Schoep the dog, whose photo went viral last year, has died at the age of 20, according to the pooch’s owner, John Unger. Unger announced the sad news on his Facebook account on Thursday.
Schoep’s story came to light last summer after a photo was posted to Facebook showing Unger cradling the aging pooch in Lake Superior to help him sleep.
The dog and his best friend had a long-lasting relationship. Unger adopted Schoep from the Humane Society when the shepherd mix was just a puppy. He had all the markings of being beaten.
As Schoep grew older, the pair did everything together, and that meant the pooch helping Unger through a bad breakup that left him so depressed he considered suicide. But John survived, for his dog.
The viral photo was taken last year by Hannah Stonehouse Hudson. It shows Unger cradling Schoep in the waters of Lake Superior while the water lulls the 19-year-old dog to sleep. According to Unger, it was the only way he could get the ailing pooch to relax.
And John Unger was also faced with the very real possibility that he would have to say goodbye to his best friend last summer, unless the medication the dog was getting started to help with his condition. But thanks to the viral photo, that didn’t happen. Donations poured in for Schoep’s treatment, allowing John Unger to enjoy another year with his precious pooch.
But on Thursday, shortly after celebrating the dog’s 20th birthday, Unger announced on Facebook that Schoep had died. He posted a photo of a lone pawprint on the beach, writing, “I Breathe But I Can’t Catch My Breath… Schoep passed yesterday more information in the days ahead.”
Condolences poured in for John Unger after the announcement, with several Facebook users expressing their sorrow at the new that Scheop had passed. One user commented, “My heart is broken for you and sweet Schoep. Thank you for sharing him with us. He is forever a part of you.”
While John Unger has yet to say how his dog Schoep died, it is likely he will release details of what happened soon.
[Image via Facebook]