President-elect Joe Biden marks another history as his dog, Major, becomes the first rescue dog residing in the White House. The former Vice President and wife, Jill, will bring some “paw-licy advisors” with their German shepherd dogs, Major and Champ.
This incident will also revive a tradition from George Washington, the first U.S. President to have a dog, as the White House was pet-free for four years. Last week, the President-elect posted on his Instagram account, stating his desire to put dogs back in the White House.
“These dogs are here for some paw-sitive encouragement as we get closer to election day. Let’s bring dogs back to the White House.”Joe Biden Instagram Post
One of the dogs, Champ, was a gift from Joe to Jill when he became the U.S. Vice President in 2008. Champ also appeared in one of Biden’s campaign videos, urging people to vote.
Meanwhile, Biden received some backlash for purchasing Champ from a Pennsylvania breeder instead of rescuing a dog. Thus, the family decided to adopt Major in 2018 after their daughter, Ashley, sent Major’s photo to her father, coming from the Delaware Humane Association.
Although Major will be the first shelter dog in the White House, technically, the title of being the first rescue dog belongs to Yuki, a stray mutt President Lyndon Johnson adopted during his presidency after his daughter found the mutt. Starting with Washington, 30 out of 45 presidents have had dogs, making Biden the 31st.
In 2012, Champ always stood during Biden’s speeches at the vice president’s residence. As the family returns to Washington in January, Champ will have to show his younger brother, Major, the White House.
On Saturday, Biden became the President-elect of the United States after his victory in Pennsylvania’s battleground state that took him past the electoral college threshold of 270 votes. Biden, the Democratic presidential candidate, defeated President Donald Trump in a close-run election and will become the 46th U.S. president.
Meanwhile, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris does not have a dog but is on record as being pro-canine. Harris became the first female vice president and the first black and Asian-American Vice President.