Donald Trump hated dogs. Hated them. Calling people “dogs” was one of his favorite epithets. There are many upsides to having Joe Biden replace him as president, but don’t discount one of the more frivolous: He’s a well-documented lover of dogs who has two of their own. And after his own canines finally showed up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on Sunday, people — many of whom have turned to dogs to help them get through the last four years — freaked out.
Champ and Major have joined us in the White House! pic.twitter.com/R035YnavVo
— Jill Biden (@FLOTUS) January 25, 2021
Their names are Champ and Major, and they’re both German shepherds. Champ has been with the Bidens for over 10 years, which means this isn’t his first time at 1600. Major is a newer addition to the family. He was adopted in 2018, and he’s reportedly the first shelter dog to ever live in the White House.
Their slightly late arrival — five days into their one owner’s presidency — was intentional: The Bidens wanted things to get settled in their new home first before bringing them in. (They also had to do a ton of disinfecting from the previous tenants.)
Trump was the first president since Andrew Johnson — who was also impeached — to not have any pets. Meanwhile, Barack Obama had two dogs: Bo and Sunny, both Portuguese Water Dogs. George W. Bush had three dogs, a cat, and a cow. His dad had two dogs, one of them born during his tenure. Bill Clinton had a cat and a Labrador retriever. Ronald Reagan had six dogs, two cats, and a horse.
We could go on, but we’ll conclude by pointing out that John F. Kennedy had 11 dogs, a cat, a canary, a parrot, some ducks, three ponies, two hamsters, a rabbit, and a horse. Also: Richard Nixon had four dogs.
Upon news of Champ and Major’s arrival, social media — where animals are often used as self-care — lit up.
This is officially the best news of the day.
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) January 25, 2021
Dogs are back. https://t.co/rvMadXA4q4
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 25, 2021
First dogs update!
Champ and Major Biden joined the President and the First Lady at the White House on Sunday, per @MichaelLaRosa46
Official WH photos by Adam Schultz pic.twitter.com/bCSWFVPZL8
— Michael Del Moro (@MikeDelMoro) January 25, 2021
Spotted on the White House South Lawn, the new First Dogs enjoying their new digs. pic.twitter.com/8awNb4BEXy
— Laura Figueroa Hernandez (@Laura_Figueroa) January 25, 2021
Dogs in the White House means there’s humans in the White House.
— J. Elvis Weinstein (@JElvisWeinstein) January 25, 2021
White House Dog Correspondents Sit and Wait to interview Biden Family’s First Dogs, Major and Champ pic.twitter.com/NbpeHrUmfH
— Bill Wong (@ten24get) January 25, 2021
I’m really happy that there’s space to get excited about news the first dogs arrived at the White House because the sitting President didn’t tweet some inflammatory shit at 7:04am to kick off the entire day’s news cycle. IDC. Give me all that mundane shit. Shoot it in my veins.
— Naima Cochrane (@naima) January 26, 2021
Dale! That’s Dale Haney, chief White House groundskeeper and living legend. He’s been walking presidential dogs at the White House (among many, many other duties) since Richard Nixon’s Irish Setter “King Timahoe.” https://t.co/CZVDEgG8Xg
— Kate Bennett (@KateBennett_DC) January 25, 2021
Major and Champ Biden have arrived. https://t.co/wdomfetkfO
— Amy Siskind (@Amy_Siskind) January 25, 2021
There are dogs back in the White House, I made a helluva lasagna for dinner and I made out with my girlfriend on the couch for an hour.
A fantastic day!
— Ida Skibenes (@ida_skibenes) January 26, 2021
Some people dug up old dog content from former presidents.
Lovely to hear that Biden’s dogs have been moved into the White House. I would like to remind you all that George Bush Sr’s dog got so fat that he (the President) sent an urgent memo to all White House staff.
— Letters of Note (@LettersOfNote) January 25, 2021
Anyway, pets are great and you can tell a lot about a person by how much they love them.