Jill Biden shares heartbreaking grief after death of ‘beloved’ dog Champ

Jill Biden has bid farewell to the White House’s dog Champ in a touching message

US First Lady Jill Biden (C) leaves St. Joseph on the Brandywine Catholic Church in Wilmington, Delaware, June 19, 2021. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
(Image credit: Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images))

Jill Biden has shared her grief over the death of the White House’s older dog, Champ, in a moving online message. 

President Biden and the First Lady took to social media yesterday to announce the loss of their ‘beloved’ German Shephard dog, who had been a core part of their family for the past 13 years. The devastating news comes just a few months after Dr. Jill Biden revealed she was ‘obsessed’ with getting her dogs settled in at the White House, their new home as of January 2021. 

“Our hearts are heavy today as we let you all know that our beloved German Shepherd, Champ, passed away peacefully at home,” the couple revealed in a joint message posted across their various online platforms. “He was our constant, cherished companion during the last 13 years and was adored by the entire Biden family.” 

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Champ, who joined the Biden clan as a puppy in December 2008, spent a great deal of his life in the political world of Washington DC. The adorable hound was purchased by President Biden from a breeder in Pennsylvania in celebration of Obama’s election to office, and quickly became a staple member of the family. 

The former US Vice President’s granddaughters christened him Champ, a nickname Joe’s father had given him in his youth. The choice of dog was also no accident. President Biden has always been a fan of German Shephards—one of the big dog breeds that make loveable pets—having had a few already as a child. 

Unfortunately, the German Shephard had been slowing down progressively in the lead-up to his death. Unlike Major Biden, the couple’s three-year-old rescue dog, Champ took little interest in playing on the South Lawn or running around the property’s plush interior after moving into his new home in January. 

Instead, 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.” Jill and Joe also acknowledged that, while Champ had “waned in his last months” he had continued to persevere through his fatigue. “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,” they added. 

Despite no longer being with us, the German Shepherd’s legacy will likely live on in homes around the nation. President Biden was known to gift toy versions of Champ to children during his vice presidency in the hope he could share his love for his furry friend with others. He was even occasionally pictured with the famous dog, who was trained by the Canine Corps, while working on presidential matters. 

President Biden had previously revealed that Champ believed he was “secret service” and subsequently had no difficulty adhering to discipline. He also never broke Jill Biden’s one rule the White House dogs had to follow, always outshining the naughtier Major when it came to behavior. 

His death has clearly left a gaping void within the family, all of whom depended on him during the darkest times of the past decade. 

“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,” the couple wrote. “We love our sweet, good boy and will miss him always.” 

Rest in peace, Champ. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.