For the first time in four years, and in a move that restores a centuries-old tradition, the White House is set to gain a First Pet. Actually, two.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, whose victory in the 2020 U.S. Presidential election was announced on Saturday, and wife Jill Biden have two German Shepherds, Champ and Major. The latter is also set to become the first rescue dog to live at the White House.
After the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, Joe kept his promise to Jill to get a puppy if President Barack Obama won, gifting his wife with Champ, a three-month-old pooch purchased from a Pennsylvania breeder. Obama made the same promise to his daughters and fulfilled it, bringing home their first dog, Bo.
The Bidens’ granddaughters were the ones who named Champ. The name also has sentimental significance for the President-elect. In his 2008 Vice Presidential campaign speeches, he recalled how his father would tell him, “Any time you get knocked down, champ, get up!”
Joe later said his family planned on getting another dog, this time from a shelter. In November 2018, the Bidens adopted Major from the Delaware Humane Association.
“Today is Major’s lucky day!” read a post on the group’s Facebook page at the time. “Not only did Major find his forever home, but he got adopted by Vice President Joe Biden & Dr. Jill Biden! The Bidens have gotten to know Major while fostering him and are now ready to make the adoption official.”