Tuesday, November 24, 2020

From animal pound to White House, it’s a dog’s life

The Bidens are a doggy family and the presidential tradition is about to be resumed.

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President-elect Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, are preparing to move into the White House in January, and their dogs, Major and Champ, will join them.

The big German Shepherds will be the first dogs to live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue since Bo and Sunny, Barack Obama’s Portuguese water dogs.

Major will have the distinction of being the first ever rescue dog to live at the White House. The Bidens adopted him from the Delaware Humane Association in 2018.

The Trump White House never had a dog. He was the first president not to have a pet while in office. In 2019 he said, “I wouldn’t mind having one, honestly, but I don’t have any time, and how would I look walking a dog on the White House lawn?”

The Bidens are dog lovers and presidential tradition is about to be resumed when their two German shepherds move in and begin ball chasing and Oval Office guarding duties.

Major’s big “brother” is Champ, who has been part of the Biden family since 2008.

He lived with them in Washington DC at the official vice-presidential residence at 1 Observatory Circle, during Barack Obama’s administration, and was very much at home there. “Champ has a built-in family here 24 hours a day with all the staff and security guards that keep little dog biscuits on hand for him,” Jill said at the time.

The president-elect is a great admirer of dogs. “Dogs remind you to live in the present,” he has said. “They love you unconditionally and they savour every moment with you. When I’m with Champ and Major, I get to live in the ‘now’ for a moment with them, and enjoy the simple act of throwing a ball around or taking a walk.”

Unlike the current White House occupants, the Bidens probably won’t be remotely embarrassed by taking the dogs for walkies on the White House lawn.

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