When President-elect Joe Biden takes office this January, he is set to restore a time-honoured tradition back to the White House: bringing in pups for the first time to what has been a pet-free zone for four years.
Accompanying Jill and Joe Biden, their two German shepherds: Champ, 12, and Major, 2 will become the first dogs of the US (DOTUS). They are the first dogs to occupy the Oval Office since the departure of Bo and Sunny, the Obamas' Portuguese water dogs, in 2016.
Trump presidency was the first in more than 100 years not to feature a "first dog”. Neither President Donald Trump nor his wife Melania owned any pets.
While Champ joined the Biden family in December 2008, weeks after the election that made Biden vice president-elect, Major joined the Biden clan almost eight years later. The Biden's fostered Major from a Delaware Humane Association and made his adoption official in November 2018, CNN said in a report.
On Monday, an Instagram account dedicated to both canines was launched under the name "first dogs USA".
The account already has more than 55,000 followers and has posted 10 photos of the two dogs.
A recent post of Champ and Major snuggled together on a rug is captioned: "We’re so proud of our dad @JoeBiden, the first-ever presidential candidate to receive 75 million votes.
"But Major will be setting a record of his own as he's the first-ever rescue pupper to live in the WH. We’re gonna play all day & receive countless treats! #DOTUS #FirstDogs #presidentelect [sic]." Major will be the first rescue dog to reside in the White House.
He featured in numerous social media posts from Biden during the presidential campaign, including one video captioned: "No ruff days on the trail when I have some Major motivation." During the campaign, Biden urged American voters to "Put dogs back in the White House" through a series of social media posts.
"Folks — you’re not just voting to put me in the White House. You’re also voting for Champ and Major. Let’s put dogs back in the White House," he said in a post on Instagram.
A month before the election, a Biden supporter launched a “Dog Lovers for Joe” campaign with the slogan: "Choose Your Humans Wisely”.
Trump was the first president since James K Polk, who served from 1845 to 1949, to not bring any pets to The White House. Former President Bill Clinton brought his pet cat Socks with him along with a labrador named Buddy, who joined the family later.
George W Bush owned a Scottish terrier named Barney during his presidency.
On the subject of pets, Trump has previously said he was too busy to own one.
"I wouldn’t mind having one, but I don’t have any time," he said at a rally last year.
"How would I look walking a dog on the White House lawn? I don’t know, feels a little phoney to me,” he was quoted as saying by the Independent.
Biden tweeted on Trump’s views on dogs.
"Some Americans celebrate #NationalCatDay, some celebrate #NationalDogDay - President Trump celebrates neither. It says a lot. It’s time we put a pet back in the White House,” he said in a tweet in October last year.