Joe Biden has announced the death of his pet dog Champ, aged 13.
The US president paid tribute to the family’s “beloved” German Shepherd in a statement on Saturday.
“Out hearts are heavy today as we let you all know that our beloved German Shepherd, Champ, passed away peacefully at home,” said Mr Biden, and first lady Dr Jill Biden.
“He was our constant, cherished companion during the last 13 years and was adored by the entire Biden family.
“Even as Champ’s strength waned in his last months, when we came into a room, he would immediately pull himself up, his tail always wagging, and nuzzle us for an ear scratch or a belly rub.
“Wherever we were, he wanted to be and everything was instantly better when he was next to us.”
The Biden family got Champ from a breeder as a puppy in 2008, after Mr Biden was elected vice president, according to Politico.
They named him Champ as Mr Biden’s father had told him as a child, “Get up, champ,” when his life was difficult.
Our family lost our loving companion Champ today. I will miss him. pic.twitter.com/sePqXBIAsE
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 19, 2021
“He loved nothing more than curling up at our feet in front of a fire at the end of the day, joining us as a comforting presence in meetings, or sunning himself in the White House garden,” the Biden family added.
“In his younger days, he was happiest chasing golf balls on the front lawn of the Naval Observatory or racing to catch our grandchildren as they ran around our backyard in Delaware.
“In our most joyful moments and in our most grief-stricken days, he was there with us, sensitive to our every unspoken feeling and emotion.
“We love our sweet, good boy and will miss him always.”
Mr Biden restored a long tradition of having pets in the White House, with Champ joined by German Shepherd Major and a cat, when he took office in January.
Major, a former foster dog, was adopted by the Biden family in 2018 from the Delaware Humane Association.
Donald Trump was the first president in more than 100 years to not have a pet of any kind at the executive mansion.
Former first lady Michelle Obama took to twitter to send her condolences to the Biden family.
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) June 19, 2021
“Champ was such a good boy, and we know how much he meant to your family over the years. Barack and I are sending all our love to you, and the entire Biden family,” Ms Obama tweeted at the president.