President Biden’s Canine Champ Dies At Age 13 : NPR

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President Biden petted the Biden family dog, Champ, in the Oval Office in February. On Saturday, Joe and Jill Biden announced that Champ had died. Adam Schultz / White House hide caption

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Adam Schultz / White House

President Biden petted the Biden family dog, Champ, in the Oval Office in February. On Saturday, Joe and Jill Biden announced that Champ had died.

Adam Schultz / White House

Champ Biden, one of two German Shepherds owned by President Biden and his family, has died, President and First Lady Jill Biden announced late Saturday morning. He was 13 years old.

“Our hearts are heavy today,” Biden and First Lady Jill Biden wrote in a statement, adding that the dog died in their home.

The Bidens were at their Delaware home.

“Even when Champ’s strength waned in his last few months when we walked into a room, he immediately pulled himself up, always wagging his tail and caressing us after scratching our ears or rubbing our belly,” the statement said. “Wherever we were, he wanted to be, and everything was immediately better when he was next to us.”

Champ Biden oversees then Vice President Joe Biden speaking at the Naval Observatory in 2012. Win McNamee / Getty Images Hide caption

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Win McNamee / Getty Images

Champ Biden oversees then Vice President Joe Biden speaking at the Naval Observatory in 2012.

Win McNamee / Getty Images

Champ was a puppy during Biden’s tenure as Vice President under the Obama administration. The same statement recalled the dog’s love of hunting golf balls at the Naval Observatory and spending time with the Biden grandchildren.

The Bidens adopted their second dog, Major, in 2018 when he was 3 years old. Compared to Champ, Major reportedly found it harder to adjust to life at the White House, where he was implicated in two incidents.

First dogs return to the White House after Major Biden causes minor injuries

“You turn a corner and there are two people you don’t know at all,” Biden told ABC’s Good Morning America after the first incident. “And he moves to protect. But he’s a cute dog. 85 percent of the people there love him.

Jill Biden also defended Major after the second incident. “He’s such a cute, lovable dog, he really is,” she told NBC’s Today. Major has since received additional training.

Obamas mourn the

Major and Champ were repeatedly photographed as a couple. For Christmas, Jill Biden posted a video of the two dogs highlighting their different personalities: a stoic and subdued champ accompanied by an energetic and playful major.

Champ’s longstanding loyalty was also remembered in the Bidens’ declaration on Saturday.

“In our happiest moments and in our saddest days, he was with us, sensitive to each of our unspoken feelings and emotions,” the statement said. “We love our sweet, good boy and will always miss him.”