Joe Biden’s beloved pet dog Champ has died, with the president paying tribute to the companion who supported his family ‘in our most joyful moments and in our most grief-stricken days’.
The German Shepherd passed away peacefully aged 13 at his home of the White House, the Bidens confirmed Saturday.
The president tweeted that he will ‘miss’ the dog who had been with the family ever since he was elected vice president in 2008.
‘Our family lost our loving companion Champ today. I will miss him,’ he wrote.
First Lady Jill Biden also paid tribute to the pooch, tweeting: ‘RIP to our sweet, good boy, Champ. We will miss you always.’
Joe Biden’s beloved pet dog Champ has died, with the president paying tribute to the companion who supported his family ‘in our most joyful moments and in our most grief-stricken days’. Biden and Champ pictured together
Joe Biden in the Oval Office with dogs Champ and Major. German Shepherd Champ (left) passed away peacefully aged 13 at his home of the White House
Jill Biden and Champ pictured together in 2012 at the Naval Observatory in Washington DC
In a heartbreaking statement, the Bidens remembered their ‘cherished companion’ who was ‘adored’ by the entire family.
‘Our hearts are heavy as we let you all know that our beloved German Shepherd, Champ, passed away peacefully at home,’ the statement read.
‘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.
‘Wherever we were, he wanted to be, and everything was instantly better when he was next to us.’
The Bidens recalled special moments with Champ including him ‘sunning himself’ in the grounds of the White House and his younger days ‘chasing golf balls’ and playing with their grandchildren.
‘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 read.
‘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 president tweeted that he will ‘miss’ the dog who had been with the family ever since he was elected vice president in 2008
First Lady Jill Biden confirmed Saturday Champ’s passing, tweeting: ‘RIP to our sweet, good boy, Champ. We will miss you always’
The Bidens released a statement paying tribute to Champ, and sharing a photo of the pooch
The Bidens recalled special moments with Champ (pictured) including him ‘sunning himself’ in the grounds of the White House and his younger days ‘chasing golf balls’ and playing with their grandchildren
Champ moved to the White House with the Bidens and their other dog Major in January when the president took office, and the two pooches have often been seen by the president’s side in the Oval Office.
The Bidens got Champ as a puppy in 2008 after Joe was elected Barack Obama’s Vice President.
Champ’s name was chosen by Biden’s grandchildren, in a heart-warming family reference to one of their grandfather’s popular speeches.
‘Any time you get knocked down, champ, get up!’ Biden recalled his father used to say.
The name stuck and Champ soon became accustomed to life in Washington DC.
Jill Biden with Major (left) and Champ (right) as they campaigned for Joe in the White House race
Jill and Champ in January. The Bidens got Champ in 2008 when Joe Biden became vice president
The Bidens dogs Champ (right) and Major (left) are seen with an aide on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, on March 31
Biden strokes Champ (right) who lies on the grass of the Rose Garden with Major in February
When Obama left office, Champ moved with the family back to their home in Delaware.
This time around in DC, Champ was joined by Major – the couple’s three-year-old German Shepherd pup and the first rescue dog to ever live in the White House.
Major has had a trickier time settling into life at the White House and was briefly sent away for additional training after he bit two government employees.
The two dogs have become social media stars in recent months, with their own Instagram account @first_dogs_usa and Twitter account @TheOvalPawffice chronicling their escapades.
On Friday, @first_dogs_usa posted a photo of Biden and Champ together.
On Friday, @first_dogs_usa posted a photo of President Joe Biden and Champ together
Tributes started pouring in for Champ and the Bidens on social media Saturday including from Congressman Tim Ryan
It read: ‘We are both so happy that our parents are back home. Champ is enjoying their return so furry much! He has a special bond with our dad @POTUS, they’ve been best friends for over a decade. I’m so happy to see Champ happy.
‘Awoooof! PS: they brought us nom noms from Europe.’
Tributes started pouring in for Champ and the Bidens on social media Saturday.
Congressman Tim Ryan tweeted: ‘So sad to hear the news. Every family with pets knows the heartache this can bring.
‘Thinking of @POTUS and @FLOTUS today as they mourn the loss of their best friend.’
Major will have a new companion soon, however, as Jill announced in April their female cat is ‘waiting in the wings’ to join the White House menagerie.
Champ’s death comes just one month after the Obamas bid a sad farewell to their family pet Bo. Obama and Bo in the Rose Garden of the White House in 2010
The Portuguese Water Dog (right) joined the Obamas for the official family portrait in the Rose Garden of the White House in April 2015
Champ’s death comes just one month after the Obamas bid a sad farewell to their family pet Bo.
The Portuguese Water Dog, a gift from the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, died from cancer in May.
The dog was adopted by the First Family early in 2009 and joined them for both terms in the White House.
Bo helped Obama keep a promise to daughters Malia and Sasha that they could get a dog after winning the election in 2008.