Champ & Major

Cast Iron German Shepherd Bookends (LEO Design)

After four years without (live) animals in the White House, first family pets are back! Champ and Major are two male German Shepherds, the family pets of the Biden family. Champ, now twelve years old, was purchased by Joe Biden from a Pennsylvania breeder to fulfill a promise to his wife—that he would get another family dog if he and Barack Obama won the 2008 election.  Major is three years old and is the first rescue dog to live in the White House.  Joe Biden's father would sometimes call the future president "Champ"—and this nickname was passed along to the older dog.  The younger dog may have received his name as a tribute to Biden's deceased son, Beau, who was an Army Major.

While the older dog, Champ, seems to have mellowed into his golden years,  the adolescent pup, Major, has been a bit naughty in the White House (and the press seems all too happy to convey every detail of his misbehavior).  First a nipping, then a biting incident has been reported—along with growling and jumping.  And one of the dogs, it is reported, has even pooped on the White House floor!  It remains to be seen how the new president will respond.  Personally, I hope that the president takes appropriate action.  Neither Biden's agenda nor Major's reputation needs the distraction of the pet's misconduct.  Perhaps Major will need to wear a muzzle, at least while interacting outside of the immediate family.  Think of it as a face mask for dogs.

Only three administrations never shared their home with pets, and all of them were Southerners: James K. Polk (Tennessee), Andrew Johnson (also Tennessee) and Don Trump (Florida).  One Northerner, John F. Kennedy, also had two German Shepherds in the White House, Shannon and Clipper.

The handsome cast iron bookends, pictured above, were made in the Twenties. A pair of fiercely loyal German Shepherds will guard your precious tomes—and look great doing it.  Click on the photo above to learn more about them.


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (

We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques ( or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248