US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden have announced the passing of their “beloved” German Shepherd Champ, who had been with them for 13 years.
“Our family lost our loving companion Champ today. I will miss him,” President Biden wrote on Twitter.
Champ was one of two German Shepherds living at the White House with the Bidens, alongside Major.
He had also lived in Washington when Mr Biden was vice-president.
“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. We love our sweet, good boy and will miss him always,” the Bidens said in a statement.
“Even as Champ’s strength waned in his last months, 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. Wherever we were, he wanted to be, an everything was instantly better when he was next to us,” they said.
In his younger days, when Joe Biden was vice-president, Champ 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 Bidens said.
The arrival of Champ and Major, a three-year old rescue dog the Bidens adopted in 2018, marked the return of pets to the White House after a hiatus under former President Donald Trump.
Major was in the news in March for reportedly twice biting people in the White House.