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Biden Will Restore White House Pet Tradition With 2 German Shepherds

TONYA MOSLEY, HOST:

Donald Trump has been the first president in more than a century without a dog. Next week, Joe Biden restores the tradition with two German shepherds, Major and Champ. Major's story in particular is a wags-to-riches tale.

PATRICK CARROLL: We had someone from the community reach out to us who had a litter of German shepherd puppies, and they weren't doing well.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Patrick Carroll is executive director to the Delaware Humane Association. He says Major and his five littermates were hospitalized for days.

(SOUND OF PUPPY CRYING)

CARROLL: They had gotten into a toxic substance - we're not sure what. But it was curable, but it just required medical care.

(SOUND OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: You're so cute.

CARROLL: So we put them into foster homes once we got them better.

MOSLEY: One of those fosters was Joe Biden. Major found his forever home. Biden fully adopted him in November of 2018.

(SOUND OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: You're adopted. You did it. You did such a good job.

JOE BIDEN: Thank you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #3: Thank you. Congratulations. Bye, Major.

MARTIN: Major will be the first dog to go from a shelter to the White House, but he follows in the footprints of another rescue dog, Yuki.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT LYNDON JOHNSON: He is the friendliest and the smartest and the most constant in his attention of all the dogs that I've known.

MARTIN: That's President Lyndon Johnson, whose daughter picked up the pup at a gas station in Texas.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOHNSON: Do you want to go (howling)?

(SOUND OF YUKI HOWLING)

JOHNSON: Come on. Sing for me (howling).

(SOUND OF YUKI HOWLING)

LADY BIRD JOHNSON: (Laughter) Oh, you silly dog.

MOSLEY: The Delaware Humane Association is holding a virtual indoguration (ph) for the first dog-elect on Sunday to benefit the shelter.

CARROLL: Major is highlighting adoption. I think, also, it's shining a light on all the resources that animal shelters bring to a community. So if you need pet food because you're struggling or you need low-cost vaccinations to keep your pet healthy - all of the things that people need, they should see their shelter as a resource.

MOSLEY: Carroll says if Major is good enough for the White House, a shelter dog is good enough for your house. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.