UPDATED Thursday, July 18, 2013 --- 7:56 p.m.
From our news partner, WITI in Milwaukee:
BAYFIELD (WITI) — A photo of a man and his dog, enjoying the water of Lake Superior went viral — and now, according to John Unger’s Facebook page for the dog, “Schoep” has died.
Unger and “Schoep,” named after Wisconsin’s Schoep ice cream lived in Bayfield, Wisconsin.
Schoep was adopted by Unger as a puppy, from the Ozaukee County Humane Society. It was said the dog was abused.
As he got older, Schoep developed arthritis, and Unger frequently took Schoep into the water, as the cool lake water helped to soothe his painful muscles and joints.
According to the Schoep and John Facebook page, the dog also received laser treatments as part of his therapy.
The Schoep and John Facebook page was created in August of 2012.
In a Facebook post on the page in August of 2012, Unger shares the viral photo, and asks viewers to post four words that describe what the picture means to them.
Unger posted: “Pure, unconditional, trusting, love.”
A post of Schoep’s paw print in the sand, with the words: “I breathe, but I can’t catch my breath” was posted to the Facebook page on July 18th.
Posted: Sunday, June 16, 2013 --- 7:21 p.m.
BAYFIELD, Wis. (AP) -- An elderly dog depicted in a photo that gained widespread acclaim online has quietly turned 20.
The Duluth News Tribune reports the shepherd mix named Schoep spent a quiet birthday Saturday. He received more than 1,000 cards wishing him well.
Schoep and owner John Unger, of Bayfield, became Internet celebrities last summer because of Bayfield photographer Hannah Hudson's tender photograph of the pair in the soothing cool waters of Lake Superior. Hudson took it July 30 and posted it the next evening on Facebook. Within four days it had 1.8 million views.
Gifts and money poured in, enabling Unger to get the veterinary care needed for Schoep, who's arthritic, blind and hard of hearing.
Under says Schoep has good days and bad, but his condition has basically stayed the same.
Copyright 2013: Associated Press