Joe Biden 'embarrassing' for 'forgetting words' says host
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The US President and First Lady confirmed their German Shepherd died “peacefully at home” and described Champ as a “constant, cherished companion” throughout the past 13 years. Mr Biden and Dr Jill added their four-legged friend had been by their side throughout the “most joyful moments and in our most grief-stricken days” and insisted the family “will miss him always”.
Champ was one of two German Shepherds living at the White House with the US President and First Lady.
He lived alongside Major, who the Biden family adopted in November 2018 and became the first rescue dog to live in the White House.
Champ lived with the family when Mr Biden served as vice president under Barack Obama, and spent his days, “chasing golf balls on the front lawn of the Naval Observatory”.
Champ became an integral part of the White House and was described by the Bidens as a “comforting presence in meetings” and would often be found “sunny himself” on the famous lawn.
In a statement, the US President and First Lady said: “Our hearts are heavy as we let you all know that our beloved German shepherd, Champ, passed away peacefully at home.
“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.
“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.”
Mr Biden, 78, entered the White House in January and the arrival of his two dogs brought an end to four years with no pets inside the official president’s residence.
His predecessor Donald Trump became the first occupant since Andrew Johnson in the 1860s not to share the White House with a dog or a cat.
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Major, who is three years old, is now the only dog inside the White House and has already caused controversy during his five-month stay.
In March, Major bit someone while out on a walk and they required some minor medical assistance.
At the time, Mrs Biden’s spokeswoman said Major was “still adjusting to his new surroundings”.
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