Update: Major and Champ Biden officially moved into the White House on Jan. 24. “The First Family wanted to get settled before bringing the dogs down to Washington from Delaware,” Michael LaRosa, First Lady Jill Biden’s press secretary, told CNN. “Champ is enjoying his new dog bed by the fireplace, and Major loved running around on the South Lawn.”
Kamala Harris, who will become the first female and first person of color to be vice president of the United States, is not the only one who will be making history in January.
Major Biden, the German Shepherd adopted two years ago by Joe and Jill Biden, will become the first rescue dog to live in the White House. It’s hard to believe, but no former pound pups have lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in the past 220 years.
Sure, there have been plenty of “First Dogs” — most recently, Bo and Sunny, the Portuguese Water Dogs belonging to the Obamas — but Major will be the first First Dog who wasn’t bought from a breeder or received as a gift. The Bidens have another German Shepherd, Champ, who was purchased by Joe from a breeder as a gift to Jill after the 2008 election.
The Bidens fostered Major from the Delaware Humane Association in November 2018 after their daughter, Ashley, sent them a photo of the German Shepherd. Who could resist that smile? Not the Bidens. Like so many people who are kind enough to give dogs temporary homes, they fell in love with Major, and he went from being their foster dog to their forever dog.
Last week, Biden tweeted a video of Donald Trump at a rally asking how he’d look walking a dog on the White House lawn. “I don’t feel good,” Trump said. In response, the tweet read, “Let’s put dogs back in the White House. Champ and Major for DOTUS.”
No matter who you supported in this contentious election, one thing is perfectly clear: Major is a very good boy. Here’s hoping he’s the first but not the last shelter dog to live in the White House.