According to the White House, the 13-year-old German Shepherd “passed away peacefully at home”
“Our family lost our loving companion Champ today,” Joe Biden wrote. “I will miss him.”
According to the statement released by both Joe and Jill Biden, Champ is described as the family’s “constant, cherished companion during the last 13 years” and that he was “adored by the entire Biden family.”
“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 said.
“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 continued.
Champ, who was adopted by the Bidens in 2008, was one of two German Shepherds living at the White House. The Bidens adopted Major in 2018, becoming the first rescue dog to live in the White House. And when Joe was elected President, Champ and Major became the first pets to occupy the White House after a four-year hiatus under former President Donald Trump.
According to NBC News, the President drew inspiration for Champ’s name from his father, who once said, “Any time you get knocked down, champ — get up!”
According to Reuters, Champ lived with the Bidens when Joe served as Vice President and; according to the newly released statement, Champ spent his days “chasing golf balls on the front lawn of the Naval Observatory.”
“In his younger days, he was happiest chasing golf balls on the front lawn of the Naval Observatory or racing to catch our grandchildren as they ran around our backyard in Delaware,” the statement reads.
“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 statement said. “We love our sweet, good boy and will miss him always.”
RIP, Champ. You’ll be missed by many.