The arthritic dog who became an internet sensation after picture of his owner soothing him in a lake went viral has died a month after he turned 20.
John Unger, owner of Schoep the German Shepherd, announced his pet’s death by posting a photograph of a pawprint in the sand on Facebook with the caption: ‘I breathe but I can’t catch my breath’.
Underneath the picture, which gained 24,000 likes and 49,000 comments within hours, he wrote simply: ‘Schoep passed yesterday. More information in the days ahead.’
The story of loyal dog Schoep, from Wisconsin, became an international sensation when the picture of Unger wading in Lake Superior with him was viewed by millions last year.
Since then, their story has served as the inspiration for a charity called the Schoep Legacy Foundation which has raised more than $25,000 to help low-income families care for their aging dogs thanks to donations from people as far away as Saudi Arabia and Japan.
Mr Unger’s photographer friend Hannah Stonehouse Hudson captured the heartbreaking moment between the man and his aging rescue dog in Wisconsin when Mr Unger realised his best friend was at the end of his life.
Mr Unger said he credited his dog with getting him through a difficult period of his life. He and his ex-fiancée adopted Schoep 19 years ago, but when the relationship ended, Mr Unger was on the brink of suicide.
"To be honest with you, I don’t think I’d be here if I didn’t have Schoep with me (that night). He just snapped me out of it. I don’t know how to explain it. He just snapped me out of it. I just want to do whatever I can for this dog because he basically saved my ass", he said last month.28 notas
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