First Lady Jill Biden and Presidential Dogs Champ and Major Film Mask PSA for 2021 Puppy Bowl
In a new PSA that is set to air during Puppy Bowl XVII, Dr. Biden, 69, and the first dogs — Champ and Major — implore viewers watching the adorable event to stay healthy for their pets by wearing a mask.
Seen sitting beside her two adorable German shepherds, Dr. Biden begins her statement, saying, "For a lot of us during this pandemic, our pets have been such a source of joy and comfort — and maybe a bark or two on a video conference."
"The unconditional love from a dog is one of the most beautiful things on earth and we owe it to them to keep ourselves healthy," she continues, before asking viewers to "please keep wearing your mask, even when you're out walking your dog."
During the three-hour special, 70 adoptable puppies from shelters across the northeast U.S. will compete on Team Ruff and Team Fluff to see who comes out on top and wins the coveted "Lombarky" trophy.
"With the Wisdom Panel™ dog DNA test, we'll find out what's beyond those big puppy-dog eyes and how each dog's breed mix might give them an advantage on the field," a statement about the event says. "We'll see their skills play out in the brand-new GEICO Stadium, where these adoptable players have even more room to rumble and fumble!"
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"Fan-favorite elements, including slow-motion replays, nose-to-nose action from the famous water-bowl cam and aerial shots of the field from the brand-new TEMPTATIONS™ Sky Box are all back this year, along with epic drone shots of puppy players across the arena that bring audiences as close as possible to all the gameplay action," the release promises.
"Additionally, for the first time ever on the sidelines, our Team Ruff and Team Fluff players will be cheered on by none other than adoptable puppy cheerleaders who will root and howl for their favorite players," the release adds. "These cheerleading pups will turn up the volume with cuteness overload by shaking their pom-poms as the Puppy Bowl XVII players make their way down the field!"
"Rufferee" Dan Schachner (who has been covering the Puppy Bowl for 10 years!) will be returning for the big game, and the adorable sporting event will also include "a special profile of actress and animal advocate Kristen Bell, who has teamed up with Annenberg PetSpace in Los Angeles to spend time with Java, a Labrador mix puppy looking for a fur-ever home to snuggle in."
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The inclusion of Dr. Biden and President Joe Biden's dogs in the annual animal sporting event is a perfect pairing, given the Puppy Bowl's dedication to pet adoption.
Major, who made history as the first rescue dog to move into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, was adopted by the Biden family from the Delaware Humane Association (DHA) in November 2018, 10 years after they welcomed their first German Shepherd, Champ.
President Biden and Dr. Biden got Champ around Christmas 2008 and brought the beloved pet with them to the vice presidential residence at the U.S. Naval Observatory during the former vice president's two terms with former President Barack Obama.
Champ and Major are also the first dogs to set paws at the White House since the Obama family's Portuguese water dogs, Bo and Sunny. Former President Donald Trump did not have any pets during his time serving in Washington, D.C.
Puppy Bowl XVII airs Feb. 7 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT on Discovery+ and Animal Planet