Schoep, the Dog Cradled in the Arms of His Human in Lake Superior, Has Died

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Last year Dogster readers delighted in the heartwarming relationship between John Unger and his dog Schoep.



Unger, who went to great depths to ease Schoep's pain of severe arthritis with water therapy, was an inspiring figure. With the help of photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson of Stonehouse Photography, the image of Unger and Shoep practicing water therapy touched many people around the world in a profound way. It went viral on the Internet.

Their story is a beautiful one that made us at Dogster emotional and happy to see the true love a person can carry for a dog.

That's why we are sad to inform our readers that Shoep has passed away.

Unger wrote the following statement on the Schoep and John Facebook page this afternoon:

"I breathe but I can't catch my breath ... Schoep passed yesterday ... more information in the days ahead."

Unger adopted Schoep with his then-fiancée from a shelter. They both had to work hard to gain the trust of Schoep, who had experienced abuse. However, this did not deter Unger, who was determined to show Schoep how to trust again.

Both experienced difficult times in their lives -– Schoep being abused, and Unger having to deal with the departure of his fiancée as well as depression. The love Unger had for Shoep, and the companionship they had with one another, made it possible for Unger to keep going.

It breaks our hearts to know that Schoep is no longer with us, but we are deeply sorry for Unger's loss, and we wish him the best.

Learn More About Schoep's Touching Story:



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tim

if it should be that i grow frail and weak and pain should keep me from my sleep then will you do what must be done? for this the last battle cannot be won. you will be sad i understand,but don\"t let grief stay your hand,for on this day,more than the rest,your love and frienship must stand the test. we had so many happy years,you wouldn*t want me to sufferso, when the time comes,please let me go,take me to where my needs they:ll tend,only stay with me until the end and hold me firm and speak to me,until my eyes no longer see. i know in time you will agree,its a kindness you will do for me,although my tail its last has waived,from the pain and suffering i haved been saved,don^t grieve that it must be you,who has to decide this thing to do. we*ve been so close we two these years,don^t let your heart hold any tears. r.i.p schoep

July 21 2013 at 6:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hi LFK

Sometimes there is an otherworldly feeling to the depth of love and connection one feels for a certain dog. The loss of a dog like that results in grief too deep to express and almost impossible for others to contemplate ... unless they've been blessed with a dog that defies description, whose eyes radiate a kind of cosmic wisdom. If you can follow this, I believe you've experienced something very rare and, heartbreakingly, something that ends way, way too soon. We are never ready for such a loss; the death of a dog who is part of our soul.

July 21 2013 at 9:29 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Hi LFK

Sometimes a certain dog is so special as to become its parent's soul twin, something that cannot be put into words but is felt to one's core. The loss of my dog Corky was so devastating to me that I shaved my head and wore a buzz cut for ten years. Corky died suddenly in 1992 and I've loved other dogs since then, deeply ... but the bond I had with a mutt named Corky was so exceptional that I felt it as a gift from God. The pain recedes but only after a very long time. Such a dog is irreplaceable; yet I can and will continue to save dogs, love them, and give them the best and longest life I can. In my experience, the pain of losing that one angel dog exceeded any other pain of loss, including the deaths of people I loved. I share the grief of anyone who understands what I am trying to express. LK

July 21 2013 at 9:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
classygirlkq1

sniff sniff, eyes watering, lower lip quivering, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! waaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

July 20 2013 at 12:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tony

I know how hard this is for you my little dog Sammy suffers with a mouth disorder and needs treatment I can't afford, so I treat him with household products and pet him to sleep when it's real bad, but I'm loosing him a little bit at a time. I was really moved by your story,and the pic of you holding him in your arms, bless you man"

July 20 2013 at 12:19 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
tspatric

As I cry reading this my tears are for you John Unger. I, as have many , followed your sweet story of love and friendship. My heart is broken for you and I know these words do little. Keep the good memories alive and don't revisit the dark side. You are a compassionate soul and are bound to find true love again. Of this I am sure. Don't give up. People need others like you. Thank you so much for the small insight into the life of sweet Schoep. His life was hope, compassion, love and true friendship. Something we all need.

July 19 2013 at 11:02 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Edgar Estuardo Pelae

i'm so sorry for your lost I cried when in read it for the first time and i'm crying now .You will meet again in the brige

July 19 2013 at 10:35 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Bill Kirby

John and Schoep taught me a lesson. My ten year old Maltese, Laci Sue means the world to me. I never had children, she showed me the unconditional love that only pet owners who really love there pets understand. Laci has hip issues that require me to carry her when she has a bad day, though not always. Surgery is an option that I have contemplated numerous times. Soon I will have to decide..But if I have to, like John, I will carry her to the end of the earth if necessary. God bless you John..your a good man...And a great daddy. Schoep is running through the beautiful fields in Heaven.

July 19 2013 at 10:22 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Carla

Those of us that love our pets beyond all reason feel your pain and share your loss. What a wonderful "Dog-Father" you were to Schoep, and that mattered so much for the both of you. I have had so many beautiful furry kids, each one unique and filled with unconditional love, but when I lost my GSD girl 3 years ago I thought I'd lose my mind. She was my soul mate and the grieving was all consuming. I thought I couldn't possibly get another pet for a long, long time... I felt it might be betraying the memory of the beautiful girl I had just lost, for ME, that was an incorrect assumption, after two months when I thought I would drown in sorrow, I began looking at GSD rescues, and found another beautiful soul who really needed me and I her, and we saved each other...she definitely saved me more than I her. I think how you treated Schoep is the way EVERY animal deserves, and you know the rewards of that, it is in the way the love is returned to you. My heart goes out to you, truly. If you can't get past the grief as I was having trouble with, please consider another pet sooner rather than later...I now know it honors the memory of your beloved loss by caring for another. Schoep with EVERYTHING in his spirit does NOT want want you to be suffering or sad. God bless you.

July 19 2013 at 8:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jjlutz

I, too, am at the end of a life shared with an companion that has not left my side for 13 years. I rescued him as a 6 mos old GSP pup that two previous owners could not control. He has been the best dog I ever had, helping me through some tough times with his playful nature and constant activity. He is with me every minute of every day. I sit here with tears in my eyes for your loss John, and shed a few for the time I have left for the buddy, pal and companion mine has been for me. He sleeps a lot now, has trouble getting in and out of the truck, walks in the lake up to his belly but can't swim anymore but never misses a chance to go to the lake and lie on the dock just taking in life.
Dogs are a necessity in some of our lives; it's too bad that their time and our time on earth is such such a disparity that they have to go. Find yourself another buddy. It won't take Schoep's place but will give you a place to give some more of the obvious love and caring you have. It will be returned.

July 19 2013 at 6:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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