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President Biden, First Lady mourn loss of First Dog Champ

The president’s ‘cherished companion’ was 13 years old at the time of his passing.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden received sad news Saturday when their beloved pet German Shepherd of 13 years died peacefully at home. Champ had been part of the Biden family since 2008.

“He was our constant, cherished companion during the last 13 years and was adored by the entire Biden family,” the president and first lady said in a joint 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.”

The statement shed some light on the dog’s life at the nation’s famous house, including his love for curling up in front of a fire at the end of the day, joining the president and first lady as a comforting presence in meetings, or sunning himself in the White House garden.

Back in his younger days, Champ also enjoyed chasing golf balls on the front lawn of the Naval Observatory or racing to catch the Biden grandchildren as they ran around back the yard in Delaware.

“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 family statement said. "We love our sweet, good boy and will miss him always.”

Champ is survived by the Biden's other four-legged family member, fellow German Shepherd Major.

He was adopted from the Delaware Humane Association in 2018 after the Biden family started fostering him. 

Major is the first rescue dog to ever live at the White House. A virtual "Indoguration" held earlier this year for Major raised $200,000 for the Delaware Humane Association.

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