WASHINGTON (AP) – The patter of paws is being heard in the White House again following the arrival of President Joe Biden’s dogs Champ and Major. The two German shepherds are the first pets to live at the executive mansion since the Obama administration.
Major burst onto the national scene late last year after Biden, then president-elect, broke his right foot while playing with the dog at their home in Wilmington, Delaware.
The Bidens adopted Major in 2018 from the Delaware Humane Association. Champ joined the family after the 2008 presidential election that made Joe Biden vice president.
The dogs moved into the White House on Sunday, following Biden’s inauguration last week.
“The first family wanted to get settled before bringing the dogs down to Washington from Delaware,” said Michael LaRosa, spokesperson for First Lady Jill Biden. “Champ is enjoying his new dog bed by the fireplace and Major loved running around on the South Lawn.”
The dogs were heard barking outside near the Oval Office on Monday.
Last week, the Delaware Humane Association cosponsored an “indoguration” virtual fundraiser to celebrate Major’s journey from shelter pup to first dog. More than USD200,000 was raised.
Major is the first shelter dog to ever live in the White House and “barking proof that every dog can live the American dream”, the association said.
The Bidens had promised to bring the dogs with them to the White House. They plan to add a cat, though no update on the feline’s arrival was shared on Monday.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki predicted, while on video answering questions from members of the public, that the cat will “dominate the Internet” when it arrives.
Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, a self-described germaphobe, does not own any pets and had none with him at the White House.
Just like they do for ordinary people, pets owned by the most powerful people in the world provide their owners with comfort, entertainment, occasional drama and generally good PR.