By Logan Epstein
February 23, 2021
Knowing that Joseph R. Biden was soon to be inaugurated on January 20th, the Delaware Humane Association (DHA) decided to throw a virtual “indoguration” for Major Biden, the Biden family’s dog since November of 2018. Major is the first shelter dog to ever live in the White House, so the DHA, the shelter where the Bidens adopted Major, wanted to commemorate the occasion. According to an article from People.com, “The virtual fundraiser, powered by Zoom, recounted Major’s rise from former shelter pup to future First Dog and was emceed by Today’s Jill Martin.” This event was touted as the “largest virtual party for dogs’’ and was covered by national news outlets, such as CNN and NPR.
The indoguration was held on January 17th, and was open to the public. It was sponsored by the DHA and Pumpkin Pet Insurance. “Overall, over 7,400 animal lovers attended the event, which raised awareness about what shelter pets are capable of and raised over $200,000 for DHA.” Unfortunately, Major and his family were unable to attend the event, as they were preparing for their big move into the White House. However, the event was filled with many loving and heartwarming photos and videos of dogs of all breeds and sizes. The event itself was approximately 20 minutes long, and a couple of special guests joined to welcome the first pups into the White House. One of the first things done during the event was an attempt at breaking a world record, the most users in a pet video hangout. Shortly after, Patrick Carroll of the DHA expressed his gratitude to all who joined the event, and showed a heartwarming video of some pets at the DHA, waiting to be adopted.
Next on the agenda was a montage of some baby pictures of Major as well as some clips from his adoption. The next item on the to-do list was to find a new secretary of rescue dogs, a contest which was won by Harper, a border collie. The winner of the contest was determined by Darius Brown, who makes matching bow ties for humans and dogs. This contest was followed by a short explanation of the goal of Pumpkin Pet Insurance. Next up was a performance from singer and actor Josh Groban. Unfortunately, the event had to be cut a little bit short as the site crashed because of the thousands of people attending the virtual event. But it was, overall, a very loving and heartwarming event. The video of the event can be viewed using this link.
There have been so many pets in the White House over the years, there are almost too many to count. In fact, there have only been three presidents who have not had a single pet while in office. One of them was Donald Trump, and the others were James Polk and Andrew Johnson, according to this website. During his campaign, Biden appealed to animal lovers by saying that he would bring animals, particularly dogs, back into the White House. However, Major isn’t the only First Dog in the White House. Champ Biden, the Biden family’s other German Shepherd, also took office in January. The Bidens got Champ in 2008, and both dogs participated in the Biden campaign.
Champ and Major have shared many cute moments on their very own Twitter page, which you can access by clicking on The Oval Pawffice. Major and Champ wasted no time in filling the White House with their happy noises, and some of these adorable sounds can be heard in this press conference. In an interview with NPR, Patrick Carrol, executive director of the DHA, summed it up best, saying, “If Major is good enough for the White House, a shelter dog is good enough for your house.”