Schoep, Famous Arthritic Dog, Dies At Age 20 — So Sad

Fri, July 19, 2013 11:46am EST by 8 Comments
Courtesy Of Hannah Stonehouse Hudson/

The dog, who became an internet sensation after a picture of his owner soothing him in Lake Superior went viral, has passed away.

Schoep — the famous arthritic dog, whose picture with owner John Unger in Lake Superior touched the hearts of millions last year — passed away on July 18, nearly a month after his 20th birthday.

Famous Dog Schoep Dies On July 18

Schoep’s owner and best friend John announced his pet’s death on Facebook on July 18. John posted a photograph of Schoep’s paw in the sand with the caption: “I Breathe But I Can’t Catch My Breath…Schoep passed away yesterday…more information in the days ahead.”

The famous German Shepherd had recently celebrated his 20th birthday on June 15.

Schoep and John first became a worldwide sensation when a photographer captured John cradling an arthritic-stricken Schoep while he slept in Lake Superior. John could not afford costly treatments, so he asked a friend to take one last picture of them together.

The photo instantly went viral and captured the hearts of millions around the world. Dozens of online donations began pouring in for Schoep ,which enabled John to afford treatments that could help Schoep’s painful arthritis.

On July 15, John posted an upbeat update about Schoep on his Facebook page:

A fantastic day we had. Up early to walk and go to the beach, eat, nap, go shopping, eat, laundry, go to the beach, eat, nap and one more walk. All without the humidity, thats what made it fantastic – especially for Schoep! (pic) Schoep falling asleep in the sunshine. Have a great night – John

It’s always tough to lose a pet, especially when they’re your best friend. Our condolences go out to John on the loss of Schoep.

– Avery Thompson

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Jean O'Brien

Posted at 3:27 AM on July 20, 2013  

RIP beautiful, wonderful Schoep. John, my heart breaks for you. I’ve been in a very similar situation once and you feel like your heart is being ripped out of your chest. You were blessed with a good long life with Schoep and you are both lucky to have found each other. I have the picture of you and Schoep in the lake and I look at it every day, altho now with tears streaming down my face.

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Doug Grissman

Posted at 12:23 PM on July 19, 2013  

So sad to hear about Schoep, brings tears to my eyes. God bless you John, you have a lot of good memories.

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Posted at 12:19 PM on July 19, 2013  

I thought they would only boil cats?

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Posted at 8:15 PM on July 20, 2013  

If you somehow posted that comment with humorous intentions, you missed….badly. You’re the very person who should never own a pet, nor ever experience the affection & love they give in return.

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Posted at 11:38 PM on July 20, 2013  

Abe. You are a very strange person to make a comment like that . Apparently you never had a pet that you loved. If you can ‘t say something nice then you should keep your comments to yourself. You never have a nice comment whether they are human or an animal. You must have a very sad life.

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Posted at 6:45 AM on July 22, 2013  

Yes, I couldn’t agree more! How unkind…That beautiful dog was loved deeply. The pic says it all. So sad indeed…

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Posted at 12:11 PM on July 19, 2013  

Rest in Peace…I have that dog, same as yours, he’s 14yrs old and had lot pains in hips and had several seizure. We re soothing him too but very hard work. God bless you!!!

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Posted at 12:06 PM on July 19, 2013  

Rest in peace dear Schoep. You were so blessed to have an owner like John. The 2 of you brought each other so much happinesss. You will be missed!!

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