MARCH 24, 2021 UPDATE: Well, that was quick! After getting some training, Major and Champ have returned to the White House.
Back in December, pound pup lovers were delighted with the news that for the first time in United States history, a shelter dog would be making his home in the White House. That historic hound was Major Biden, a 3-year-old German Shepherd adopted two years ago by Joe and Jill Biden.
There even was a virtual “Indoguration” in January to honor Major and raise funds for the Delaware Humane Association, the shelter from which Major was first fostered by the Bidens in 2018 and then adopted.
But just two months later, Major and the Bidens’ other dog, a 13-year-old German Shepherd named Champ, have been temporarily booted from the White House and sent back to the family’s home in Delaware.
According to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, Major “was surprised by an unfamiliar person and reacted in a way that resulted in a minor injury to the individual,” CNN reports. Sources told CNN that Major had previously displayed agitated behavior such as barking and “charging” at White House staff members.
Psaki also noted that the dogs’ trip home to Delaware had been planned before the incident. They usually stay at that home when Jill Biden is traveling. Major and Champ are being cared for by family friends (and hopefully Major is enjoying some sessions with a good dog trainer).
During an interview on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” last month, Jill Biden told Clarkson she’d been “getting obsessed with getting our dogs settled because we have an old dog and we have a very young dog. They have to take the elevator, they’re not used to that, and they have to go out on the South Lawn with lots of people watching them. So that’s what I’ve been obsessed with, getting everybody settled and calm.”
The good news is that Psaki said Major and Champ will be returning to the White House “soon.”
Major is getting plenty of support on social media. Kate Bennett, who reported the CNN story, tweeted, “All dogs are very good dogs though.” True!
This is also a very good idea:
Hopefully this incident won’t discourage people from adopting shelter pets. After all, even dogs from breeders can get aggressive. In fact, a previous first dog, the Obamas’ Portuguese Water Dog Sunny, reportedly bit the face of a teenage visitor to the White House.