(NEXSTAR) – President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden announced the death of Champ, one of their German Shepherds, on Saturday.
The President and First Lady described Champ as “a constant, valued companion for the past 13 years” in a joint statement shared through the White House Briefing Room.
“Even though Champ’s strength wore off in his last few months when we walked into a room, he immediately pulled himself up, wagging his tail and caressing us after we scratched our ears or rubbed our stomach. Wherever we were, he wanted to be, and everything was immediately better when he was next to us, ”she said in part in her statement.
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Champ’s favorite hobbies, according to a statement on Saturday, were curling up in front of the fire and sunbathing in the White House garden. In his earlier years he often hunted golf balls and played with the Bidens’ grandchildren.
“In our happiest moments and in our saddest days he was with us, sensitive to each of our unspoken feelings and emotions. We love our sweet, good boy and will always miss him, ”the statement concluded.
Champ originally joined the Biden family in 2008. He was one of two German Shepherd Dogs to move into the White House in 2021, along with Major, a rescue dog adopted by the Bidens in 2018.
The dogs of President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, Champ, right, and Major are photographed on the White House grounds March 31, 2021. (Almond Ngan / Pool via AP)
Both dogs were temporarily relocated from the White House in March after Major bit an intelligence agent. They returned weeks later, whereupon Major was involved in another biting incident. At the time, a press secretary for Jill Biden blamed Major for the incidents, who “is still adapting to his new environment,” the Associated Press previously reported.
Jill Biden had also previously said that the family would welcome a cat, although it was unclear when the first cat would first appear.
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German Shepherds have a life expectancy between 12 and 14 years, according to the American Kennel Club.