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Older of 2 'First Dogs' Has Died

Bidens' German shepherd Champ was 13
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 20, 2021 5:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Biden announced Saturday that Champ, the older of the family’s two dogs, had died “peacefully at home.” The German shepherd was 13, per the AP. “He was our constant, cherished companion during the last 13 years and was adored by the entire Biden family,” Biden and first lady Jill Biden said in a statement posted to the president’s official Twitter account. The Bidens are spending the weekend at their home in Wilmington, Delaware. The Bidens got Champ from a breeder after Biden was elected vice president in 2008. Champ was a fixture at both the vice president’s residence at the Naval Observatory and now the White House. “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,” the Bidens said.

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Champ's passing leaves the Bidens with their younger German shepherd, Major, whom the family adopted from the Delaware Humane Society in 2018. The Bidens could occasionally be seen walking their two dogs on the White House South Lawn, and the dogs sometimes would join the president on trips to Camp David or visits home in Delaware. Major has drawn headlines for his behavior in the past. Major and Champ were brought home to Delaware at one point, and Major went through training after the younger dog had two separate biting incidents at the White House. Champ, who showed his age in recent months in his graying fur and slower gait, was often a more tranquil presence. The Bidens are expected to bring a cat to the White House to join the family sometime soon.

(Read more President Biden stories.)

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