Dog featured in viral photo dies

BAYFIELD, Wis. – A sad update to a story that has been viral for about a year. Schoep, the dog pictured floating to sleep in his owners arms, has died. His owner, John Unger posted the news on Facebook, saying the 20-year-old Shepherd mix died.

Schoep became an Internet sensation when the photo of him and Unger went viral. Unger would bring the dog to Lake Superior each night and hold him in the water while the dog fell asleep. Arthritis took a toll on the dog, and the daily trips to the lake would help alleviate his pain. Old age had also cost Schoep his eyesight.

Once the story got out, donations began to pour in to help pay for medical treatments. Unger received around $10,000 which was used to pay for weekly laser treatments to help ease the pain of arthritis.

Unger said because of that generosity, Schoep was able to do things he hadn’t done in years, and he believed it gave him at least another year of life.

Schoep was last in the news in June, when he celebrated his 20th birthday. Unger said they celebrated with an ice cream birthday cake, while reading hundreds of cards sent from around the world.