Thursday 21 January 2021

First dogs (and first cat?) to return to The White House

Have you heard of DOTUS? It stands for ‘(first) dogs of the United States,’ and there will soon be two new canine residents in The White House. Of course, there are two important new human occupants, the dogs’ owners, President-in-waiting Joe Biden and First Lady Dr Jill Biden, who are due to move in from late January, and they will be accompanied by their pair of rescue German Shepherds, Champ and Major.


Champ and Major are the first four-legged occupants for four years, as Donald and Melania Trump did not have any pets. Such is the anticipation of these welcome new arrivals, that they already have their own Instagram account, first_dogs_usa, with 66.8k followers! Here’s a recent post featuring both of these very photogenic dogs:


 Copyright Instagram and first_dogs_usa

So what do we know about these new canine residents? Well, firstly, Champ is 12, and Major is two. Champ was adopted as a puppy from a shelter after Biden was elected vice-president in 2008. Younger Major was adopted from the Delaware Humane Association. Both are clearly very loved family members. Biden tweeted in October 2019, “It’s time we put a pet back in The White House,” no doubt knowing the power of winning round animal-lovers!

Copyright Instagram and first_dogs_usa

 Dr Jill Biden, pictured with Major and Champ on the dogs’ Instagram page.

  Interestingly, the first dogs may not be the only animal residents once the Bidens move in. Jill recently stated that she “loves having animals around the house,” and would “love to get a cat.” So we will watch with interest to see if there will be a new first cat (COFUS?), too!

Socks, pictured below, was the Clinton’s cat. Will there be a successor to follow in his feline footsteps? In the UK, we have Larry, the number 10 Downing Street cat, and Dilyn the Prime Minister’s rescue dog, who are no doubt hoping to see their US counterparts in position soon.


 Socks, the ‘first cat’ during the Clinton presidency in 1994


Larry and Dilyn, the current residents at no 10.