained by the Canine Corps and he thinks he’s Secret Service,” Biden said, “But Major, who is a big, little dog, is about a year-and-a-half old and the only rule Jill has and he follows it: Do not get up on the furniture.”