The 78-year-old and his wife, First Lady
According to a White House spokesperson, Champ – who was purchased from a breeder in Pennsylvania in 2008 while Biden was serving as Vice President – has been spending most of his time in his bed in front of the fire, while Major – the first-ever rescue dog to live at the presidential residence – has been doing laps around the South Lawn.
Home sweet home: Joe and Jill Biden’s dogs officially took up residence in the White House on Sunday, with the first couple sharing images of their German Shepherds making 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue their own on Monday morning
It’s a dog’s life! President Biden and his wife purchased Champ (pictured with the First Lady) from a Pennsylvania breeder in 2008, shortly after Barack Obama won the election
First dogs Champ and Major are reviving a tradition that goes back to George Washington – the first President to have a dog – after four years of a dog-free White House under the leadership of former President Donald Trump, who was the first US leader in decades not to have a canine companion.
Champ, who was named by Biden’s granddaughters, has already enjoyed eight years of D.C. life, having lived with Joe and Jill at the vice presidential residence at the U.S. Naval Observatory during Obama’s presidency.
However, Major was rescued by the family from the Humane Society in Delaware in 2018, and this will be his first time living in the nation’s capital.
The adopted German Shepherd is making history, just like his owner, as the first-ever rescue dog to take up residence in the White House, less than three years after the Bidens fostered him from the Delaware Humane Association.
According to the DHA, Major was ‘from a litter of German Shepherd pups that were surrendered and not doing well at all’, with the organization celebrating the news of Major’s adoption in a Facebook post: ‘Not only did Major find his forever home, but he got adopted by Vice President Joe Biden & Dr. Jill Biden!
‘The Bidens have gotten to know Major while fostering him and are now ready to make the adoption official. Best of luck and thank you for being one of our Friends for life!’
Strutting their stuff: Official White House photos showed Jill strolling into the White House with Champ by her side
Super star: Adopted pup Major is making history as the first rescue dog to live in the White House, less than three years after the Bidens fostered him from the Delaware Humane Association
During Biden’s presidential campaign, Champ and Major skyrocketed to social media stardom, thanks to Joe and Jill’s regular posts about their beloved pups.
Throughout his presidential campaign, Joe regularly shared images and videos of his dogs, including a clip of Major licking his face, which was posted in October alongside the caption: ‘No ruff days on the trail when I have some Major motivation.’
On Christmas Eve, President Biden shared a sweet festive video featuring Champ and Major celebrating the holiday season, with the former resting quietly under the tree, while the latter ran riot around the house.
‘No matter how you celebrate, Merry Christmas,’ the caption read.
The dogs also played a small role in his official campaign; during the presidential race, the 78-year-old urged his supporters to help him ‘bring dogs back to the White House’, while sharing an image of himself posing with Champ.
Champ and Major Biden have now had their first official photo shoot with White House photographer Adam Schultz, who captured the dogs running around the South Lawn with Jill, 69, who is seen crouching down to cuddle Champ in one image, while another shows Major gleefully running around on the grass.
Promises: Biden brought his dogs into his official campaign when he urged supporters to help him ‘bring dogs back to the White House’ in a tweet posted days before the election
Family: Champ and Major have been regular features on the social media accounts of Joe (seen right adopting Major from the DHA) and Jill (who is pictured left cuddling the dogs at home)
A third photo shows Jill walking inside with two aides behind her – and faithful Champ close by her side.
The dogs’ arrival at the White House marks the return of an unofficial presidential tradition, and comes four years after the historic building was last home to a first family pup: Barack and Michelle Obama’s pets, Portuguese water dogs Bo and Sunny.
His predecessor George W. Bush had a Scottish terrier, called Barney, and Bill Clinton had a chocolate Labrador retriever named Buddy.
The Bidens are also understood to be planning an expansion of their fluffy brood with the addition of a cat in the near future.
CBS Sunday Morning reported in late November that the first couple were hoping to find a feline pal for their two dogs, although they are not yet thought to have located the perfect pet just yet.
New friend? In late November, the first couple (pictured with Champ) revealed that they are also planning to get a cat
Fluffy friends: Joe and Jill are joining a long line of first families who have had pets in the House, from the Obamas who had two dogs, Sunny and Bo (left), to the Bushes, who had a Scottish terrier, called Barney, and a cat, India ‘Willie’ Bush (right)
‘President-elect @JoeBiden and his wife @DrBiden won’t just be bringing their German Shepherds, Major and Champ to the White House. The Bidens tell us exclusively that soon they’ll be joined by a cat. #sundaypets,’ the news show posted on Twitter.
On Sunday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked by a Twitter follower for ‘first feline updates’, and she revealed in a Q&A
‘I’m also wondering about the cat because the cat is going to dominate the internet whenever the cat is announced and wherever that cat is found,’ she said.
Although cats are not quite as popular a presidential pet as dogs, Joe and Jill will by no means be the only first couple to be joined by a feline in the White House.
Abraham Lincoln’s cat Tabby was the first cat to live at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, while Gerald Ford also had a cat named Shan, although it technically belonged to his daughter.
Then Jimmy Carter had Misty Malarky Ying Yang, Bill Clinton had Socks, and George W. Bush had India ‘Willie’ Bush.
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