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First Dogs Champ and Major Biden Have Moved Into the White House!

Some good boys are back on Pennsylvania Avenue


WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 10: Vice President Joe Biden's dog, Champ, stands during speechs during a Joining Forces service event at the Vice President's residence at the Naval Observatory May 10, 2012 in Washington, DC. U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and Biden joined with Congressional spouses to assemble Mother's Day packages that deployed troops have requested to be sent to their mothers and wives at home. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The transition to a better, brighter era in the White House is now complete. After their humans unpacked and settled in (their dad had a lot of work to do too), Champ and Major Biden have moved into their new digs at the White House. After four long, petless years, we have two good boys back in residence alongside President Joe Biden, and it feels very good. If we had a tail, it would be wagging.

Before Donald Trump moved into the white house, every president for 120 years prior had brought a presidential pet or two with them to liven up the residence. While Trump had many human lapdogs such as Rudy Giuliani (who was not housebroken) and Stephen Miller (technically a reptile), he had no actual pets. Now with the Bidens, we have doggos back in residence.

Champ and Major are taking their place in the long and storied history of White House pets. Did you know that Benjamin Harrison briefly kept two alligators in the White House? He also had two opossums, named Mr. Reciprocity and Mr. Protection. Weirdly, those are not the only presidential opossums. Herbert Hoover also had one, by the name of Billy Possum, who occupied a treehouse on the grounds—which was originally built for Calvin Coolidge’s raccoons. And that’s not the weirdest Coolidge pet either. That honor would probably go to Billy, a pygmy hippopotamus who eventually went on to live at the National Zoo.

While Champ and Major are not the first German Shepherds in the White House (Hoover and Kennedy both owned the breed), Major is making history as the first rescue dog to live in the White House. Major was fostered and adopted through the Delaware Humane Association.

So, how are the dogs doing? According to a White House press release, via CNN, “Champ is enjoying his new dog bed by fireplace and Major loved running around the South Lawn.” While in residence, the dogs will be attended by a helper, a member of the National Parks Service (the White House is technically a national park!) assigned to keep them safe and happy. They also get treats from the White House kitchen.

Of course, Biden has come to the White House with a message of unity and getting along with others, perhaps even natural enemies. So, in the same vein, The Bidens have committed to adding a cat to their White House family as well.

No word yet on any opossums.

(via: CNN, image: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.