President-elect Joe Biden will carry on the tradition of having dogs in the White House when his two German shepherds, Champ and Major, move into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in January and join the pantheon of presidential pets.
They are the first dogs in the White House in four years. Major also earns the distinction of being the first rescue dog in the White House, NBC News reported. President Lyndon B. Johnson’s famous vagabond dog, Yuki, was found by his daughter Luci abandoned at a Texas gas station.
The Bidens fostered, then adopted, Major from the Delaware Humane Association two years ago. Major was from a litter that was surrendered to the shelter and not doing well. The Bidens' daughter Ashley convinced them to bring him home.
“Once we posted about them for your help, Joe Biden caught wind of them and reached out immediately,” the rescue group said on social media at the time. “The rest is history!”
The Bidens were happy to add to their pack.
“We are so happy to welcome Major to the Biden family, and we are grateful to the Delaware Humane Association for their work in finding forever homes for Major and countless other animals,” the Bidens said in a statement at the time, CNN reported.
Major joins Champ, who the Bidens got in 2008.
President Barack Obama promised his family that year they would get a dog whether he won or not., eventually getting Bo, a male Portugeuse water dog in 2009, and Sunny, a female version of the breed in 2013.
Biden also made a similar promise. To ensure he fulfilled it, Jill Biden would tape photos of dogs in his plane during the campaign, the Christian Science Monitor reported. They eventually got Champ as a three-month old puppy from a Pennsylvania breeder. His granddaughters named him. As vice president, Biden would hand out plush versions of the German shepherd to children.
Why German shepherds? Biden is familiar with the breed and its personality after having three previously.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris does not have a dog but has expressed support for canines in the past.