With all the controversy about outgoing US President Donald Trump and the never-ending US election, a most important positive has been overlooked in all the swirling negative – the White House is about to have its first residential – and Presidential – pooches in four years.
Yes, President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill are the proud owners of two gorgeous dogs – Champ and Major, both German shepherds.
Champ, at 12, is the senior of the two while Major is regarded as the puppy of the family. And they may be about to become the most famous dogs in politics with the imminent publication of a new children’s book, titled Champ and Major: First Dogs, which will be published in the US on January 19.
The book tells a story about how the dogs celebrate the victory of Joe Biden on election night. Of course, that’s all a bit of fiction, author Joy McCollough told The Washington Post yesterday. “The dogs are lucky not to understand” all the uproar around the election, she says.
“I sort of looked at champ as the older and wiser, and Major as the puppy was just excited and off on a new adventure.
“We see Champ showing Major the ropes on how to be a dog to their dad, which is a very important job.”
And Champ, as it turns out, has plenty of experience. He became part of the Biden clan 12 years ago when President Joe was the Vice President. During a school visit, a student asked him if he’d ever petted a dog. His reply has dog lover all over it.
“Have I ever petted a dog? Oh yeah! And guess what? I got one that lives with me. The smartest coolest dog in the world. His name is Champ, and he’s a German shepherd and he is the neatest dog.”
Now, it’s worth pointing out that the man Joe Biden is replacing doesn’t have a dog. In fact, he’s the first US President since James Polk in the 1840s who hasn’t owned a pet. I guess history will draw its own conclusions about that.
It seems that Joe Biden has always been pooch fanatic. “I’ve had a big dog in my life since I was a kid – big German shepherds, and Great Danes and labs and golden retrievers,” he once told reporters.
Champ joined the Biden’s after wife Jill told Joe he could get himself a new dog if he and Barack Obama won office. Major is a rescue dog, who came from the Delaware Humane Society. In fact, he is the first rescue dog to take up residence in the White House.
And there are those who think that pets and politicians are important partners. “I think they remind us that presidents are people who need family, loved ones and downtime,” author Joy McCollough told the Washington Post.
“Caring for animals who rely on us completely shows a capacity for compassion, which I think is really important in a leader, especially one who has as much power as the president of the United States.”
Oh, and by the way, with all the talk about the need for national unity – the Bidens are thinking about adding a cat to the family. Watch this space.