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US President Joe Biden and First Family bids adieu to ‘Champ’ — the beloved German Shepherd

The US President Joe Biden with his pet German Shepherd Champ; who passed away on June 19

The United States’ First Family, were in a state of grief since Saturday  after they lost their beloved dog – Champ, a German Shepherd.

Champ had been a part of the family since 2008, witnessing first hand his master's transition from Vice President to President.  He passed away at the Biden family home in Wilmington, Delaware.

Last few months, the health of this pet had declined and this was attributed to his growing age.

There was an outpouring of condolences on social media for the Biden family on losing their pet. Many recalled their association with Champ, while other pet parents shared the grief of the Bidens.

In a statement issued to the media, President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden said: "Our hearts are heavy today 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."

Sharing details about Champ, the First Couple also added: "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."

The pet canine joined the Biden household in December 2008, weeks after when the now President had become the Vice-President elect along with Barack Obama heading the country. Describing his association with them, the Biden’s said Champ had been with them during their "most joyful moments" and "most grief-stricken days."

The German Shepherd was a month old when Biden picked him out of a litter from a Spring City (Pennsylvania) based breeder. Interestingly, the choosing of Champ was in accordance to a promise the First Lady had made. She had said that her husband could get a dog if he and Barack Obama won the presidential election.

It was Bidens’ grandchildren who helped out in naming the new puppy Champ. Biden has had a long association with this particular breed as he had said in an interview.  "I've had German Shepherds since I was a kid."

The family has another German Shepherd named Major. This three-year-old pup was adopted in November 2018 from the Delaware Humane Association. While adopting Major, Biden had informed the media that he was chosen to be a companion for Champ in order to keep the older dog busy and active.

Both the pet dogs have featured in Biden's 2020 campaign ads for President.