Ailing Wisconsin Dog Who Became Viral Photo Sensation Dies At Age 20

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Schoep, the ailing Wisconsin mixed breed dog who became a viral photo sensation last year after a friend photographed him being comforted by his owner on Lake Superior, passed away Wednesday.

On the Schoep and John Facebook page, owner John Unger simply wrote in the caption of a photo with Schoep’s paw print: “I Breathe But I Can’t Catch My Breath…Schoep passed yesterday. more information in the days ahead.” Schoep celebrated his 20th birthday last month and received more than 1,000 cards from fans.

After making the sad announcement, more than 61,000 people commented on Schoep’s death, with many expressing their condolences and memories of the viral photo.

Photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson, who took the photo of Unger comforting his dog on the lake near Bayfield, Wisconsin, back in July 2012, said to the Huffington Post last year that the waters of Lake Superior helped Schoep go to sleep every night and that he thought it was a good moment to capture on camera.

She added: “The buoyancy of the water soothes his arthritic bones. Lake Superior is very warm right now, so the temp of the water is perfect. I was so happy I got to capture this moment for John. By the way, John rescued Shep [sic] as an 8 month old puppy, and he’s been by his side through many adventures.”

After uploading the heartwarming photo to her Facebook page, it got more than 1.8 million views in only four days and got hundreds of thousands of shares and likes.

For more heartwarming photos, check out:

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