Good boys return to the White House

We are neither red states nor blue states but the United States of normal goddamn people who like dogs

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Soon we the American people will be able to welcome two very good boys to the White House after four long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long dog-ass years. I’m speaking of course of the Bidens’ German Shepherds, Major and Champ. Champ was a nickname Joe Biden’s father gave him when he was just a boy and Major was named in anticipation of Kamala Harris’s outfit for her first speech as Vice President-Elect in the year 2020.

The American Kennel Club notes that German Shepherds are known for their confident disposition and prized for being incredibly smart. This also marks the reappearance as well as the first correct usage of the phrase “incredibly smart” in relation to the White House since 2016.

A bit of history: German Shepherds were the #1 most popular dog in the 1920s, undoubtedly due to their frequent appearances in Hollywood movies. Probably the best ratings a dog could have, really. A German Shepherd named Strongheart starred in action adventure films at that time and was the first dog to become a major movie star. He opened the (dog) door to an even bigger canine celebrity, Rin Tin Tin. Both dogs have stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that probably haven’t been repeatedly pickaxed, sledge hammered or pissed, spat, puked and shit on since 2016.

German Shepherds were originally bred as herding dogs but tend to be thought of as working dogs due to their training in search and rescue, narcotics, tracking, and police and military work. Some highly trained German Shepherds even parachute out of military planes. Which really beats barely being able to parachute out of your own little bitch ass but that’s just my passion for this breed and this breed alone talking.

This breed saw its popularity decline after World War II due to anti-German sentiment and, by association, anti-Nazi sentiment. To reiterate, their popularity declined because of their association with Nazis. I know.

German Shepherds slowly began to regain their popularity and became known as the quintessential family dog — calm, dependable, and protective. These dogs are also gentle around small children and probably do not place candy on the head of a child in a Halloween costume nor are they likely to separate babies from their parents with no friggin’ idea how to reunite them. Another check in the win column for German Shepherds, that’s for sure.

Back to Major and Champ specifically. Champ has previous administration experience, having been adopted in 2008. But Major was adopted just two years ago. The Bidens fostered Major when he was a pup from a litter that had been surrendered and “were not doing well at all”, according to the Delaware Humane Association. So they took in a creature that was vulnerable and without a home and didn’t do something shitty? Can someone remind me how this works?

Currently German Shepherds are the second most popular dog breed in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club. But because they are very good yes they are yes they are, they have already won the popular vote, the electoral college, and the sunniest spot on the kitchen floor.

In conclusion we are neither red states nor blue states but the United States of normal goddamn people who like dogs. Let us all look forward together to that glorious day when we can once again welcome two outstanding examples of loyalty, intelligence, curiosity, bravery, and damn good looks back to the White House. And let’s hear it for Joe and Kamala who also seem fine!

Kimberly Harrington is the author of AMATEUR HOUR: MOTHERHOOD IN ESSAYS AND SWEAR WORDS and the forthcoming BUT YOU SEEMED SO HAPPY (Harper Perennial). She’s a columnist and regular contributor to McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and her work has also appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, LitHub, The Boston Globe, and The Cut.

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AMATEUR HOUR (2018) and BUT YOU SEEMED SO HAPPY (2021) | The New York Times, The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, The Cut | kimberlyharrington.me

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