Over the years, White House pets have played a role - making the occupants a little more human.
President-elect Joe Biden’s dog Major may have overdone that duty. On Saturday, Biden slipped while playing with 2-year-old German shepherd.
On Sunday, Biden was diagnosed with hairline fractures of two bones in his midfoot and will likely wear a walking boot for the next several weeks, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, director of executive medicine at George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates, told reporters.
Biden adopted Major, a rescue, in 2018. He adopted his other dog, Champ, in 2008 shortly after the presidential election. Champ is also a German shepherd.
The Bidens have said they plan to bring both dogs with them to the White House. They are also rumored to be adding a cat to the family.
“I love having animals around the house,” Jill Biden told Washington’s Fox 5 earlier this year.
Not everyone has felt a need for a furry White House companion.
President Trump has not had any pets in the White House during his time in office, the first president without resident animals in roughly 100 years, according to White House historians.
At a rally last year, Trump dismissed dogs in the White House as no more than a prop.
"I don't know. Feels a little phony, phony to me. A lot of people say, ‘Oh, you should get a dog,’ ‘Why?’ ‘It’s good politically.’ I said, ‘Look, that’s not the relationship I have with my people.’”
The Biden campaign launched a website Dog Lovers For Joe, with the slogan “Choose Your Human Wisely.”
There’s a long tradition of presidential pets. President Barack Obama had two Portuguese water dogs, Bo and Sunny. President George W. Bush had a number of pets during his eight years in office, including Spot, an offspring of Millie, his father and former president’s dog. President Bush also had a cat, India.
Those past First Dogs and First Cats may have some advice for the next White House resident: Play nice.