The new first dogs

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Photo provided by CNN

President Joe Biden’s dogs, Champ and Major, are officially living in the White House.

Avery Blackman, Perspectives Editor

Throughout the last four years, the U.S. has endured a monumental tragedy: there were no dogs living in the mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Former President Donald Trump and his family did not have any pets during the four years they lived in the White House. Now that there is a new President in office, there will once again be furry friends to grace our nation’s capital with their presence.

Joe Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden have two German shepherds, named Champ and Major. Champ joined the Biden family in December of 2008, just a few weeks after Biden was elected Vice President. Champ is actually the nickname Biden’s father gave him as a child. Major, who is now the first shelter dog to live in the White House, was adopted in November of 2018. In fact, the shelter he was adopted from (Delaware Humane Association), held a virtual fundraiser which they called an “indoguration party” after Biden was elected President, to celebrate this major milestone. More than $200,000 was raised.

On Sunday, Jan. 24, the dogs officially joined their family and moved into the White House. According to CNN and First Lady Jill Biden’s press secretary Michael LaRosa, “The First Family wanted to get settled before bringing the dogs down to Washington from Delaware. Champ is enjoying his new dog bed by the fireplace, and Major loved running around on the South Lawn.” 

Both Champ and Major made their presence at the White House known almost immediately after they arrived, as they could be heard barking in the background of a press conference at the Oval Office. There is a possibility of another presidential pet as well, as the Bidens confirmed with CBS Sunday Morning that they are considering adopting a cat. Although there are no further updates on the matter of a new cat, White House press secretary Jen Psaki predicted that “The cat is going to dominate the internet whenever the cat is announced and wherever that cat is found,” in response to Twitter questions.

The long-lasting tradition of bringing pets into the White House started when Thomas Jefferson became President in 1801. During his presidency he took care of a mockingbird and multiple bear cubs. The most recent first pets were Obama’s two Portuguese water dogs, Bo and Sunny, both of whom quickly achieved national fame as their adorable shaggy faces captured the hearts of millions of Americans.