"Everything was instantly better when he was next to us."
First Lady Jill Biden shared some sad news, and it means there’s one less member of the Biden family in the White House. On Saturday, June 19, Biden shared that Champ, the Biden’s German Shepherd pup, passed away. To pay her respects, Jill Biden posted to Instagram about Champ’s death, with a tribute detailing how much the dog meant to her and President of the United States Joe Biden.
It’s never a good day when you lose a family pet, and Biden shared some sentiments about Champ that’ll make you so emotional. “Our hearts are heavy today as we let you all know that our beloved German Shepherd, Champ, passed away peacefully at home,” she wrote alongside a photo of the White House dog. “He was our constant, cherished companion during the last 13 years and 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,” she recalled.
Biden continued to sing his praises, remarking on Champ’s unyielding loyalty. “Wherever we were, he wanted to be, and everything was instantly better when he was next to us. 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,” she said.
According to the American Kennel Club, German Shepherds have an average lifespan of about 12 to 14 years, and Champ was within that range. After talking about his final days, the First Lady reflected on what Champ was like when he was young. “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,” wrote Biden.
She concluded the sweet tribute to their pal, writing, “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. We love our sweet, good boy and will miss him always.”
The public has seen a few adorable moments of the Bidens with their two dogs, the late Champ and his friend Major, a three-year-old German Shepherd adopted by the Bidens in 2018. In February, the Bidens showed off the Valentine’s Day decorations on the White House lawn while Champ and Major ran around. The video also featured the president talking about Champ’s advanced age. In the clip, Joe said, "Champ’s an old one; he’s almost 14 years old. I had him here when I became vice president ... Major is a rescue dog." Then, he revealed that they adopted Major specifically for Champ. "We asked the vet about Champ, ‘What can we do to keep him going?' He said, 'Get him a young dog,'" he said.
Fans also got to see photos of the dogs moving into the White House on Jan. 24.
A lot of people are paying their respects for Champ on Twitter, sharing their love for the late dog:
It’s so sad to see the good boy go and even harder for the Bidens to lose a furry family member. RIP, Champ.