One of President Joe Biden’s two dogs in the White House has died, the president and first lady have said in a statement on Saturday.
Champ, a German shepherd and the first rescue dog to live in the White House, “passed away peacefully” at home after 13 years with the Biden family.
“He was our constant, cherished companion during the last 13 years and was adored by the entire Biden family,” Mr and Mrs Biden said in a 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.
“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.
“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.
“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 family, who have had Champ since 2008, was joined by another German shepherd, Major, in 2018.
In March, Major, a three-year-old rescue dog, was involved in two biting incidents at the White House.
He “nipped someone while on a walk” and bit a member of the security staff in two separate incidents.
Major has received training to help him get used to life at the 18-acre White House complex, where the dogs are surrounded by staff and security officers.
This is the second presidential dog who has died this year, after former president Barack Obama lost his dog, Bo, to cancer in March 2021.
The Portuguese water dog was given to the Obamas by the late senator Edward M Kennedy after Mr Obama won the 2008 presidential campaign.